Affidavit released in Gizmodo iPhone controversy

Affidavit released pertaining to "stolen" iPhone 4G prototype

The missing iPhone 4G that Gizmodo acquired has been the most popular in a slew of found iPhone prototypes that have arisen over the last few weeks.  Since the Gizmodo iPhone 4G was found, there has been a controversy arisen as to how it was acquired, and the means Apple took to get it back.  Apple was so desperate to get the iPhone prototype back that it filed a warrant to retrieve the phone, and any related material to it. Now, the media has managed to get the Affidavit unsealed, making the details of the warrant available to the public.

The full report, available on Wired (PDF Link), is over 20 pages long, and sheds light on what was actually going on through the whole episode.  Inside the report, Apple and local Police considered Gizmodo legally at fault for receiving or purchasing stolen goods.  The report also states that several Gizmodo employees are now suspects in felonies.  Another key was the actual terms of sale of the iPhone prototype to Gizmodo were disclosed.  These payments included $8,500 for the device, and another bonus payment to be released if the new iPhone is released over the summer.

Perhaps most interesting in the report was the documentation of the falling apart in relations between Apple and Gizmodo over the iPad launch.  Brian Lam, editor of Gizmodo wrote an email to Steve Jobs, saying, “The thing is, Apple PR has been cold to us lately. It affected my ability to do my job right at iPad launch. So we had to go outside and find our stories like this one, very aggressively.”

The investigation is still ongoing, but it seems that for the time being, almost everything we have wanted to know about the episode have been answered.  The only remaining question of course is whether Gizmodo or the finder of the iPhone will be prosecuted.

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