Gizmodo Paid $5,000 for iPhone 4G Scoop

How much does a good scoop cost? If you’re Gizmodo, and you happen to have access to a new iPhone, the price tag is $5,000. ITProPortal has more:

(Gizmodo) received the iPhone 4G prototype “weeks” after it was apparently lost. Gizmodo would not say how it landed on their laps and how they managed to get in touch with the right person who apparently might have qualms selling the iPhone on Ebay but not to Gizmodo.

Nick Denton, the head of Gawker Media, (later) confirmed via Twitter that it paid $5000 for the device and reaffirmed his allegiance to the readers, saying that he’d do anything for a story. Denton…is a proud proponent of Checkbook Journalism and the 20 million page views it generated yesterday have more than paid off the $5000 the publisher invested in the story.

Apparently, Engadget had access to the scoop, too, but refused to pay the price:

Dailyfinance, which is owned by AOL, says that Engadget, a sister website, did not want to bid for the photos because they “aren’t in the habit of paying for scoops” and this “encourages awful behavior in tipsters”. There’s also the fact that AOL, which is still a huge corporation, might have been discouraged from taking on risks that could have otherwise put it at odds with Apple.

Apple now wants the iPhone back (Telegraph):

(the device was) dropped by Gray Powell, an Apple software engineer, in a bar in Redwood, California, near Apple’s Cupertino headquarters.

Now Bruce Sewell, senior vice president and general counsel at Apple, has written to the site demanding the return of the next-generation iPhone prototype. “It has come to our attention that Gizmodo is currently in possession of a device that belongs to Apple,” the letter reads. “This letter constitutes a formal request that you return the device to Apple.”

I’m convinced this was a ploy by Apple. Some individual (Mr. Powell? A middleman?) profited handsomely off it, to boot. And Apple once again generated a whole lot of buzz.

Telegraph commenter Johnyred puts it best:

As far as Gray Powell is concerned Apple congratulated him on losing one of their most valuable pieces of equipment and have made him VP of PR.

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Written by Drea Knufken

Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.