“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.