Attorney says Apple in talks with man whose home was searched for missing iPhone

Oct 28, 2011
Tech

It seems Apple really did lose two prototype iPhones in the span of just about 18 months, now the man whose home Apple employees reportedly searched in order to find the latest missing phone is “in talks” with Apple regarding the search. This new story starts out familiarly enough: An Apple employee, out at a […]

It seems Apple really did lose two prototype iPhones in the span of just about 18 months, now the man whose home Apple employees reportedly searched in order to find the latest missing phone is “in talks” with Apple regarding the search.

This new story starts out familiarly enough: An Apple employee, out at a bar in San Francisco, apparently left behind a prototype iPhone (probably the 4S at this point) back in July. Apple is notoriously secretive and security conscious, so when the loss was discovered, it immediately went into lockdown mode to recover it. The prototype had some kind of internal tracking technology that led Apple investigators to the home of one Sergio Calderon, 22. The tech juggernaut had reported the “priceless” device stolen to the SFPD, and police were on-hand with the two investigators when they went to Calderon’s house.

Then things take a bit of a weird turn. Calderon allowed the investigators to search his house, but they didn’t turn up the iPhone – it remains MIA. Meanwhile, a report from the San Francisco Chronicle stated that while the police showed up at Calderon’s door, it wasn’t police who searched his house, it was Apple, who has no legal right to do so. Calderon says he thought he was authorizing the cops to search his house, and that the Apple investigators were, in fact, police officers. The SFPD, on the other hand, has said that its officers waited outside and didn’t enter Calderon’s house.

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The whole thing is a bit fishy (and possibly illegal, or at least an invasion of privacy). According to a CNET story, Calderon’s attorney, David Monroe, says Apple has contacted Calderon and that they’re talking about the situation, but he didn’t give any details.

Monroe told CNET that the police got Calderon’s cooperation for the search by saying they would return with a search warrant, and that the police acted improperly when they didn’t point out that the Apple investigators weren’t cops. The SFPD has launched its own investigation into the matter.

Even though no prototype iPhone leaked out, it seems that this situation could also turn out to be a bit of a scandal, just like last year’s iPhone loss. That time around, the people who recovered the phone attempted to return it to Apple, and when that didn’t work, they sold it to tech blog Gizmodo. Both the people who sold the phone wound up going to trial and pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges. They each got a year of probation, a fine and 40 hours of community service.

This time, it looks like Apple is the bad guy – especially if Calderon has done nothing wrong.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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