If you have any friends on Facebook who have even heard the word "iPhone," you've seen them link to the story. Retweets are happening in the tens of thousands, and story-breaking site Gizmodo is collecting millions of users.
You know people will be talking about this story for years, even decades, to come. Gray Powell will be in Trivial Pursuit games and has earned overnight Internet infamy that puts him on the level of Kanye West at the Grammys or Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent.
Gizmodo, which paid $5,000 to get its hands on the lost iPhone 4G, has racked up 10 million page views, sometimes at the rate of a million per hour, today alone as it finalized a story about the ins and outs of the phone. When the story broke early yesterday, Gizmodo racked up more than 20 million page views. That's around 5 times as many views as the site has historically gotten on a normal 2010 day.
Parody postings on Craigslist's Lost & Found section, like this one, mock Powell's plight by pretending to be in search of the missing device. "So I did it again this last week, consumed way too much straight vodka within perhaps an hour ... and in the process lost my employers iPhone 4G prototype model," writes the joking Craigslist poster.
Nearly 35,000 posts on Twitter have linked to the story, and while top stories on socially-driven news site Digg usually get a few hundred "Diggs," iPhone 4G articles are clicking in Diggs in the thousands.
A Google search for the exact phrase "lost iPhone 4G" now returns 158,000 results. It's such a big story that mainstream news sites are putting it ahead of the biggest travel disaster since September 11th. Fox News replaced its top headline from the earth-shattering volcanic eruption in Europe, to a profile of Gray Powell.
The apex of the Apple firestorm is over, though these numbers will continue to shoot up. The next big story will be if Apple actually releases an official statement about the events.
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