Unless you've been living under an online and high tech rock, you know that Gizmodo recently posted the scoop on Apple's next generation iPhone that was left behind in a bar by an Apple engineer who'd been celebrating his birthday with perhaps too many brews. Another guy at the bar found the phone and contacted Apple support to try to give it back. Apple support had no clue how to deal with it and all they gave him was a support ticket number. So that phone found its way to one of the largest tech blogs, Gizmodo.
Giz was contacted by Apple legal who asked for the phone back and Giz said no problem, Jason Chen their editor in the same area as Apple, would meet them and return it. Case closed? Nope.
Police recently showed up with a warrant at Chen's house while he was out to dinner. They broke down his front door and spent several hours cataloging and removing every computer, hard drive, USB drive, smartphone and iPad they could find. As Gizmodo points out, the warrant is dubious since journalists are afforded certain protections when it comes to seizure of property to reveal sources. Even sillier, the phone escapade is very well documented so we already know who lost it, how the middle man tried to return it and then sold it to Gizmodo.
All of which matters little. This just makes Apple look bad, and they're getting really good at looking bad. They were a company I and a lot of other folks really respected and loved for their underdog, innovator, nice guy make the world a better place vibe.
But they've turned into the man, and not just the man but a really grumpy and bitter old man. First we have draconian iTunes app store approval process, then we have the fight with Adobe to keep Flash off the iPhone (not good for customers or Silicon Valley's usual mellow companies cooperating with companies approach). And now we have them sending the police to seize an editor's property more than a week after the scoop broke when they know it was their own engineer that lost the darned phone.
C'mon Apple and Jobs, there are way more constructive ways to develop products, protect product secrecy and impress the general public.