Missing: One iPhone 5 Prototype.
Another next-generation iPhone has reportedly gone missing.
(IBTimes) -- 08/31/2011 --

Can you say déjà vu all over again?

According to a report from CNET, a prototype of the next generation iPhone has gone missing after being left at a San Francisco bar. The phone reportedly went missing at San Francisco's Cava 22, a tequila lounge, and Apple was forced to contact the San Francisco police reporting it missing the next day.

The phone wound up on Craiglist and supposedly sold for a mere $200. The next day, Apple was able to trace the phone electronically to a two-floor, single-family home in San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood. According to the report, the man at the house admitted he was at the bar but denied any knowledge about the phone.

CNET's report is a bit sketchy, it cites an unnamed source, didn't provide any photos of the device or any details of its specifications. The report also said Apple never filed a police report on the missing phone. 

If the whole situation sounds familiar, it should. The same exact scenario happened last year. A prototype of the iPhone 4 was bought by Gizmodo for $5,000, after it was left at a bar in Redwood City, Calif by Robert Gray Powell, an Apple computer engineer.

The police got involved and two men, Brian Hogan and Sage Wallower, got charged with misdemeanor criminal charges for selling the phone to Gizmodo. The police threatened to prosecute Gizmodo, but never followed through.

The report says Apple has taken steps following this embarrassment incident and implemented ways to prevent this from happening again. For instance, they keep prototypes locked and sealed inside boxes so that the carriers can carry out checks on their network compatibility in their labs.

While Apple hasn't even revealed the existence of the next-generation iPhone (the company is notoriously tight-lipped), most expect it to come sometime this Fall.

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