Perhaps considered old hat today, but not too long ago, wanna-be-celebrities and reality stars learned early on that a sex tape could instantly kick-start careers overnight. Famous-for-being-infamous soon became the PR ploy of many of these D-listers and helped cement their place in the America zeitgeist. Today, one has to wonder if Apple's iPhone is actually taking a page out of Paris Hilton's and Kim Kardashian's playbook.
In April, 2010 when Gizmodo was the first to run a story that the iPhone 4 was "found in a bar," (prior to its scheduled launch date) all hell broke loose characterizing the techie blog as something no better than tabloid or checkbook journalism.
Now, today when we learn that yet another iPhone prototype (the iPhone 5) surfaced mysteriously in a tequila bar in San Francisco's Bay Area, one has to wonder who's really responsible for these types of leaks? Given the amount of publicity, gossip and rumors that surround these events, its surprising that Apple would allow this type of incident to repeat itself. Wouldn't Apple have put policies and regulations in place to avoid exposing yet another device-before-its-time?
Or could it be that like a well-planted sex tape, its a means to get the whole world talking again about the device's next iteration? While Apple has long had a penchant for Draconian secrecy pertaining to the launch of new products, perhaps they've grown a little greedy over the years, as well - sort of like - wanting their cake, and eat it too.
Apple is very good at building anticipation even when their iPhones are finally released to the public. By limiting the availability of their inventory on a any given day, it's not odd to learn about lines that have queued up overnight - only to be told when folks reach the front of the line, they'll have to return another day - because the daily stock ran out.
According to InformationWeek, the iPhone 4S is scheduled for launch in October, and is expected to be available on all of the major U.S. carriers, including Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon - and the device will ship in both 3G and 4G versions, including and LTE model.
CNET has reported that the iPhone 5 prototype found was reportedly sold for $200 on Craiglist, which is a steal for a yet-to-be-released iPhone 5, with no contract. Last year, the "found" iPhone 4 was bought by Gizomdo for a reported $5000 in cash.
Apple declined to comment after being contacted by CNET. A spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department said the company did not file a police report pertaining to this year's loss. Craigslist also did not respond to requests for comments.
Interesting to note, that stories like this could weaken a brand over time - dependent who really is the guilty party. Kim Kardashian was reported recently saying she was "ashamed" of her sex tape, and several reports are inferring she may be behind an anonymous buyer's bid to purchase the rights to the tape outright with the intent to permanently scrub it from the Internet.
However, that move could be just another ploy to keep her name in the news and the Kardashian brand relevant?
I honestly doubt that Steve Jobs' firm would ever stoop to the same measures - but then again it's not healthy for a brand as powerful as Apple to become a punchline for jokes that start off with "Did you hear the one about the guy who walked into a bar and left his prototype iPhone behind?"