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If you have been anywhere near the internet the last few days I’m sure you have heard the story about Apple’s lost iPhone. I’m not going to go into details about it because it has already been well document all over the social web but you can read more about it here via Gizmodo “How Apple Lost the Next iPhone” But in short Gray Powell, a North Carolina State University 2006 graduate went out for drinks on his birthday and lost the next generation iPhone and the rest is pretty much been capitalized by blogosphere and Grays future with Apple is unknown at this point.

Gal 1 - - Gizmodo photo via Gizmodo

Today I saw a sad update on the case of the lost next generation iPhone on cnet.com were they interviewed Gray’s father saying that Gray is “devastated” and I can only image what he’s going through. Gray has the dream job that many people would die for, to work at Apple and not only work for Apple but to work in the department that test the next generation iPhones. Now with “social media” and blogs doing almost anything for traffic paying $5,000 for a lost or stolen next generation iPhone, Gray Powell name will be marked in the social web history books as the guy who went out to drink on his birthday, lost/forgot his iPhone and caused a PR media social web nightmare for Apple and an entire case study on blogs and journalism will come out of it.

graypowell (graypowell) on Twitter

So what’s next for Gray? At this point I think only Steve Jobs, Apple’s HR department and Gray knows as the world waits to see what will become of his job status with Apple. Some have said it was a simple mistake and some think for sure Gray will be fired. Regardless of what happens here are 6 ways I think Apple can fix Gray Powell’s personal brand/PR problem and look awesome by doing so.

  1. Use Gray Powell in a new iPhone commercial showcasing MobileMe remote wipe/find features
  2. Bring Gray Powell on stage to announce the next generation iPhone in June (rumor)
  3. Record a video Q&A with Steve Jobs, Gray and the iPhone team discussing the entire situation and use that to opportunity to announce the date for the next iPhone event.
  4. There’s an official Apple iTunes twitter account called @iTunesTrailers and at one time I thought @appleinc would become Apple’s official Twitter account but nothing happen. Now would be good time for Apple to enter the “social media” space and allow Gray to be that guy who manages it to talk about the life/culture of Apple. This would not only be for Twitter and Facebook but for blogs as well. Not that Apple needs any social media/marketing help but in this case I believe some sort of crisis management plan would have been a better way of handling the entire situation.
  5. Let the media/bloggers have Gray Powell for interviews…hmmm
  6. Send out a press releases about the entire situation and how Apple plans to prevent things like this happening again.

One or none of the suggested ideas may happen but regardless I wish Gray Powell well and I hope he has a bright future ahead of him at Apple.

*Disclaimer: I live in NC and have friends/partners who work at NC State and Apple but I have had zero contact with Gray or any of his friends or family members regarding the situation.

What would you like to see happen with the case of the missing iPhone and between Gray and Apple?

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