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Seriously: Someone Lost a Nexus 4 in a Bar Last Month

By - Source: Wired | B 17 comments

"All this has happened before..."

Google today officially unveiled the Nexus 4, the latest addition to its line of Nexus-branded smartphones. The phone hasn't exactly been a well kept secret. For the last few weeks there have been leaked photos and specs. One retailer even put the phone up for pre-order last week with a ship date of October 30 (it emerged today that the phone actually won't be on sale until November 13). However, before all of that, it seems someone at Google very nearly let the cat out of the bag in a much bigger and more embarrassing way.

According to Wired, a Googler left their Nexus 4 unit behind in a bar in San Francisco in late September. If you think this story sounds familiar, that's because the same thing happened with the iPhone 4 back in 2010. Though the iPhone 4 was eventually sold to Gizmodo, the Nexus 4 wound up back in Google's possession shortly after it was found by a bartender working at the bar. However, it seems Google went to great lengths to get the device back.

Wired writes that the bartender showed the phone to a customer who recognized what it was and said he would call Google HQ about it. The customer called back the next day, apparently freaked out, said that someone had been fired over the incident, and that the "Google police" were coming to get the phone. The bartender, Jamin Barton, said he would give the phone back to Google the next day, but Brian Katz, global investigations and intelligence manager at Google, wouldn't take no for an answer and wanted to meet up and get the phone immediately. Katz headed for the bar where Barton worked and Barton left, telling co-workers he felt harassed. 

Barton's co-worker described Katz as really pushy and military-like. He said he sent Katz on a wild goose chase to find Barton. When Katz eventually located Barton, Barton returned the phone through a lawyer acquaintance, but only after Katz proved that he really worked for Google. According to Wired, which paid Barton a freelance fee for photos of the device, Google also offered the bartender a free phone in exchange for keeping quiet until after today's announcement. 

Whether the loss of the phone was genuine, or Google was pulling a stunt in attempt to drum up publicity for the upcoming device, remains to be seen. If genuine, it goes to show Apple isn't the only one that's serious about keeping details of upcoming devices as quiet as possible.

Thanks to today's announcement, we know that the Nexus 4 packs a 4.7-inch 1280x768 IPS display (320 ppi), Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 8GB or 16GB of storage, an 8-megapixel camera (1.3-megapixel camera up front), a 2,100mAh Li-Polymer battery, NFC, and Android 4.2. Unfortunately, the phone doesn't have support for 4G LTE, nor does it allow for external storage via MicroSD, which means you're stuck with the capacity you choose at check out. It launches next month starting at $299 for the off-contract 8GB model.

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  • 1 Hide
    reprotected , October 30, 2012 12:20 AM
    Indirect Apple post. *Proceeding to rant about how there are so many Apple posts.*
  • 7 Hide
    greghome , October 30, 2012 12:32 AM
    nor does it allow for external storage via MicroSD

    and to think this is what sets Android phones apart from the iFone :pfff: 
  • 3 Hide
    unksol , October 30, 2012 12:43 AM
    nor does it allow for external storage via MicroSD

    and to think this is what sets Android phones apart from the iFone :pfff: 

    There are many Android phones that don't. What sets Android apart is.... Android. Duh. And options. you want a micro SD slot get a different phone.

    You want a walled garden, no options, and what you do with your device controlled by someone else, and an evil company get an iPhone.

    Now, didn't apple patent "employee loses phone in bar"? Lawsuit? Oh right they don't patent till sometime else does it, so they can sure after the fact. Guess we'll see the patent in a few months.
  • Display all 17 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    ddpruitt , October 30, 2012 1:03 AM
    Unfortunately, the phone doesn't have support for 4G LTE

    Seriously Google? A top of the line phone with yesterday's wireless technology? I know HSPA+ is quick but it still doesn't compare with the various LTE implementations.
  • 2 Hide
    Yuka , October 30, 2012 1:13 AM
    No microSD, no buy for me...

    Also, I wonder if Apple would sue Google for even copying the "lost phone, free marketing" campaign.

    Cheers! :p 
  • 2 Hide
    johnnyhempseed , October 30, 2012 1:20 AM
    Seriously, this was news a month ago.
  • 8 Hide
    nbelote , October 30, 2012 1:27 AM
    Google says their Nexus line of phones is supposed to represent the "best technology of the time." Total crap. Only 8GB and no SD card? No LTE? This isn't the best technology. Well... if this is January, 2010.
  • 1 Hide
    robochump , October 30, 2012 1:56 AM
    Ouch, fired over forgetting a proto-type. Def a knuckle headed move but bummer deal.
  • 0 Hide
    robochump , October 30, 2012 1:57 AM
    reprotectedIndirect Apple post. *Proceeding to rant about how there are so many Apple posts.*

    To feed the iHater trolls of course!?!
  • -1 Hide
    robochump , October 30, 2012 1:59 AM
    reprotectedIndirect Apple post. *Proceeding to rant about how there are so many Apple posts.*

    To feed the iHater trolls of course ;)  But someone getting fired...ouch! Tho was very knucklehead to forget a proto-type in a bar!
  • -1 Hide
    boiler1990 , October 30, 2012 2:26 AM
    Quad-core chipsets aren't known to play nicely with LTE radios yet, so no surprise as to why there's no LTE. Also, the LTE radio is one of the most expensive pieces of hardware in the device and really existed originally for the VZW Galaxy Nexus (since VZW has been making a huge LTE push). Without LTE, there's also no worries about the battery size - I have the LTE functionality, but can't use it for more than an hour, and there are still few phones that can handle LTE for sustained periods of time.

    By taking out the LTE radio, they've brought the phone down to $300 off-contract. That's a huge drop in price over any other unlocked phone, and you get some of the best hardware out there. HSPA+ is more prevalent than LTE on the GSM networks (and certainly more widespread in Europe), so it's a good compromise IMO. Really the only people who get screwed out of this are Verizon customers, but VZW fucked up the Galaxy Nexus so badly I wouldn't want to have to deal with another Nexus on their network.
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , October 30, 2012 3:52 AM
    robochumpOuch, fired over forgetting a proto-type. Def a knuckle headed move but bummer deal.

    lets think about this a minute... you have a prototype phone. You had to sign a stack of NDAs a mile high. You and your family were likely threatened on penalty of death if anything were to happen to the phone. You are stoked to be trusted with the phone because of the sheer responsibility plus the bragging rights you get to tell your friends and family.

    And then you loose your phone in a bar.

    Seems more likely he was pawning it off to someone, and the person didn't think it worth keeping and left it there to be found.
  • 1 Hide
    bebangs , October 30, 2012 4:46 AM
    So a guy with an android phone walks into a bar
    the next day HQ receives a call from the bartender
    Bartender: I found the androids you're looking for.
    Alarmed, Katz haunted the Bartender and confronts him.
    Katz: These aren't the droids you're looking for.
    Bartender: These aren't the droids we're looking for.

    but seriously! how many times does people forget their TOP SECRET PROTOTYPE PHONE in a bar? this is becoming a cliche.
  • -1 Hide
    Vorador2 , October 30, 2012 8:34 AM
    greghomeand to think this is what sets Android phones apart from the iFone

    Normally yes, but there's the problem of costs. And is not the actual cost of adding the sd slot.

    The problem is the format of SD cards, exFAT. The copyright is owned by Microsoft, meaning if a manufacturer adds a SD slot card, they need to pay Microsoft. Every manufacturer has complied except Motorola, which is fighting Microsoft in court over this.
  • 1 Hide
    zodiacfml , October 30, 2012 10:45 AM
    no different from "leaked photos" and very plausible rumors.
  • 0 Hide
    cats_Paw , October 30, 2012 11:37 AM
    Apple didnt sue Google for doing something they did? Im shocked!
    Btw, how can this NOT be a publicity stunt. No company in their right mind would allow you to get out of their office a ...."Prototype?" Well not exactly, beta phone?
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 30, 2012 4:41 PM
    More like this
    Katz: All your base are belong to us