Dopey employees at an incredibly smart company, or a stroke of marketing genius?

It's up to you to decide whether the case of the latest iPhone prototype to be left at a bar is genuine or not.

If it is, the employee who left it behind would have to be one of the most stupid people on the planet – considering the same thing happened last year with an iPhone 4 prototype.

That unit was bought by gadget site Gizmodo, which in turn was found by Apple's lawyers. Two people who sold the prototype instead of returning it have been charged.

This year no one has yet stepped forward to say that they have found the device, but it probably won't be too long before it happens.

According to internet reports, the Iphone 5 was left in a Mexican restaurant in San Francisco, presumably by someone trusted at the firm, but someone who really should not ought to have been, apparently.

Meanwhile, hopes of a release date for the iPhone 5 being announced this weekend fade as Apple fails to announce a launch event prior to the American Labour Day weekend.

September 7th had long been circled as an ideal date for the event which would push the iPhone 5 into the spotlight along with iOS 5, the iPod touch 5, and various other consumer product updates

Apple has traditionally held a press event the first or second week of September for the past five years in order to update its mobile lineup ahead of the Christmas shopping season.

While Tuesday September 6th might have been the date, the fact that the 5th is a holiday means that the event would have been on Wednesday the 7th instead.

But Apple would have needed to send out press invites a week in advance in order to allow guests to travel to Northern California from around the country, and that didn’t happen.