While law-enforcement officials ponder the legality of computer equipment seized from the home of a blogger, analysts on Tuesday say Apple may be doing itself harm in the case of a missing iPhone prototype that ended up on the Internet, according to a “MarketWatch” (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-doing-itself-harm-in-case-of-missing-iphone-2010-04-27?siteid=rss&rss=1) report.

Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies Associates said in an interview that Apple blundered by making the case a criminal one, as opposed to a civil case.

“There is no way that this is not negative in some way for the company,” Kay told “MarketWatch.” “The question here is what is Apple hoping to get?”

“Apple has been drifting into looking like the wrong side of their famous Big Brother ad for some time,” added Rob Enderle, a longtime Silicon Valley technology analyst. “This could easily turn out to be one of the biggest mistakes the firm has ever made because the investigation … could showcase other Apple problems as this story snowballs.”