Apple's Senior VP and General Counsel Bruce Sewell sent a letter to Gizmodo's Editorial Director Brian Lam requesting that their mystery iPhone be returned. From the letter:
"It has come to our attention that GIZMODO is currently in possession of of a device that belongs to Apple. This letter constitutes a formal request that you return the device to Apple. Please let me know where to pick up the unit."
Brian then posted GIZMODO's reply for all to see:
Here's Jason Chen, who has the iPhone. And here's his address. You two should coordinate a time.
[Blah Blah Blah Address]
Happy to have you pick this thing up. Was burning a hole in our pockets. Just so you know, we didn't know this was stolen [as they might have claimed. meaning, real and truly from Apple. It was found, and to be of unproven origin] when we bought it. Now that we definitely know it's not some knockoff, and it really is Apple's, I'm happy to see it returned to its rightful owner.
P.S. I hope you take it easy on the kid who lost it. I don't think he loves anything more than Apple."
It's the flippant, disrespectful (using "Bruce," not "Mr. Sewell," the "burning a hole in our pockets" line and calling the unfortunate late-20s employee who lost the phone "the kid") tone that permeates this letter -- and, indeed, their handling of the entire ordeal -- that irks me. Also, there's no conceivable way they can claim that they didn't know it was Apple's property, "found" or not.
We don't know how this story will end, but Giz's adolescent, "Whoops-a-daisy" mockery won't win them any new fans.
Enjoy those "warm, fuzzy, huggy feelings of legal compliance."