Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The iPhone That Knew Too Much

"iPhone is back! The keeper of the light! All hail iPhone! All hail iPhone! Oh iPhone can you see by the dawn's early light..."

Grand Central Station Locker Creatures

Or: Wag The iPhone.

Well, there was quite the adventure, that has all the tech blogs abuzzin'.

Mind you, Redwood City (California) will never, ever, ever be mistaken for in Marrakesh, however there was every bit of cloak-and-dagger intrigue there recently, as the vaunted, legendary, super-secret, cross-your-heart-and-hope-to-die Apple Security, especially around a new product, was breached.

And, no reports that Steve Jobs, or anyone else at Apple, had to sing "Que Serra Serra", so the lost next-generation iPhone could whistle back, like little Hank McKenna, in the classic Hitcock film we lifted our the title of our post from, in order to be found.

Here's the deal;
A young Apple engineer was out with the new, next-generation iPhone, at a bar in Redwood City, pounded down a few beers, and, ended up leaving it behind...

The Katzenjammer Kids over at Gizmodo, alledgely paid big bucks for it, tore it apart and plastered it all over their website.

Other tech bloggers, like moths-to-a-flame, jumped on it, oohing-and aahing" over it.

Gizmodo later writes how Apple is, quite reservedly, asking for it back - Gizmodo wants three Micky Mantle, and one Sandy Koufax baseball cards from Apple, but Apple, quietly, sends one Harmon Killebrew.

Gizmodo later outs the young Apple engineer, in telling the tale of how the next-generation iPhone got lost, and throws in a good word for the kid (as, possibly, gallows were being built at One Infinite Loop)

Story even makes MSM local news, primarily, as fade-out, chuckling, banter-with-co-anchor babble.

And, we back up MG Siegler, as having the first "bar-on-bar" joke.

But ...

Hold The Phone, as it were.

Something smells iFishy here.

Almost, conspicuously so.

Apple is, notoriously like The Yakuza, when it comes to security for their products.

So, how does it, despite the great storyline, one of their prototype iPhones end up in a bar, in Redwood City?

Color me iSkeptical.

Yeah, Apple recently had the Macy's Day Parade hysteria, over the release of its' new iToy.

But that dropped down in the middle of growing gripes, and flowing ink, on how Apple doesn't play nice in the iSandbox, with developers.

When you're out to take over the world, you don't stop to ask if the person you just crushed if they are alright.

So, maybe, this lost next-generation iPhone happened to be a bone tossed out.

Apple bet, correctly, that it would end up in the hands of a tech geek, who would, upon deconstructing and examining it, trumpet it out on the World Wide Web, all the techies get boners, and all is well in the iWorld again.

Much like the outing of Valerie Plame, we will, likely, never know the full story here.

Oliver Willis rings in on this, in his "Hey Tech Journalists! Are You Even Trying To Cover Apple?";
But what really troubled me as a consumer of tech news and as an Apple fan, was the kind of shockwave that went through the tech press at news about Apple coming out from a non-Apple event. Imagine that, news can be broken about Apple without Steve Jobs wearing a turtleneck and telling us how “magical” and “easy” the device is to operate (and yes, I do want an iPad… it’s magical!). The tech press has much of the same ailment that affects the political press, a willingness to sit on their hands and be spoonfed press releases. So much of tech news consists of covering releases and trade events, without enough investigation inbetween.

And, there was one post on this, that rang eerily close to something we wrote recently;
That is, of course, if Job's didn't misread the "consuming media" thing, and doesn't suddenly turn into Adam Osborne.

Dan Frommer, at Business Insider, cautions "Don't Buy An iPhone Until June";
Apple isn't likely to unveil the new iPhone officially until its Worldwide Developers Conference, which usually takes place in June. And the new phone probably won't go on sale until June or July.

But it appears to have several features that will be worth the wait. So unless you absolutely need a new iPhone now, we'd wait.

Oh No!

Will we soon see headlines of "iPhone Sales Plummet!"

Or, will that young engineer get the Clemenza "Oh, Paulie... won't see him no more ..." treatment?

Que Sera Sera, baby ...

Bonus Riffs

Farhad Manjoo: That New iPhone Looks ... Just Like the Old iPhone ...Has Apple reached the limits of industrial design?

Juli Weiner: Luckiest Tech Blog in the World Was Just Given What Appears To Be the New iPhone

Josh Duboff: Lost iPhone Is Bad News For Apple, Awesome For Nick Denton

Bonus Bonus

Since we linked to the Doris Day version up above, here's the real kick-ass rendition of the tune;

Que Sera Sera - Sly & The Family Stone

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