Apple asks for its phone prototype back -

Obsessively secret Apple has had to ask a tech tabloid rag for its prototype phone back after it was left in a bar by an engineer.

The phone ended up in the paws of Gizmodo which paid $5,000 to the finder so that it could strip it down and have a shifty at what Jobs' Mob planned.

The story is so out of character for Apple that many in the tech industry think it must be a PR set up to give the industry the wrong scent before the launch.

According to Steve Jobs' favourite newspaper, the New York Times,Gizmodo said that it received a letter from Bruce Sewell, Apple’s senior vice president and general counsel, requesting the phone back.

"It has come to our attention that Gizmodo is currently in possession of a device that belongs to Apple," Mr. Sewell wrote in a letter that Gizmodo published.

"This letter constitutes a formal request that your return the device to Apple," the letter said.

The unpaid press officer for Apple who wrote the story for the New York Times sniffed that the editors from Gizmodo ripped the phone apart “as if it were an alien from another planet — to dissect its features”.

However the Times used the opportunity to run a few quotes saying the phone was “very stunning” just to give the Apple some advertising mileage.

Actually it looks pretty much the same as the other iPhone. It has sharper edges and is a bit thinner. The volume and power buttons are stylistically different, and the back of the phone appears to be a ceramic glass.

The Times tells us this would enable better reception. Why, we have no idea, but the newspaper admits that the iPhone has a “persistent problem” with reception which has plagued it for three years. Strangely, that is the first time it has mentioned it as an iPhone problem. We wonder why the Times sat on that.