How Much Gizmodo Paid for the Next iPhone: $5K Plus Bonus

GIZEngadget said that the “finder” (who some are referring to as a “stealer”) was charging to see the “lost” new iPhone-pictures of which were published on Gizmodo this morning. Tech blogger John Gruber said the phone was a “total hoax,” but seems to have backed down on that; now he says “That this belongs to and was made by Apple is almost beyond question at this point.” He also says that Apple considers the phone “stolen.” Gawker honcho Nick Denton promises that the story of the iPhone’s acquisition is coming, and it’s a “corker.” (“Slang: A remarkable or astounding person or thing.”) It’s going to be a big double-dare to Apple’s legal department, we think-and also intended to be a big middle finger to Gizmodo’s chief competitor, Engadget. (Also, the getting of the iPhone, by Jason Chen with Jesus Diaz, may have some role in succession planning at Gizmodo, when site honcho Brian Lam leaves.) Finally, we hear the price that Gizmodo paid for the phone was laughably small-particularly for what looks to already be one of Gawker Media’s top-five most trafficked news posts. Update: The first number out of the gate is a mere $10,000. We think that’s a little high, actually! Update: We hear it’s $5000, with a bonus for traffic. Update: And then we hear Steve Jobs picked up the phone to say hi. Ruh roh. Update: And then Gizmodo semi-explained how they came by the iPhone: an apparently drunk developer left it in a bar. On March 18. Which then somehow wended its way to Gizmodo-to be posted about a month later. (We presume some of that time involved the Gawker Media legal department doing their job.) Gizmodo is currently being roasted in the comments for naming the Apple engineer. And what’s more, Nick Denton confirmed the $5000 bounty to the “finder” (that was previously reported here)-which is a suspiciously familiar dollar figure to those who do federal prosecutions regarding stolen goods being transmitted across state lines.