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. It’s one thing for a Courts to say that Bloggers are Journalists.

    It’s a vastly different thing to expect Bloggers to act like Journalists.

    Engadget was going for hits. Verifying the source was the least of their worries.

    If there was any justice in this world, Engadget would be facing a lawsuit right now.

  2. “Duty bound to report to its readers, it filed a post.”

    WTF does this mean? What about being duty bound to posting factual information?

    What this really means is, they just wanted page hits and were willing to sacrifice confirmation to get a story up that would generate a lot of traffic.

  3. Sounds like someone was manufacturing a “buying opportunity” to me. This is simple market manipulation. Engadget should be ashamed of themselves, and should give up their source. Call the SEC.

  4. The “investor” was an idiot and deserves to lose money if he’s relying on bloggers for his portfolio management… And anyone who keeps selling off their Apple stock with every news story is an idiot anyway. Has it EVER stayed down?

  5. If you have an automated thing set up to sell all of a stock if it dips by a certain percent, then you are asking for trouble (imho). We have seen Apple stocks ripple many times in the past to bizarre reactions to announcements, market speculation and product updates. If you haven’t learned anything by now, disable that automatic feature, or be forever doomed to make that mistake again and again.

    If anything, if it drops below 5%, you should have been automatically BUYING stock, not selling it.

    …right?

  6. Y’all should read the comments posted on Engadget for this story. Frakkin’ hilarious. All the Mac-haters had a field day about “Fanboys” and how this would shut them up. Etc, etc., etc. Frakkin’ morons.

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