Saturday, December 3

Police help Apple hunt lost iPhone

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BEIJING: San Francisco police said they had helped Apple search for a “lost item”, following reports saying that a prototype of Apple’s yet-to-be-released iPhone 5 had gone missing in July, Xinhua News reported.

Last week, technology news website CNET reported that an Apple employee lost at a tequila bar in San Francisco in July a prototype of iPhone 5, a new version of the company’s mobile phone expected to be released in September or October.

The San Francisco Police Department said in a press release that after the missing device was tracked using GPS technology to a San Francisco house, four police officers and two Apple employees visited the home.

“Apple employees called Mission police station directly, wanting assistance in tracking down a lost item,” the statement said.

“The two Apple employees met with the resident and then went into the house to look for the lost item,” it said.

“The Apple employees did not find the lost item and left the house.”

Police did not say exactly what Apple had lost, but media reports found the file of San Francisco police’s Friday press release about the hunt was named “iphone5.doc” — an apparent hint of the new mobile device.

A 22-year-old resident of the home, identified by SF Weekly as Sergio Calderon, told the newspaper that he has visited the bar where the phone was reportedly lost but he did not have the device.

Calderon said the search of his house took place in July when police had traced the phone to the house using satellite positioning software on the device, but did not find anything in the house.

Apple has declined to comment on the matter.

Last year, an employee of the company lost a prototype iPhone 4 in a Redwood City bar before it was released. The details of the phone ware then unveiled by technology blog Gizmodo.

Criminal charges have been filed against the man who found the prototype and another who brokered the deal to sell it to Gizmodo. Both men pleaded not guilty on Thursday.