iPhone 4.0 leak - prototype finder revealed

The iPhone 4.0 leak story rolls on. First we got the identity of the Apple coder who lost the new iPhone prototype then the police raided the home of the journalist who revealed the iPhone 4.0 leak to the world. Now finally the person who started the whole circus off by finding the iPhone 4G prototype in the first place has been unmasked. He claims he made a big mistake…

Brian J Hogan, the 21-year-old, who found the iPhone 4.0 prototype and subsequently sold it to Gizmodo has been tracked down by Wired. He’s been interviewed by police but has yet to be charged with a crime. Wired says it found Hogan after following clues on social networking sites but it also turns out that it too was offered the iPhone 4.0 protoype in an email on March 28 but didn’t follow it up because the tipster was asking for cash.

Gizmodo claims to have paid $5000 for the new iPhone. Hogan says he believed the cash was to allow the site to have access to the handset rather than to buy it. His lawyer, Jeffrey Bornstein, says Gizmodo told him “there was nothing wrong with sharing the phone with the tech press.”

The story of how Hogan found the iPhone 4.0 prototype in a bar differs slightly from the original tale told by Gizmodo. While it claimed that extensive efforts had been made to return the new iPhone to Apple, the new reports suggest that the attempts stopped at one of Hogan’s friends offering to call Apple Care.

The owners of the Gourmet Haus Frau, the German theme bar where the phone was found, say Hogan didn’t let anyone know about his discovery. They also say that hapless Apple engineer, Gray Powell, returned several times on the hunt for the lost iPhone 4.0 prototype.

Bornstein says Horgan “regrets his mistake in not doing more to return the phone. Even though he did obtain some compensation from Gizmodo, [he] thought that it was so that they could review the phone.” It’s hardly the most convincing explanation and Horgan now finds himself in hot water. The police investigating the iPhone 4.0 leak have confirmed that he is considered a suspect in a theft.

The iPhone 4.0 launch is expected at WWDC in June but it looks like the iPhone 4.0 leak story will keep rumbling on to entertain us in the meantime.

Let us know: what would you have done if you’d found the iPhone 4.0 protoype? Would you have handed it in? Tried to sell it? Or helpfully sent some pics of the new iPhone to Electricpig?

Due TBC | £TBC | Apple (via Wired)

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