An employee of Apple who was testing a prototype iPhone apparently lost it in a bar, sparking a hunt by company investigators and police.
The mishap is very similar to the loss last year of an iPhone 4 prototype last year. This time the the employee was drinking in Cava22, a “tequila lounge” in San Francisco’s Mission district, in July when the new device went missing.
CNET, a US technology website has reported that it may have already been sold on Craigslist for just $200.
Apple reportedly electronically traced the prototype to a house in the Bernal Heights district of San Francisco but the man at the addresstold police he had no knowledge of the phone and allowed officers to search the premises.
They found nothing and left empty-handed, despite an offer of money from Apple.
The owner of Cava22 said a man called multiple times about a lost iPhone a month ago.
Apple has declined to comment on the reports, which have sparked speculation that the prototype may have been the forthcoming iPhone 5. It is rumoured to be due for relase in early October and look very similar to the iPhone 4, but with upgraded internal hardware.