The Future of Gizmodo and Responsible Journalism / Blogging

During the last week, the tech world has been all a buzz on the next generation iPhone (iPhone 4th Generation).  With blogs posting pictures of a phone that was left in a bar to actual video and tear down followed by the final outcome of a letter from Apple's Executive Counsel demanding the return of stolen property, there have been positive and negative views in terms of how this whole thing was handle.  Jason Chen went on video showing the actual iPhone 4th Gen, then hours later Gizmodo posted a story on the actual individual that left the iPhone at the German Beer Serving Pub.  Granted because of this, Lufthansa is offering an all expense paid flight in business class to Germany for the poor Apple Engineer, but I feel it's still a little harsh that Gizmodo publicly harassed the guy. Who knows, Mr. Powell will be forever infamous just like the little kid who cost a team the championship. I don't know. To date, Gizmodo has been accused and admitted to purchasing the device for a purported $5,000. It has been pointed out by others (prominently John Gruber of Daring Fireball) that these acts were a clear violation of law. Codes in California were even outlined and discussed concerning the transaction and sequence of events that transpired during the resulting loss of the 4th generation iPhone.

It has come to my attention that this entire mess, now comically dubbed iPhonegate, while it did generate an absurd amount of page views on Gizmodo, was mishandled. I have to admit that I am, what some might call, a geek, a tech fan boy, a lover of Apple and such but there is a line to be drawn.  I believe that media outlets, have a responsibility; a civic duty to the companies we all love.

The secrecy that Apple goes through to product their product launches and hide their work from competition is second to none in the industry.  This is also a reason why we get so excited and that excitement was taken away by the greedy.  What kind of "umph" does Steve Jobs and the rest of the crew have?   I'm sure they are scrambling around to get together some new slides (probably some depicting Gizmodo in a bad light.)  sidenote: are they still going to be invited to the conference?

Admittedly, I can't wait to fall in line all over again, buy two iPhones, one for me and the other for my fiance, and start video chatting.  I want to know more about the new iPhone but that's what the pent up demand and interest lead to... anticipation and excitement.  Leaks are completely different and are approached as rumors which make it fun. With the devolution of almost all the surprises, June/July 2010 is going to be less exciting.

iPhone 4G

It would have been a smart move to keep it amongst themselves and "do the right thing" for this slip up crossed the line.  If you want to read all about the next iPhone...check out Gizmodo's iPhone page!

Apple's Free Marketing?! updated: lost and not a hoax // Apple wants it back

Spanning over the last couple of days, two of my favorite tech blogs (Gizmodo / Engadget) released amazing images of what appears to be the next iPhone 4th Generation.  (I'm not going to refer to it as the iPhone 4G because I don't think that it is going to have a 4G chipset i.e. MircoSIM card slot or maybe that's what LTE is going to have)  Initially deemed to be real, then fake, now *definitely* real after a tear down revealing Apple logos in the internals, the weekend included people calling each other names, pointing out pictures from other forums, and tying this phone to a Japanese knock-off.  But the most blatant fact is that it happens to be recognized by iTunes.  Conveniently being remotely wiped by Apple when it was reported by the scared individual, I hope that this guy still has his job.  Although now I'm even thinking that it maybe was his job. I initially thought that there was only "one" lost iPhone 4th Generation but both blogs, I guess, are playing nice and sharing their spoils!?  The internet, particularly Techmeme, is all the buzz on iPhone 4G news and it's two months before the purported launch.  That's 60 days of free marketing and stock price adjustment!  Can anyone say amazing marketing scheme?!  It's all free, becoming viral and an exponential rate, and everyone knows that us tech pundits that haven't upgraded to the 3GS are eagerly & tirelessly waiting for a complete redesign since last year.  Of course the nerd, geeks, Apple fanboys, and dorks are going to be gobbling up all these good stories.  People at work today are going to be talking all about the good news.  Daring Fireball has even went on record stating that he does believe in fact that Apple has lost an iPhone.

The question here is who dropped this phone?  Was it really just an accident or a planned & amazing way to generate crazy excitement and hype?!  Did an exchange of money happen?  Viral explosion has definitely proven to be the best way of marketing on the internet.  Trending on twitter already for the last few days as well is creating a lot of buzz.  Even Jonathan Ive just reported via twitter "This isn't good" What really is going on lately with all the leaks at Apple?  If this leak was unintentional, I hope Steve Jobs doesn't go crazy or have a heart attack due to an increase in blood pressure.  I can imagine emergency meetings all over the Cupertino Offices right now.  On the other hand, I bet the guy that's tied to this phone is in Apple's dungeon getting some form of punishment.  All these stories in just the past few days are causing a frenzy and it's not going to stop until it's released!  It seems to be trumping all the iPad news but I guess in tech world, the Apple iPad is old news.  Coinciding with AT&T revoking any vacation for June, it's working out to bet a perfect media storm.  Everyone loves summer and I'm hoping that the "one more thing" is that it's going to be offered on Verizon!  Better yet, Sprint with it's $69.99 EVERYTHING plan!

(another story one about a Canadian Wireless Carrier claiming the iPhone 4th Gen in June)

update: Well, there we have it...the lost & stolen iPhone belonged to an Apple Software Engineer by the name of Gray Powell.  He happened to be drinking too many German Beers and the result: left his disguised iPhone at the bar.  I wish him well in the tech world. I'm sure he's famous now and can start his own blog too. (via @Gizmodo)

update2: Apple wants it's phone back. Gizmodo states that they didn't know it was stolen!? Seriously?! Here's the letter and the link! (via @Gizmodo)