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Apple Apparently Reached Settlement over Search for Lost Prototype iPhone 4S

While Apple's lost iPhone 4 that surfaced on Gizmodo back in 2010 made the biggest headlines, a similar situation reportedly played out ahead of the iPhone 4S launch last year, with an Apple employee having apparently lost a prototype of the device at a San Francisco bar more than two months before it was publicly introduced.

Apple responded relatively quickly to the loss of the prototype iPhone, and early reports claimed that the company had worked with San Francisco police to track the device to a home in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. They were, however, unsuccessful in locating the iPhone. Controversy erupted when the San Francisco police initially denied that they had participated in any such investigation, leading to suggestions that Apple investigators had impersonated police officers in their search.

The San Francisco Police Department did finally admit that it had assisted Apple with a search of the home in question, but the home's owner, Sergio Calderón, threatened to file a lawsuit over the incident. He claimed that the Apple security officers who searched his home had given the impression that they were police officers, thus making their search of his home an illegal breach of his rights. The last significant update in the case came in early December, when CNET interviewed Calderón's lawyer, who indicated that settlement negotiations with Apple had ended and that a lawsuit would be filed in the following weeks.

Nearly four months later and with no lawsuit having been filed, Network World has now followed up with the lawyer, David Monroe, to find out the status of the situation. Tellingly, Monroe repeatedly asserted that he had "no comment" on any of Network World's questions, all but confirming that he and his client did in fact reach a settlement with Apple. Unsurprisingly, that settlement would have included a nondisclosure agreement preventing Monroe or Calderón from commenting on the situation.
Having heard nothing more in the subsequent four months, I called Monroe yesterday and asked if he could update me on the status of that lawsuit.

"I have no comment about that," he replied.

I asked if there had been a settlement between Apple and his client, Sergio Calderone.

"I have no comment about that."

I mentioned the bit about him saying in December that a lawsuit was then imminent - within a few weeks -- and asked what had changed since then.

"I have no comment about that."

I was about to try a fourth round but by then we were both chuckling over the futility of the exercise.
Apple has refused to comment publicly on the situation all along, and did not respond to an inquiry from Network World regarding an update. Curiously, Apple's head of global security, John Theriault, left the company in November of last year, with sources indicating that his departure was indeed linked to the circumstances surrounding the lost iPhone 4S. Theriault now works as an independent management consultant in San Francisco.

For its part, the San Francisco Police Department conducted an internal investigation into its handling of the case, but it is unclear what the outcome of that investigation was.

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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31 months ago
I have no comment on this.
Rating: 12 Votes
31 months ago
I always love the fact that no one here cares that Apple actually invaded a person's home illegally and deceptively. Yes, this is front page news. Another case of fanboys ignoring, accepting or making excuses for anything that Apple does wrong.

Tony
Rating: 11 Votes
31 months ago

I have no comment on this.


Which ironically, was a comment on this.
Rating: 9 Votes
31 months ago

I have no comment on this.


If you choose to say no comment you still have made a comment. *sings*
Rating: 7 Votes
31 months ago

Having heard nothing more in the subsequent four months, I called Monroe yesterday and asked if he could update me on the status of that lawsuit.

"I have no comment about that," he replied.

I asked if there had been a settlement between Apple and his client, Sergio Calderone.

"I have no comment about that."

I mentioned the bit about him saying in December that a lawsuit was then imminent - within a few weeks -- and asked what had changed since then.

"I have no comment about that."


Sounds like one riveting conversation :cool:
Rating: 4 Votes
31 months ago
The article contains a lot of words just to say, "no one knows or will comment on anything new regarding the entire situation."
Rating: 3 Votes
31 months ago

I always love the fact that no one here cares that Apple actually invaded a person's home illegally and deceptively. Yes, this is front page news. Another case of fanboys ignoring, accepting or making excuses for anything that Apple does wrong.

Tony


I always laugh at posts like these. Funny, up to the point of your original post, nobody was saying this was okay, nor were they making excuses. As a matter of fact if anyone said anything a few posts up from this one it's the opposite of what you're suggesting. But oh well, apparently for some it's cooler to hold a grudge with people that don't criticize everything explicitly. Another case of people being so eager to point out flaws that they imagine in their own head that they don't bother to actually do so within any relevant context. One could wait until someone made excuses before criticizing them.
Rating: 3 Votes
31 months ago

I always love the fact that no one here cares that Apple actually invaded a person's home illegally and deceptively. Yes, this is front page news. Another case of fanboys ignoring, accepting or making excuses for anything that Apple does wrong.

Tony


I have no comment about that.
Rating: 3 Votes
31 months ago

I always love the fact that no one here cares that Apple actually invaded a person's home illegally and deceptively. Yes, this is front page news. Another case of fanboys ignoring, accepting or making excuses for anything that Apple does wrong.

Tony


Or more specifically if God forbid any other competitor to Apple did this, people here would be having a field day. Just imagine if HTC, Google, Samsung, fill in the blank cell phone manufacturer (allegedly) did this.

Heck, AT&T can make one change to the terms of service that costs everyone an extra nickel and there will be 10 pages of people going ape*****. Yet a story about potential rights being violated gets a collective 'meh'.
Rating: 3 Votes
31 months ago
I don't want to sound like the moral police, but why don't these people that find phones actually help find the owners? I'm sure these prototypes have Apple inscribed all on them and that it's not supposed to be used outside of Apple's headquarters.

I wish I found a lost iPhone prototype. I'd try to find the Apple engineer or email Tim Cook letting them know I have it and will await instructions to deliver it back to them. All I'd ask for is a quick tour of the Apple campus and maybe some lunch or Tim's autograph on my iPad.

PS. I agree that the way Apple acted was wrong too.
Rating: 3 Votes

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