Mobile Devices

June 11, 2013

Prototype Windows Phone Purchased on eBay

Apple and Microsoft finally have something in common besides their love of charging an insane amount of money for smartphones and other mobile devices. It was recently revealed that the Windows Phone maker had one of their prototype phones go missing and that phone was running an as-yet-unreleased version of their next operating system. A Reddit user was able to post screenshots and information about the phone online over the weekend. Shortly after the information went public, Microsoft launched a rather involved search to find their missing prototype.

Apple is no stranger to events like this. It wasn’t that long ago that someone left an iPhone 4 prototype in a bar. When information about that phone surfaced online, Apple basically put out a bounty for the people who were responsible for letting the phone get into the public’s hands.

The story behind the lost Microsoft phone is apparently even more interesting than the iPhone that got left in the bar. The Verge is reporting that the phone was actually purchased by Jeremiah Wong through an eBay listing. Wong was trying to get a Lumia 920 but when he received the phone he purchased he realized it looked different than its photos.

Wong apparently thought that he had a developer’s version of the Lumia and posted pictures online in order to get some answers. In posting those pictures, Wong also accidently posted his cell phone number and he soon received a call from Microsoft’s legal team. The company locked the phone remotely and asked him to remove his pictures.

The inadvertent owner of a phone that wasn’t supposed to be public apparently came about because the original employee lost the phone during his daily bus commute. The phone was then picked up and sold on eBay. For its part, Microsoft has apparently offered to give Wong the money he paid for the phone and even ship him another phone.

Microsoft wanted the phone back so badly because it was apparently running an early version of the “Blue” operating system. The company has gone quiet about the phone and the screenshots.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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