History of the Leaked iPhone 4 Prototype

History of the Leaked iPhone 4 Prototype


Hey guys, it’s Greg with Apple Explained,
and today we’re going to explore the history of the leaked iPhone 4 prototype. This topic was the first place winner of last
weeks voting poll and if you didn’t get to vote, make sure you’re subscribed, that
way the voting polls will show up right in your activity feed and you can let me know
which video you’d like to see next. So if you’re one of my younger viewers,
you may not know much about this story since it took place eight years ago, but you need
to understand that what we’re about to discuss is considered by most people as the biggest
tech leak in history. And that probably sounds impossible since
Apple is known for being the most secretive company in the world, I mean, they have multiple
locks on labs with unreleased products, they have armored doors, they constantly change
system passwords, and they even have their own security force patrolling their campus
at all times for intruders and spies. And if that wasn’t enough, every prototype
they built was kept under surveillance with restricted access only to people who were
directly included in the products development. And this is why most Apple employees are just
as shocked as we are when the company introduces a new product. There was even a story about a worker being
fired for showing an unreleased iPad to another Apple employee. So it’s pretty hard to imagine that a super
secret iPhone prototype would appear on a random bar stool twenty miles away from Apple’s
campus. But that just proves that no matter how hard
a company tries to be perfect, it’ll eventually make a mistake since companies are just made
up of humans, and humans are imperfect. So this mistake had something to do with an
unreleased iPhone 4 prototype, a tech news website called Gizmodo, and a very angry Steve
Jobs. So all of this happened back in April 2010
when the 3GS was the most recent iPhone model. An employee named Gray Powell was responsible
for field testing an unreleased iPhone prototype which would later become the iPhone 4. Now Gray was a twenty-seven year old Apple
engineer who had been with the company for two years, and this whole event actually happened
on his birthday. Now keep in mind that most of this story is
based on what Gray Powell said happened, so we don’t really know if all of this is 100%
true, but we’ll at least get the main idea. So it was April 2010 and Powell went out to
celebrate his birthday with drinks at a German bar called Gourmet Haus Staudt. He had a few drinks and even updated his FaceBook
status from the phone he was testing. Now the person who eventually ended up with
possession of the leaked iPhone was named Brian Hogan who was at the bar with his friend,
and he was sitting next to Gray Powell but obviously didn’t think much about him at
the time. Eventually Gray Powell left the bar and forgot
his iPhone prototype on a stool. So we know Brian ended up with the iPhone
prototype, but he wasn’t the guy who found it. Someone else sitting on the other side of
Powell was the first person who actually saw the iPhone on the stool. He asked Brian if it was his iPhone, and Brian
said no, but the other guy figured it must’ve belong to one of Brian’s friends so he handed
the phone to him saying, “here, take it, you don’t want to lose it.” Now I’m not sure if that’s actually what
happened or if Brian made that part up to remove some responsibility for taking the
phone, but either way he ended up with the phone in his hand, and he didn’t know who
it belonged to. So he asked around the bar, but no one claimed
it. And then he thought, maybe it belong to the
guy who was sitting next to him earlier in the evening, which it did. Because the person who sat next to him was
Gray Powell. So Brian and his friend stayed at the bar
thinking he might come back for it, but Gray never returned. Now Gray and Brian never actually talked or
introduced each other while sitting at the bar, so Brian didn’t know anything about
the phone’s owner to try and get into contact with him. Because of this, Brian figured that if he
could get into the phone and look around a little bit, he’d eventually find the owners
name or even their contact information to return the phone. So he successfully unlocked the phone and
played around with it while waiting. At this point he just thought it was a normal
iPhone 3GS but then it started doing some strange things. He tried opening the camera app, but it crashed
every time. There were also two weird looking bar codes
on the back, and a model number sticker next to the volume keys, so the whole thing just
seemed a little off. Now there was six pages of applications on
the home screen, and one of them was Facebook. He launched FaceBook figuring that’d be
a good way to identify the owner, and that’s when he discovered the iPhone belonged to
none other than Apple engineer Gray Powell. Now since Brian knew who the owner was, he
left the bar and figured he’d just get into contact with Gray later on. But when he woke up the next morning, the
phone was dead. It was bricked remotely through MobileMe,
similar to the remote wipe feature offered by iCloud today. And it was only then that he realized that
there was something strange about the iPhones design. The outside of it didn’t feel right and he
noticed there was a camera on the front. Some that no iPhone ever had before. So after messing with it a bit, he managed
to take off the fake 3GS case and realized he was holding a device no one had ever seen
before. Its design was completely different from any
iPhone ever made. With a stainless-steel band around the perimeter
and a flat glass back. At this point he understood how serious the
situation was, he was holding an unreleased iPhone that Apple definitely knew was missing
and definitely was looking for. Brian didn’t want Apple showing up on his
doorstep. So he used his own phone to call Apple support
and tried to find someone who was at least willing to transfer his call to the right
person, but that didn’t happen. Here’s the actual transcript of the conversation
that happened between Brian and an AppleCare representative: Hello, thanks for calling AppleCare / Hello. I think I have some kind of iPhone prototype,
or something! / What? / Yeah, it’s kinda square, and it doesn’t
work. I found it in a bar. / Ok! Thanks for calling. Obviously no one on the other end took him
seriously but who can blame them? I mean imagine working for Apple and some
random guy calls up claiming he has an iPhone prototype. I’d probably think it was a prank call or
something. Eventually Brian got a ticket number from
Apple so he expected someone to call him back, but no one ever did. Now Gray Powell told his boss that he lost
the iPhone prototype and that news went straight to the top. Steve Jobs was furious. But Apple had no way of tracking down the
iPhone since it was remotely disabled. And if you’re thinking, “why didn’t
they just locate it with Find My iPhone,” well they couldn’t because the beta release
of iOS 4 that the prototype was running didn’t work with Find My iPhone. So Apple, and Brian, were totally screwed. At this point Brian figured if Apple wouldn’t
take their own prototype, maybe a media outlet would. And maybe they’d pay a lot of money for
it. So he called around to different tech blogs
like Engadget and Gizmodo and offered them the prototype for $10,000. Apparently there was a bidding war between
the two companies and Brian eventually accepted $5,000 from Gizmodo plus a bonus depending
on how much traffic the post received. Then on the morning of April 20th, Jason Chen
from Gizmodo published a post called “This Is Apple’s Next iPhone.” It was a hands-on tell all about the prototype
they had received from Brian, and Jason Chen gave a detailed explanation why he believed
the device was a legitimate Apple product. His explanation was so convincing that Jon
Gruber, a well known Apple insider, said himself that the leak was legit. And this endorsement actually caused Engadget
to revise their article about the prototype to make it sound less skeptical, since all
signs were pointing to this leaked iPhone being the real deal. Now once the story got out and was validated,
every news outlet imaginable ran wild with their own stories. But the focus of the coverage always came
back to Gizmodo since everyone was wondering how they got the iPhone in the first place. Some outlets thought Gizmodo was guilty of
receiving stolen property, and all of this drama quickly got the attention of Apple CEO
Steve Jobs. He actually called Jason Chen himself and
said “I want my phone back.” Now this began a series of emails back and
forth between Apple and Gizmodo, but Apple isn’t a very patient company when it comes
to recovering unreleased products, so they sent a police force called the California
Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team, whatever the heck that is, and they actually kicked
down Jason Chen’s door, took four computers, two servers, cameras, and an an iPhone. Now this was technically legal since they
had a warrant, but this move by Apple was very controversial since journalists are entitled
to “shield laws” that protect them from having newsroom equipment seized. But no charges were filed against anyone in
this case. Now what’s interesting about this whole
ordeal is what Steve Jobs publicly said about it compared to what he allegedly did about
it. Here’s a clip of him discussing the issue
at the All Things Digital conference in 2010 [clip] So Jobs made it sound like he wasn’t really too involved and it was
all being left up to the district attorney and whatever ended up happening was fine with
him. But sources close to Jobs described a much
different attitude than what he was showing in that clip. They said Jobs was furious about the situation
and was more involved than anyone else at Apple, demanding updates on any new developments
in the story, no matter how small. And remember the California Rapid Enforcement
Allied Computer Team? Well that turned out to be a private security
force that was largely funded by Apple, and supposedly it was Jobs who pushed for that
team to get a warrant and forcefully enter Jason Chen’s home. Now Apple may have made some morally questionable
decisions during this event, but the real jerks were the people at Gizmodo. They promised Brian a $3,000 bonus after the
post was published, but never followed through. They also threw him under the bus legally,
so he was burdened with all the attorney fees and court costs that Gizmodo managed to avoid. Actually, after the whole ordeal was over,
Brian ended up losing money and it completely destroyed his personal life. If you want to read more about how this effected
him you should read his AMA on Reddit from 2013, its a kind’ve sad but really interesting
story. And as for Gray Powell, the Apple engineer
who actually lost the iPhone, he continued to work for Apple and didn’t really face
any consequences which is kind’ve surprising, but hey, I guess everyone makes mistake. So that is the history of the lost iPhone
4 prototype, and if you want to vote for the next video topic, don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next
time.

100 thoughts on “History of the Leaked iPhone 4 Prototype

  1. Sorry about some of the microphone pops, I got a little excited while recording this one.

  2. How about you go take it to the apple store

  3. Anyone who has watched HBO's silicon valley.
    Remember something.

  4. Oh boy, I remember this very well, it was huge huge news and spawned so many conspiracies. I still think the whole thing was intentional!

  5. Good times

  6. The engineer didn't get fired because he didn't do anything wrong.

    The guy from the bar got in trouble (legal fees etc) because he sold property which he knew didn't belong to him, property which he knew the rightful owner of full well.

    And Gizmodo got in trouble because they bought it.

    If you went to Apple HQ and the big metal Apple sign at the gate had fallen off and was laying on the floor, would you just pick it up and sell it on eBay and think that was okay? Because that's what he did.

    He knew the correct thing to do when you find a lost phone was to find a way to identify its owner and return it. He should also have reasonably suspected that if an Apple employee lost an iPhone prototype in a bar and that prototype was leaked, the employee would be much more likely to be fired than if it was returned without incident.

  7. One of those non sense stories like the bible

  8. Steve definitely was going ape-shit that day, as it was the most radical redesign of an iPhone with a new body shape and style that would last until late 2014 when the iPhone 6 came out, as the 5 and 5s were basically similar to the 4 with the exception being the 5 and 5s used lightning port instead of the old 30pin connector ,anyway the 4 and 4s were a million times better than the awful 3GS only complaint is the lack of 4g but in 20110 4g was a brand new technology only available in South Korea, i myself was very lucky to own one of the first 4g smartphones in 2011 a Sony Xperia i remember i was on a flight from London to Los Angeles and the guy next to me was amazed by the size of the phone as it had a 4.5 inch display which back in 2011 was huge !! anyway good memories

  9. Imagine if the iPhone 11S was leaked in 2020, ten years after the iPhone 4 leak. exactly the same way the iPhone 4 leaked. Just wait.

  10. Someone got fired back then…

  11. "Sources close to Steve Jobs"
    Which ones?

  12. All Gray Powell needs to put on his resume is “I lost an iPhone prototype, Steve Jobs found out, and I didn’t get fired”. If that isn’t proof that you are a great engineer, I don’t know what is.

  13. What a gross liar. No surprise bad luck came to him.

  14. My first time watching your videos. I'm on my lunch break and this looked awesome. I work for AT&T and we get inside looks on all things Samsung but apple… Never. We don't know anything until release date lol

  15. I remember this it was so entertaining. The Gizmodo guy was an idiot for showing his face.

  16. Shit

  17. Actually find my iphone first came out with iphone 4, not during 3gs days, so your story is flawed

  18. I mean i knew steve was an asshole but damn! Oh well guess he wont be missed anymore

  19. It took a day for somone to relize that he was holding a future peace of tech that looks totaly different. Wow

  20. wow that was an interesting story

  21. Jobs showed himself being real scum suing this guy 🙁

  22. this is good

  23. Does anybody else know that Steve Jobs is a theif, a leech and a liar.

  24. steve jobs is getting ass raped by satan in hell

  25. steve jobs is getting ass raped by satan in hell

  26. It was my first iPhone. They don't make them like they use to

  27. I’m terrified by Apple now.

  28. I remember this…

  29. .SMART PPL KNOW IF U HAPPEN UPON THE ONLY UNRELEASED IPHONE ;YES APPLE HITMEN IS COMIN TO KNOC IN THE DOOR…AND IF U SELL IT TO A NEWS SITE U MAY GET FED TIME….😐

  30. Reminds me of when the s10+ got leaked cause a worker was caught using it in a subway.

  31. Why am I watching this. I have everything 5S and above.

  32. Imagine if it had a Lightning connector back then. Having a phone with an unknown connector that you can't even charge 😂

  33. bunch of dumbasses lol

  34. I got to see the iPad Max before everyone else because I had a field trip at the apple store the morning it launched

  35. Imagine steve jobs calling you and saying he left his phone at a bar

  36. Steve jobs hair in this video must have inspired the iPhone 10

  37. Gizmodo were jerks here, absolutely, but I don't think the guy who leaked it was in a good moral position either. He ultimately had possession of something that he knew wasn't his, he knew was important, and saw dollar signs. It sounds like he got what he deserved

  38. So my world history teacher from last year went to the same high school as Steve Jobs right after he graduated

  39. Amazing video! "Find the iPhone at a bar" 😂

  40. I wanted to write a screenplay about this before my freshman year of high school but never did. Thanks for sharing the story though I forgot about how interesting this was

  41. The pomposity of apple to not listen to him trying to return it, to then Steve claiming stolen property was sold.
    think different everyone… just make your own narrative up.

  42. Yeah, you don't build the world's most influential / largest company by being nice to people. Steve Jobs proved that time & again in his life. He was super ruthless with his actions.
    Fascinating story by the way.

  43. Talk like it was something big.

  44. Apple stage this.

  45. I would be pissed too. That was a revolutionary phone and one of the best looking iPhones ever.

  46. In 2010 i didnt even know how to walk.

  47. Apple never has done this it's like when people steal prototype CEO Steve jobs gets triggered after the leaked prototype post happened

  48. The guy who found the prototype: "OMG! I think this is the FUTURE!"

  49. Imagine in a bar, and you found a thin black rectangle glass, and found out that it was the unreleased prototype of Samsung Galaxy Z Pro (2030)

  50. TBH The story of the Iphone Prototype would be a great movie if you think of it.

  51. If they wanted their lost phone, they should’ve took it when the guy called. 🤷🏻‍♂️They shouldn’t have been allowed to knock the guys door down.

  52. A private security force?? Wow..That is terrifying to me.

  53. But he tried to do the honest thing so apple by law doesn't have a legal leg to stand on

  54. Imagine if the was the iPhone 11. Someone would definitely get killed

  55. This story stinks, stinks like marketing. I think that it was done deliberately to gain attention to a new product and fuck everyone one on the way to coverup stinking story.

  56. I miss steve

  57. I know I am late to say this, but I am sharing.

  58. There’s 666 comments

  59. 5:28 I honestly wonder what her reaction was when she realized it wasn’t a prank call lol.

  60. iPhone 4 walks into a bar…

  61. lesson: if you find an iphone, give it back

  62. How did he unlock the phone?

  63. Id honestly just show up at a apple service center and leave it there on the counter or some… lol

  64. I remember this phone, after 6 months of ownership the home button stopped working. Piece of shhhhh

  65. he didn't stole it. he found it.
    I would have sued the shit out of apple.

  66. Favorite design I still use my SE, same design.

  67. Iphone 4 was the best Iphone, its been downhill since then

  68. I still get excited by this design because of this leak

  69. I still use my iPhone 4 to this day as a backup alarm clock across the room

  70. apple sounds like area 51

  71. have you heard of the iphone 11

  72. dont mess with apple

  73. when Steve Jobs calls you and says I want my iPhone back…. you better give his iPhone back goddamit

  74. Steve hand jobs

  75. Wow fuck gizmodo lol

  76. Remember mobileme and the 3GS?

  77. Holy crap, the Apple police are real. What next a real Batman?

  78. Now we’re in 2019 when the leaks for the 2020 iPhones came out 2 days after the 2019 iPhone release.

  79. I mean..a new iPhone, okay then what, who cares

  80. I am your Lyft driver that told you I never found your phone but sold it to old man chen in Chinatown for $50

  81. why is this showing up in my timeline now?

  82. Anybody can write down the name of the German bar? I‘m German and don‘t have a clue what name he said.

  83. Never liked Gizmodo after hearing this story years ago. And even though they were in the wrong, they’ve been salty towards apple ever since. I’m not saying Apple is above criticism at all…. i just don’t like how biased they’ve been or how they treated the guy who sold them the phone at the time.

  84. Steve Jobs was a prick.

  85. My Nan had one ages ago (real one)

  86. So fuck Gizmodo.

  87. This is just one of the reasons I boycott GIZMODO. I boycott a lot of things because I don’t agree with the way they do business. This just happens to be one of them.

  88. 3:39 I remember when the YouTube app used to look like a TV!

  89. -Are you Brian Hogan? Brian, are you aware you are responsible for the biggest security breach this company has ever known?
    -LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHIN' BROTHER!

  90. The most leaked tech in the history is Google's pixel 4.

  91. When corporations start kicking in your doors with their private law enforcement, we begun the long road to dystopia.

  92. Fuck steve Jobs. Glad hes dead!

  93. Apple: iPhone 4 gets leaked
    Google: hold my Beer

  94. steve jobs would definitely would all over this case

  95. Yes there is sex between the iPhone 3GS and Minecraft blocks (square)

  96. R.I.P Steve Jobs

  97. I can tell you now in hindsight that Gizmodo Bapple were in this together.

  98. Apple was looking for that prototype iphone4 but when the guy called and said that he found it nobody took him seriously…Jesus…

  99. If u look at the iPhone it has no back camera?

  100. Why didnt Brian just throw the prototype in a lake or something and forget about it instead of trying to find someone to leak it too?

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