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Apple Loses Another iPhone Prototype in a Bar!

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It's about time Cupertino starts issuing mandatory AA sessions for its field testers.

Last year, as you'll recall, tech blog Gizmodo got its hands on an iPhone 4 prototype two months before its unveiling. According to legend, an Apple field tester drunkenly left behind the device at a German beer garden in Redwood City, California. The prototype eventually made its way to the Gizmodo offices where the staff gave an exclusive sneak peek at the hotly-anticipated smartphone.

Well, guess what. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Or, in this case, those who enjoy throwing back a few are destined to leave behind unreleased Apple products.

Yes, Apple has lost another iPhone prototype in a bar, and CNet's Greg Sandoval and Declan McCullagh had the exclusive story on the misplacement.

According to the report, the loss actually took place in late July at a bar in San Francisco's Mission district. Whereas last year's Apple employee had a taste for German beer, this year the device was left behind at a tequila lounge called Cava 22.

After noticing the loss, Apple contacted the police -- reportedly "desperate" to get the device back -- and tracked the phone to a home in the Bernal Heights neighborhood. When Apple and San Francisco police visited the home, the owner denied knowledge of such a device and allowed a search of his home -- which turned up nothing. Apple supposedly offered the man a reward for the device's return, "no questions asked," but he maintained his story that he did know the existence of such a prototype.

But here's the interesting twist.

Although Gawker forked over $5,000 for the iPhone 4 prototype -- which led to the allegation that the company knowingly paid for stolen property -- this unreleased iPhone supposedly made its way to Craigslist and was sold for $200.

As of now, the location of the prototype is still a mystery. CNet doesn't know if it's still at large or safe and sound back in Cupertino.

But what is known: It's probably fairly easy to get Apple staffers to divulge confidential information after just a couple rounds in a local dive.

(See also: The iPhone's Pipe-Dream Future and Microsoft Turns Windows Explorer into Utter Chaos)

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