May 17, 2010, 11:58 AM — If you've been following the strange tale of how tech blog Gizmodo came upon an unreleased iPhone prototype, wrote about it, and raised the ire of Apple and law enforcement officials, you probably know the basics by now.
In short, Apple engineer Robert "Gray" Powell accidentally left his fourth-generation iPhone in a Redwood City, California restaurant. One Brian Hogan gained possession of the phone and began shopping it around to several tech publishers, supposedly including PCWorld (although a hasty newsroom poll revealed no e-mail or other contact from Hogan). Gizmodo bit, paying the 21-year-old Hogan $5000 (and perhaps more) for the phone. It then published a detailed preview of the device, garnering millions of page views in the process.
Then all hell broke loose.