Unsealed Affidavit in Next Gen iPhone Case Reveals Interesting Details
Following multiple requests from media organizations, the affidavit relating to the leak of the next generation iPhone prototype by Gizmodo last month has been unsealed.
The document, a copy of which is embedded below, offers an interesting glimpse into the circumstances that led to the iPhone prototype being lost by Apple Engineer, Gray Powell, and the chain of events that followed.
One of the biggest revelations is the active involvement of Apple in pushing the case forward against Gizmodo editor Jason Chen and Brian Hogan – the 21 year old Redwood City resident, who is believed to have sold the iPhone prototype to Gizmodo. The documents note that Steve Jobs was personally in touch with Gizmodo editor Brian Lam. In his email, Lam is learned to have made a request for Jobs to officially accept that the prototype was Apple's.
The document also notes the allegations made by Apple against Gizmodo. In its statement, Apple has contended that Gizmodo had caused several damages to the iPhone prototype during the period it was under their possession. The damages caused include:
- Broken ribbon cable
- One screw was inserted into the wrong location and caused an electrical short
- Back plate snaps were broken
- Stripped Screws
Consequently, Jason Chen, the Gizmodo editor who covered the iPhone story has been charged with three criminal offences:
- 496(a) PC – Buy or receive stolen property (a felony)
- 499c(b)(3)PC – Theft; Without authority make or cause to be made a copy (definition includes photograph) of any article representing a trade secret (a felony)
- 594(b)(1) – Maliciously damages property of another valued over $400 (a felony)
The affidavit has also looked into the events that led to the prosecution of Brian Hogan and his accomplice Thomas Warner. The tip-off regarding the involvement of the two seems to have come from their roommate, Katherine Martinson, who was worried that she may be considered an accomplice to the crime since Hogan had used her computer while trying to sync the iPhone 4G prototype. Detailing on the sequence of events that led to the crucial pieces of evidence being retrieved, Detective Matthew Broad writes:
"Hogan stated he wanted to cooperate with the investigation and he told me that he and Warner removed his computer, a thumb drive, a flash card, and the Apple iPhone prototype stickers from his residence… Gilmore (Hogan's girlfriend) subsequently received a call from Warner wherein Warner told her that he left Hogan's computer at the Sequoia Christian Church located on Topaz St, between Harding Avenue and Brewster Avenue in Redwood City… Warner subsequently directed us to a bush located on the north side of Harding Ave at the intersection of Lancaster Way, Redwood City. In the bush, I located a 512 MB Memorex thumb drive and a 1GB Lexar Media compact flash card. I went to the Chevron Gas Station located at 585 Whipple Avenue in Redwood City. I conducted a search of the premises and located the missing Apple prototype sticker in the parking lot near the entrance to the convenience store."
The document also notes that Martinson had tried to stop Hogan from selling the iPhone prototype to Gizmodo since that could potentially ruin Gray Powell's career. However, Hogan is noted to have replied, “Sucks for him. He lost his phone. Shouldn’t have lost his phone”. Interestingly, Hogan's attorney Jeffrey Bornstein had earlier stated that his client was innocent and that the transaction happened only after Hogan was convinced by Gizmodo that “that there was nothing wrong in sharing the phone with the tech press.”
You may read through the entire 22 page affidavit below. Don't forget to post your views in the comments section.