The lonliest man in the world

Many of us have heard the story of Gray Powell, the Apple engineer who left the prototype iPhone in a bar not too long ago.

“I underestimated how good German beer is,” he typed into the next-generation iPhone he was testing on the field, cleverly disguised as an iPhone 3GS. It was his last Facebook update from the secret iPhone. It was the last time he ever saw the iPhone, right before he abandoned it on bar stool, leaving to go home.”

Left on a stool, the iPhone was handed to a guy sitting next to Powell. The guy asked around to see if anyone had lost it, but when no one claimed it, he took it home.

When he woke up after the hazy night, the phone was dead. Bricked remotely, through MobileMe, the service Apple provides to track and wipe out lost iPhones. It was only then that he realized that there was something strange that iPhone. The exterior didn’t feel right and there was a camera on the front. After tinkering with it, he managed to open the fake 3GS.

However, Gizmodo does not explain how the iPhone came into their possession — which may be the most important part of the story. “Weeks later, Gizmodo got it,” is all that is said. Gizmodo paid just $5,000 for the iPhone. According to California law, the iPhone is stolen even it was accidentally left at a bar. The finder is legally obliged to return it to Apple. Instead, they sold it to Gizmodo, who at the time of purchase knew it was Apple’s property.

It’s a mess. Nothing’s been said about Gray Powell’s fate with Apple.

However, there is a little bit of brightness in this otherwise dark story. Mr. Powell received a letter from Lufthansa which is shown below. If you were him what would you do?

Click to enlarge.


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