iPhone delay hoax briefly sinks Apple stock by $4 billion

Apple Store“Yesterday, tech blog Engadget received supposed insider information about a delay of the iPhone until October, and another delay for Leopard, pushing the new OS to January of 2008. Duty bound to report to its readers, it filed a post. Within minutes, some people who read the post were selling their Apple stock, which dipped 3% in mid-day trading yesterday. The origin of the information was an internal Apple memo…which turned out to be fake. Fake or not, Apple’s market capitalization sunk by $4 billion once the memo became public,” Eric Zeman blogs for InformationWeek.

“Some are crying for an SEC investigation. According to a Business 2.0 blog, one shareholder sold 5 million shares within 10 to 15 minutes of seeing the post,” Zeman reports.

“Luckily, the turmoil was brief. The stock recovered most of its value by the end of the day (it closed down 0.17%). There are still a lot of questions that remain unanswered. Who really sent the memo? How did they do it from within the Apple system? Did they hack in? We can only assume that Apple is hunting down the responsible party and will take appropriate action once that person is found,” Zeman writes.

“What are bloggers to do, however, when fed erroneous information that looks real? Their gut instinct is to post first, question later. Lessons learned in Journalism 101, however, would have prevented the debacle. It never hurts to pick up the phone and call a company rep to confirm the validity of the information. Will this delay the story? Sure. But in the end, accuracy is more important than being the first to report a story,” Zeman writes.

Full article here.

46 Comments

  1. If I had $5m Apple Shares I would hope I wouldn’t have had such a knee jerk reaction to the news. Even if it was delayed I would have probably had to take a minute to decide if I thought it was the time to sell. That said, I’m in position to ever have that many shares so I can’t really talk.

  2. “Some are crying for an SEC investigation. According to a Business 2.0 blog, one shareholder sold 5 million shares within 10 to 15 minutes of seeing the post,” Zeman reports.

    bunch of corporate sheep

  3. Sorry but this is down to Engadget.

    Knowingly publishing the contents of an internal Apple email without conducting any checks on it has got to be criminal.

    I have always loathed Engadget – now more than ever. Same class of business as Microsoft…

  4. Yeah, I had a trailing stop set for 5% and all my shares were sold. By the time I got the email, the stock was back up within a buck or so of the previous high. I’m not pleased. It must have dropped more than 3% though, since my stop was 5%. My shares went for $104.68 to $104.88. Now, nothing wrong with taking some money off the table, but a little blip like that really sucks for me. Guess I’ll have to get back in at $108 or so to make the ride to $120.

  5. “Lessons learned in Journalism 101, however, would have prevented the debacle.”

    If only that was a required course in journalism. Seems news reports are generated without any fact checking of any kind EVERY FRICKIN’ DAY!

  6. *[i’]Somebody* is going to get the deadly lawyers dressed in black turtlenecks on black jeans wearing a black suit holding a serving paper on one hand…and an M14 on the other. *shruggs*

  7. An investor’s best friend is the internet.
    An investor’s worst enemy is the internet.

    I don’t believe the story about the 5 million hsares anymore than I did the memo “leak”. I use the internet to facilitate trades and collect information. I DO NOT rely on bloggers for anything more than entertainment value, and that includes MacDailyNews. They are just as bad as the rumor mongers because they repeat the rumor. Tell a lie often enough and people accept it as true.

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