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iPhone prototype affidavit unsealed

Mon, 05/17/2010 - 8:10am
Andrew Berg

A recently released affidavit from the Superior Court of San Mateo County details detective Matthew Broad's investigation and the lead-up to the eventual search of Jason Chen's apartment in the wake of the iPhone prototype leak.

Chen is the Gizmodo editor who broke the story of the iPhone prototype that was reportedly bought for $5,000 after it was found at a bar in Redwood City, Calif.

The affidavit names Brian Hogan as the person who found the phone in the bar. The phone had been left behind by Gray Powell, an Apple software engineer who was celebrating his 27th birthday.

Chen is being investigated for maliciously damaging property valued in excess of $400, which makes it a felony in California. Apple employees confirmed that upon its return, the device, which was quite publicly dismantled, had a broken ribbon cable, one screw inserted in the wrong location, back plate snaps were broken and a few of the screws were stripped.

According to the affidavit, Hogan's roommate, Katherine Martinson, confirmed for authorities that Hogan showed her the phone. In the affidavit, Martinson says that Hogan knew the phone was a valuable piece of technology and that he attached the phone to Martinson's computer without her permission and attempted to reinstall the operating system but to no avail. In the end, Martinson confirms that Hogan sold the phone to Gizmodo for $5,000 in $100 treasury notes.

The affidavit is the latest information in the ongoing investigation of whether Chen and Gizmodo broke the law by publishing specs of what is widely believed to be Apple’s next iPhone.

More Broadband Direct 5/17/10:
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