There’s something rotten in Appleville and thy name is Gray Powell.  Gray Powell, if you don’t already know, is the alleged Apple boob who left the next generation iPhone in a bar.  Gray is quickly becoming a cultural touchstone: He already has his own gag Fan Page on Facebook, and as of this writing, The Fake Gray Powell already has over 2,500 fans.

I don’t know if it is the cynical times in which we live, or if I just have an especially sensitive nose when it comes to PR B.S. — but this whole Gray Powell episode stinks of a viral shilling — and if that’s true, then both Apple and Gizmodo are major players together in this scheme.

Here are the things that don’t sit right and smell outright foul in my good gut:

1.  Gray Powell lost his iPhone over a month ago.  He answered his work phone at Apple yesterday.  If he’d truly lost such an important piece of business, he would’ve been immediately fired.  Nobody, drunk or not, would so conveniently leave such a divine device on a barstool — especially when your job and livelihood are so absolutely tied to securing the device.

2.  Gizmodo bought the iPhone for $5,000.00 a week ago and only took images of the outside of the device along with a few inner teaser images?  They didn’t open it up to specifically show us the technical specs as is their want and divine purpose for publishing?  It doesn’t make sense that Gizmodo would only touch the surface of the next iPhone without digging into the depths and, as Judge Judy says, “If it doesn’t make sense, it isn’t true.”

Apple and Gizmodo both win big from every angle. There’s huge interest in the next iPhone — and nothing of specific value was revealed in this “Gizmodo scoop.” Gizmodo had over a million visitors in one hour when the story broke yesterday.  We suspiciously only have beauty shots of the iPhone — and I’m sure the final version won’t look as boxy and chunky — so that adds even more PR interest into Apple’s reservoir coffers.

Was Gizmodo set up by Gray Powell and Apple to be their PR shill? 

Or was Gizmodo in on it all along?

Why are Apple being so kind and friendly in requesting their iPhone back?  Apple’s character is to play rough and tough and hard.  They are not easy about anything when it comes to product secrets.  Why so nice now?  Are Apple feeling the competition heat?  Does Apple need some good word on the street to drown out other competing cellular devices? 

The best way to use Gray Powell to help advertise the new iPhone — without firing him — is having Gizmodo out him as the “loser he was” and in that public naming and shaming, Apple looks like a great and good company by keeping him on the job instead of kicking him to the silicon alley where he belongs.

The story of Gray Powell is just beginning to emerge, and if too many people begin to catch on to this fantastical PR windfall for Apple — Gray might very well end up on the outs with Apple just to keep the secret of what really happened pinned to the headstone forever — and I’m sure Gray Powell would walk away from it all a very rich man for keeping those grave secrets.


  1. David,
    It all ties together so well. Though the article does have one internal photo of the new iphone (showing off the mini-sd port) this “accidental” loss of the phone smells too much of a “coincidence” which we know well does not exist.

  2. Right, they opened it up, but didn’t do any hard research into what they found to share with us — so what’s the point of cracking it open, then? No internal images show us anything specific.
    The whole situation is just so convenient that it reeks of a setup and smells like the epitome of viral advertising.

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