It appears as though Apple has lost another precious iPhone prototype -- once again in a bar.
According to reports Thursday the new phone find may be an example of the iPhone 5, a product whose existence Apple has not yet even confirmed.
Little is known about the phone, other than that it was reportedly found in Cava 22, a tequila bar in the Mission district of San Francisco. According to the technology news site that broke the story, CNET, the phone was found about a month ago, or its software.
Despite the rabid interest in Apple's next-generation phone, few details have emerged concerning the hardware or its software.
The main reason the story has even gained traction, according to CNET, is that Apple representatives desperate to get the prototype back contacted police shortly after it went missing, describing the item as "priceless."
Apple remotely traced the phone to a home in San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighbourhood.
Police and Apple representatives then went to the home and spoke to a young man in his twenties who admitted he was at the tequila bar on the night the phone went missing, but denied any knowledge of the phone.
According to reports, the man allowed police to search the house and turned down a no-questions-asked cash offer from the Apple representatives.
In 2010 an early version of the iPhone 4 was found in a California bar. Tech blog Gizmodo eventually bought the phone from the finder -- after he tried unsuccessfully to return it to the owner, and then to Apple -- for $5,000.
Gizmodo then posted a detailed description of the phone, breaking Apple's normally ironclad security wall on new products.
Two men, Brian Hogan and Sage Wallower, face misdemeanor criminal charges for allegedly selling the prototype iPhone 4 to Gizmodo.
Some have suggested the lost iPhone phenomenon is actually a clever marketing ploy to garner attention for Apple's upcoming product releases.