Gizmodo's iPhone adventures have certainly helped the Gawker owned gadget blog rack up a few million internet hits and a lifetime of digital infamy, and it only cost the company $5,000 according to Gawker Media founder Nick Denton in an interview with the Associated Press.

But now Apple wants it back. In a letter from Bruce Sewell, senior vice president of Apple to Brian Lam, editorial eirector of Gizmodo, Sewell writes "It has come to our attention that Gizmodo is currently in possession of a device that belongs to Apple.

"This letter constitutes a formal request that you return the device to Apple".

The phone, cleverly disguised in an iPhone 3GS styled case, belonged to Apple Software Engineer Gray Powell. Way back on March 18th, the Engineer left the phone on a bar stool in a Redwood City German beer garden.

Apple soon remotely killed the device through MobileMe. The bar patron who ended up with the phone later cracked open the case and found the secret iPhone hidden inside.

You know the rest of the saga: Engadget got some sneaky photos and Gizmodo actually got the phone, ripped it open, and showed it off on the technology blog. Now Apple wants the phone back, Gizmodo is happily complying and the story is seemingly at an end.

"I'm sad to see it go." writes editorial director Brian Lam. "We reasoned this pretty little piece of hardware is probably something we'll see again some time soon, but who knows exactly when. For some of us, that date can't come soon enough."