This is the dude who found and sold the next-gen iPhone

That guy with the douche-bag beard is reportedly the person who found the next-generation iPhone in a bar and sold it to an online publication.

The 21-year-old Brian J. Hogan, of Redwood City, California, said he was paid by Gizmodo but didn’t think he was doing anything wrong because he thought he was just selling the rights to review the unit before returning it to Apple. The publication told him there was nothing illegal with this process.

“He regrets his mistake in not doing more to return the phone,” said Jeffrey Bornstein, Hogan’s legal representation, in a prepared statement. “Even though he did obtain some compensation from Gizmodo, Brian thought that it was so that they could review the phone.”

According to his lawyer, Hogan was handed the phone at a bar and asked if it belonged to him. Like a jerk, he immediately started monkeyed with the device, leading to him seeing the Facebook page of the Apple employee who lost it. The handset was then powered off and, after asking around at the bar, he took it home with him.

This story is full of so many freaking holes. The most reasonable thing to do if you found a phone at the bar is to leave it with the bartender, but Hogan didn’t do this, according to the bar owner. He was probably thinking that he just found a new iPhone that he could keep or flip online for a few hundred bucks. That’s a scumbag move but he wouldn’t be the first to sell a “found” phone. A friend called Apple Care to try and return it, but that didn’t work. So, the “friend” went to multiple publications seeking payment for access to the device. When he discovered what he had there, I believe he just got very greedy and didn’t think through the consequences of selling it.

Hogan has been contacted by the police and has yet to be charged for a crime. In a spooky gesture, Apple’s security team reportedly visited his house in order to search for the prototype handset but they were rebuffed by Hogan’s roommate.

I’ve said it before: Gizmodo’s story is very convenient but it doesn’t really pass the smell test. Apple said it was stolen, not “misplaced.” The police are merely investigating to see if there was a felony committed. I could quibble with the methods of investigation but have no problem seeing the legal process play out.

What do you think, friends?

[Via Wired]

  • Peter Tosh

    It’s just a phone. Unless you have monetary interest in its success the points you make in your article are petty. FYI his beard is not a “douche-bag beard”. He’s just an American capitalist. Are you an Obama loving socialist-nazi-communist??

    Legalize it.

    • Marin Perez

      His beard is douche bag. Not all beards.

  • Iphone lover

    Why is everyone getting down on the finder of the phone and the editor of Gizmodo? I think the idiot Apple engineer should take the crap for being so stupid and leaving the phone at the bar. I hope Steve fired the dummy. What was he trying to do impress the girls with the phone?

    • Marin Perez

      The Apple engineer is a dumb drunk who deserves no sympathy. But, that’s only if the Giz version of the story is true. Regardless, he wouldn’t be the first talent derailed by the sauce.

  • Ted Kennedy

    I hope that this dude and that Chen dude go to prison and both of them get fucked in the ass. And yell out iphone iphone deeper iphone. DUMB FUCKS.

  • Jon

    Have you ever found an iPhone before? Do you know what you would do in that situation? I do, because I did find one once.
    I turned it on (and no, I wasn’t going to leave it where I found it), looked into some of the call history, and started calling some of the people on it trying to find some friends of the person who lost it.
    I eventually did find some of his friends, who contacted him, and we arranged to have it returned.
    The thing is this, if the phone had been shut down, it would have been extremely difficult to find the owner (which is what Apple did, and understandably so).

    So, back to the case at hand:
    a) It is VERY logical to turn it on and find out who’s it is.
    b) A person finding a device might not know it is ‘stolen’ if they found it.
    c) He didn’t SELL the device once he knew it was a prototype. He knew it was Apple’s, and that it would have to go back to them. He sold ACCESS to it. The two are very different indeed.
    d) Would I have tried to get an access fee out of it? Absolutely! In a Heart-beat! Finding and iPhone prototype is one of the biggest freaking scoops of the year!

    The author of this blog is just Jonesing for a crack at selling access himself, but he can’t because it wasn’t him finding it instead of the person who actually DID find it!

    Marin Perez, you’re being petty. Quit being a douche-bag blogger!

    • Marin Perez

      I appreciate the feedback, but you’re wrong on the big things. I’ve found multiple iPhones at bars (it’s almost mandated to have one where I live) and I’ve turned them over. Yes, the thought of taking it home crossed my mind but I’m not a piece of shit (also, I’m on Verizon).

      You’re right about turning it on to find out who it belongs to.

      He did sell the device. The story about selling access conveniently came after the police were involved. Gawker Media was all about saying they bought the device and story before the fuzz were involved.

      Look, I get the impulse to profit. I’ve done shady shit too. But if he broke laws, you have to deal with the consequences. That’s what grown ups do.

      • Marin Perez

        Also, a “friend” tried to return it to Apple Care. That same “friend” was shopping it around to the gadget blogs. Engadget turned it down because its legal team knew that bad things could happen if you buy stolen property. Denton doesn’t give a shit about his editors.

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