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Finder of Leaked iPhone 4 Prototype Speaks Out

Back in 2010, photos of a prototype iPhone 4 appeared on Gizmodo nearly two months before the device was officially unveiled by Apple. Gizmodo obtained the device from a person, later identified as Brian Hogan, who was allegedly handed the phone by another patron after it was left on a stool at a Redwood City, California bar by an Apple engineer testing the new iPhone.

gizmodo_iphone_4_prototype
Investigations by Apple's security team and law enforcement focused on Hogan and his friend Sage Wallower, who acted as a middleman in shopping the device to several technology blogs, as well as Gizmodo reporter Jason Chen, who had several computers and other devices seized as part of the investigation.

Ultimately, Gizmodo and Chen were cleared of all charges while Hogan and Wallower were sentenced to probation, community service, and restitution of $250 after pleading no-contest to theft charges. The charges were related to a more than century-old California law requiring finders of lost property who can identify the likely owner to attempt to return the property.

brian_hogan_reddit_amaAs noted by The Next Web, Hogan has now spoken out on the situation in an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit.

In the session, Hogan claims that he was taken advantage of by Gizmodo, which failed to pay an alleged $3,000 bonus to Hogan predicated on Apple confirming the device was genuine. Gizmodo had paid $5,000 up front for the device, but Hogan notes that he spent much more than that on legal fees related to his defense.

Hogan expresses regrets about how he handled the situation initially, noting that he should have simply left the phone with management at the bar to allow them to attempt to return it to its owner. Still, he points out that in the heat of the moment it was easy to make the decision he did make.
I would have done lots differently looking back now, but how does anyone know what do do in that situation, let alone the 21 year old version of myself. What would you have done if you thought you had an unreleased iPhone? [...]

Short answer is yes definitely [regretting taking the phone]. I also regret how I handled the situation from an early stage, I let it get completely out of my hands and into everyone else's.
Finally, Hogan shares some additional details on the situation, highlighting the stress the publicity caused for his family and his relationships and discussing how his roommate had assisted investigators while he was away from his apartment attempting to maintain a low profile in the wake of publicity from the situation.

Top Rated Comments

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18 months ago
Poor guy, he was scammed when trying to sell stolen property.

And he was only 21 years old! :rolleyes:
Rating: 24 Votes
18 months ago

All would have been avoided if the owner didn't get wasted and remembered his phone. :rolleyes:
I'm not saying I agree with Hogan.. He should have left it there. I know the point of these phones in the wild is to perform field testing. But perhaps you could have left it at home when going to a bar to celebrate. Plenty of other opportunities to field test it


That is sort of like blaming a rape victim who got wasted and guys took advantage of that......

Don't blame the thief.... Blame the person who lost the phone..... The thief is the real victim here.....
Rating: 22 Votes
18 months ago
I would have contacted someone at Apple to set up a meeting where I could return the iPhone. That would be the right thing to do.
Rating: 21 Votes
18 months ago
Poor baby criminal suffered stress while committing his crimes. Me feel so sorry for him.
Rating: 16 Votes
18 months ago
"The charges were related to a more than century-old law California law requiring finders of lost property who can identify the likely owner to attempt to return the property"

Whats that supposed to mean? Is steeling old fashioned now?

The guy clearly knew what it was and who the owner was. He is a thief and was lucky to get probation!
Rating: 12 Votes
18 months ago
"What would you have done if you thought you had an unreleased iPhone? [...] "

Well, contact Apple to give it them back and hope for a gesture from Apple.

Def not stealing it to give it back to news site and get some money over it. But, hell, I am a old school guy that doesn't think that stealing is "cool" while be fair is being "foolish".
Rating: 12 Votes
18 months ago
All would have been avoided if the owner didn't get wasted and remembered his phone. :rolleyes:
I'm not saying I agree with Hogan.. He should have left it there. I know the point of these phones in the wild is to perform field testing. But perhaps you could have left it at home when going to a bar to celebrate. Plenty of other opportunities to field test it
Rating: 8 Votes
18 months ago
it's just a phone :eek:

don't take what is not yours
Rating: 7 Votes
18 months ago

"Gizmodo had paid $5,000 up front for the device, but Hogan notes that he spent much more than that on legal fees related to his defense."

Tsk tsk. He should've called Larry H. Parker.


He should've called Saul!
Rating: 7 Votes
18 months ago

I probably wouldn't think to sell it, but I would definitely post pictures on the internet about the story.

1) Take pictures of unreleased iPhone 4
2) Return iPhone 4 to bar manager
3) Setup website with pictures and ads, etc.
4) ???
5) Profit!

Seriously, you could have watermarked the pictures, all the techblogs would have linked to your website, and your traffic would have gone through the roof. You would have avoided any legal troubles/costs and generated a nice handful of revenue.
Rating: 7 Votes

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