Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak got an Apple engineer fired for showing him a prototype iPad on the day the device launched. Woz is dismayed at this, adding that the Apple employee who lost an iPhone prototype when drunk in a bar has not been fired.

Woz, who queued to buy an iPad on launch day, has written to Gizmodo explaining that an Apple engineer joined him in the queue just after midnight and showed him a 3G iPad.

According to Woz, the Apple employee told him that he had received an email allowing his team to use the iPad outside of secure areas after midnight on 3 April, and that's why he showed it to Woz.

In addition, since Woz is also an Apple employee, still officially on the payroll, the employee most likely thought that showing Woz the iPad would not be considered wrong.

However, Woz confirmed to Gizmodo that the Apple engineer was subsequently fired. The iPad prototype he showed Woz was a 3G iPad, although Woz says he was not told it was a 3G iPad, and that all he did was play with Numbers for a couple of minutes.

Woz also describes how he spoke to Steve Jobs about the preview on the night of the iPad introduction and Jobs said it was "no big deal".

Woz questions the firing of this engineer because he says he has heard that the engineer who lost the iPhone prototype in a bar recently has not been fired.

Woz wrote: "I'm sure that Apple HR told the engineer that it was because everyone in that same situation gets fired. Does that jive with this iPhone situation? What am I missing here?"