Here are your Apple news items and rumors for Thursday:
iPhone 5 Gets Legs: Apple can’t seem to stop its employees from wandering off with precious prototype technology, heading to a local pub and forgetting the proprietary wares after enjoying a nice whiskey sour. According to a report at CNET, one of Apple’s employees lost a prototype iPhone at a bar in San Francisco. Rather than selling for a high price after a bidding war as a prototype iPhone 4 was in 2010, this mislaid development iPhone sold for a measly $200 on Craigslist and still hasn’t been located by Apple. The company has not confirmed whether the lost model is an early version of an already-released iPhone or a prototype version of the upcoming iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S. Given the company’s interest in tracking it down, though, it seems likely it isn’t the type of iPhone that can be bought at Target.
Smartphone Tide Rising: Given the fervor with which technology is covered in the press (not to mention the investor lust after stocks for businesses making the devices), it’s surprising to hear that not every man, woman and child in the United States doesn’t own an iPhone. To the delight of hipsters and disaffected wealthy college kids everywhere, a Thursday report at GigaOM confirms that smartphones aren’t quite mainstream yet. The report details a new study by Nielsen that found that, as of July, 40% of all mobile phones used in the U.S. are smartphones. Nielsen previously had predicted smartphones would overtake feature phones by the end of 2012. They likely will come close. Feature phones accounted for 62% of phones at the end of the first quarter but fell to 60% by the end of the second. A 2% attrition rate should place the two mobile phone segments neck and neck by the end of the year. Of those smartphones out there, Nielsen found that 28% are iPhones. That pesky Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android took the lion’s share with 40% of smartphones in the second quarter.
Halo Makers Come to iPad: Bungie Studios, the creators behind Microsoft‘s (NASDAQ:MSFT) massively successful Halo video game franchise, released its first iOS game Wednesday night. Crimson: Steam Pirates is a self-published title that sells for $1.99 in Apple’s App Store. Long before the company and its Halo series were household names, Bungie actually was developing Halo as a Mac-exclusive came — then Microsoft bought the company and transformed Halo into its flagship Xbox series.