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Passing the bar: a brief history of prototypes found on bar floors

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Passing the bar: a brief history of prototypes found on bar floors
The word that an alleged prototype of the Google Nexus 5 was found on the floor of a bar the other day and photographed should not be a surprise to anyone who has followed the industry over the last few years. Almost every year since an Apple iPhone 4 was found in a bar in California, there has been a prototype of some eagerly awaited new handset found in a bar.

Last September, the Google Nexus 4 was discovered in a bar in San Francisco. The bartender, who was given the phone to hold by a patron who foundit on the floor, thought it was just one of the 20 left behind and lost handsets that pile up at the bar each week. It wasn't until the bartender showed the phone to a customer who knew about the Google Nexus 4, that those involved knew what they had. Google promised the bartender a free Nexus 4 in exchange for the phone and his silence, but it was too late. Pictures had already been sold to Wired for a tidy profit.

The first time that a found phone in a bar created a ruckus was back in April 2010 when the Apple iPhone 4 was found on the floor of a San Jose watering hole. What made this an exciting discovery was that no one had really seen the iPhone 4 prior to this. But the effort made by Apple to retrieve the device was enough to convince everyone that it was real. The phone was eventually sold to a blog for $5000. However, more than 3 years later, the guy who found the phone reported that he spent all of that money for legal fees when Apple got involved. He never received the additional $3000 he claims is still owed to him, and ended up out of pocket $125 that he used to pay for a court awarded fine.

The very next summer, history repeated itself when an Apple iPhone 4s went missing from a San Francisco bar named Cava-22. This time, there was more intrigue. Apple security got involved in searching a person's home, looking for the lost prototype while the San Francisco police sat back and let Apple security do their thing. The story eventually petered out.

So next time you're in a bar and see something that resembles a smartphone on the floor, you might want to check it out. It could be a prototype of the next hugely anticipated handset. Or, it might be the vomit filled shoe belonging to a drunk. Considering recent history, we would expect it to be the former.

11 Comments
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posted on 18 Sep 2013, 02:19 1

1. PhoenixWright (Posts: 99; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)


I hope when I walk in the bar, I'll find a GNote 4, a Xperia Z2, a Newkia, or Nexus 5, a Nokia 1120 Maybe, or "at least" an apple iPhone 6?

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 03:52 2

6. TechBizJP08 (Posts: 491; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)


WTF, Newkia? are you kidding me?

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 20:44 1

9. shuimaranaman (Posts: 11; Member since: 17 Sep 2013)


Hes talking about a New Kia Car.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 01:36

11. PhoenixWright (Posts: 99; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)


I'll bet that a Newkia prototype would sell for the same price as the others I've mentioned :D

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 02:32 7

2. LetsBeHonest (Posts: 544; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


If this trend continue to happen, i probably start drinking... :-)

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 02:38 1

3. phil2n (Posts: 466; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


that's not an honest statement.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 02:55 1

5. LetsBeHonest (Posts: 544; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


Ha ha nice one... I forgot to put "again" in that statement
+1 to you.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 03:58

7. HeWhoDoesNothing (Posts: 152; Member since: 15 Jul 2013)


All this time I thought you were a 14-year old lol

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 04:46 1

8. LetsBeHonest (Posts: 544; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


Ha ha actually I'm 20 lol.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 02:53 2

4. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 1422; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)


I call BS, this was no accident,, how can you leave your cell phone, while drinking?? Never happened to me,, dont matter how hammerd i was,,... maybe at a girlfriends house? Thats cause my hands where full ;-) ha

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 22:29

10. jaychildz (Posts: 104; Member since: 31 May 2013)


NICE! haha +1

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