The rumor that an employee of computer maker Apple had lost a prototype iPhone in a bar earlier this summer has drawn considerable attention from the media, and while the report remains unconfirmed, Apple may be taking steps to help ensure an incident does not occur again. The company recently posted two job listings for their product security team in the management position.
The candidate would be responsible for overseeing the protection of, and managing risks to, Apple’s unreleased products and related intellectual property. The position would reside in Apple’s Cupertino, Calif. headquarters and would require up to 30 percent travel (international and domestic), according to the listing. In addition, the individual would collaborate with other security managers by contributing to, and managing execution of, strategic initiatives set forth by the company’s director of global security.
The loss of the alleged iPhone 5 has caused a whirlwind of rumors and reporting, echoing the media frenzy that occurred when an Apple employee was involved in a similar incident last year. While the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) would not initially confirm their assistance in searching for the lost item, on September 3 the police department issued a statement on their Web site confirming they had assisted with the search for the missing property, which was not more specifically identified.
“After speaking with Apple representatives, we were given information, which helped us determine what occurred. It was discovered that Apple employees called Mission Police station directly, wanting assistance in tracking down a lost item,” the report said. “Apple had tracked the lost item to a house located in the 500 block of Anderson Street. Because the address was in the Ingleside Police district Apple employees were referred to officers in the Ingleside district. Four SFPD officers accompanied Apple employees to the Anderson street home. “
According to the police report, the two Apple employees met with the resident and then went into the house to look for the lost item. The Apple employees did not find the lost item and left the house. The Apple employees did not want to make an official report of the lost item, the report noted.
In 2010, an Apple employee lost an iPhone 4 prototype at the Gourmet Haus Staudt beer garden in Redwood City, Calif. The device’s discoverers promptly sold it to Gawker Media, parent company of tech blog Gizmodo, which dissected it in a lengthy and much-circulated posting. California prosecutors later abandoned plans to file charges against Gizmodo, but the two men who sold the prototype weren’t so lucky. The early leak had a negligible effect on sales of the iPhone 4, which remains a linchpin of Apple’s smartphone line.
Rumors suggest the next iPhone, which could be launched in either September or October, will feature a larger screen and faster processor, along with an 8-megapixel camera and possibly a redesigned body. There’s also a widespread theory that Apple intends to release a line of low-cost iPhones to complement its next-generation device, which in turn would allow Cupertino to combat the rising number of cheap Google Android smartphones on the market.