Gizmodo has the iPhone prototype in their possession for about a week. Two of the site’s top editors analyze the device inside and out. Jason Chen, the site’s second-in-command, inspects the internals that make the phone run (or not run, in this case, since it has been remotely bricked). Jesus Diaz, Gizmodo’s senior associate editor and an Apple fanatic, pores over the phone’s design for signs that it came from Jonathan Ive’s Apple lab.
The two editors come to the same conclusion: this is the real deal.
On Saturday, April 17th, Gizmodo’s rival, Engadget, posts a few pictures of the leaked iPhone, presumably got from Secret Source as he shopped the device around. Gizmodo hurries their work and posts their hands-on of the iPhone on the following Monday, April 19th. The Internet promptly explodes.
Gizmodo forces Apple to formally request the device back, in writing–a clever way to have concrete evidence that the phone actually does come from Cupertino. Gizmodo promptly returns the prototype and rides the wave of popularity for a few days.
But all is not as it seems. Gizmodo’s flowery explanation of the way in which they obtained the iPhone leaves out key information, including the fact that they paid at all (this information was added later, once it was widely reported elsewhere). And that fact is a real problem–Gizmodo didn’t pay to be able to examine the iPhone prototype, they quite simply bought the gadget. They purchased stolen goods. The legal team at Gawker Media, Gizmodo’s parent company, assured them they’d be fine, but there was still a sinking feeling that the story wasn’t over yet…
a. Ah, what the hell. Gizmodo returned the phone, it was a fun story for a day, but now it’s over. Let’s just let bygones be bygones. It’s just a phone, right? Click here.
b. Man, I can’t believe Gizmodo got away with purchasing stolen goods for a story! I hope those bloggers get what’s coming to ’em. Click here.