Despite denials that a prototype iPhone 5 was left by an Apple employee in a bar - just like the iPhone 4 before it - the Cupertino-based company is looking for a little help keeping its hardware in-house until the official launch date.
When the lost iPhone 5 was first reported, many believed the tale: Apple has form for this, after all, having managed to misplace a prototype iPhone 4 in a downtown bar, which was then picked up by a passer-by and sold to a technology blog. Apple issued a series of denials, however, initially claiming that no such device was ever lost, then changing its tune to a tale of an unspecified device having been lost and then recovered by police.
More recent reports claim that Apple investigators entered the house of 22-year old Sergio Calderón in search of the errant prototype by masquerading as San Francisco Police, but left empty-handed. The claims of impersonation of a police officer - a serious offence, if true - have been muddied by an SFPD official first denying any operation took place, then claiming that Apple employees accompanied genuine SFPD officers during the recovery mission.
Meanwhile, the device may - or may not - still be out there, waiting for the heat to die down before it gets sold to another tech blog eager for an exclusive first-look at Apple's next wonderphone. On the one hand, it's helping to drum up interest in the device, but on the other Apple always likes to keep things as secret as possible for its inevitable 'one more thing' reveals.
Accordingly, the company has advertised two new posts at its Cupertino headquarters for product security managers. As the title suggests, these staffers would be responsible for overseeing the product security team - which already exists - and hopefully finding out how these ultra-secret prototypes end up being taken to bars and abandoned with nary a care.
The managers would also be expected to travel, spending up to a third of their time visiting locations both within the US and internationally in an effort to stem the hardware leaks from which company is currently suffering.
While Apple's official stance is that there's no problem to be solved, its desire to pay a fairly hefty salary for two new managers suggests that someone is getting worried about how easily the company's hardware seems to go walkabout.