Apple: fake ‘iPhone delay’ email not from us

Apple Store“Apple officials have offered no detailed explanation regarding the source of a memo sent to Apple employees the morning of May 16 that falsely claimed that there would be a delay in the release of the company’s iPhone and the Mac OS X Leopard operating system,” Daniel Drew Turner reports for eWeek.

“Soon after the purported internal Apple e-mail was published on the consumer electronics Web site Engadget.com, Apple’s stock price fell from $108.83 to a low of $103.42. The stock recovered by the end of the day, and moved higher on May 17, but at one point nearly $4 billion of Apple’s market capitalization had evaporated,” Turner reports.

“Engadget quickly posted an update to its story, saying the e-mail was a hoax, but still stating that it was ‘an actual internal Apple e-mail that went out to thousands of Apple employees earlier today,'” Turner reports. “However, Natalie Kerris, spokesperson for Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., contradicted this, telling eWEEK on May 17 that the e-mail ‘did not come from Apple.'”

“Kerris declined to discuss any potential investigation into the provenance of the e-mail,” Turner reports. “A spokesperson for the SEC, based in Washington, said he ‘could not confirm or deny’ whether any SEC action would be taken. Intentional manipulation of a company’s stock price can be a serious crime, but, he said, the SEC decides what to pursue based on a ‘case-by-case analysis.'”

Turner reports, “How easily investigators can find the source of the fake Apple memo may depend on whether the memo was sent by a market speculator in the United States or by a sophisticated criminal ring operating in some region far from the reach of federal prosecutors.”

Full article here.

68 Comments

  1. Engadget should be held at least partly responsible for the idiot’s who sold their shares on unconfirmed rumor and speculation based on nothing more than an “email.” Confirm, confirm, confirm – then post the story.

  2. The fact that people actually believed that this lie was true says a lot about people’s perceptions about Apple’s (in)famous secrecy, recent abrupt changes in expected releases of iPhone and Leopard, and history of ethical lapses in backdating stock options. That is, North Korea is a more open society than Apple, Apple did embarrass itself by retracting it’s previous promises of product release, and Apple did admit that a certain number of high-priced executives disobeyed SEC rules and regulations. Apple set itself up for this rumor.

  3. Ryan Block of Engadget has posted a lengthy defense of his poor journalistic practice, but the one thing missing from his essay is “I’m sorry, we screwed up.”
    It’s interesting to see the still increasing number of responses to his statement. Many are like mine, pointing out it’s widely accepted for responsible publications to get two independent sources to confirm a news tip that will have major financial impact.
    Yet there are loads of the “I love you Engadget, keep it up” posts who say they don’t understand why it was a problem.
    As a longtime reporter and editor, it’s upsetting to see neither Ryan nor his supporters get that what he did violates basic journalistic ethics. Nor does the guy have the character to apologize for what amounts to a serious mistake that actually could have gotten someone fired at a newspaper. He deliberately made the decision to “Screw accuracy, I’m going to be first” without caring about the consequences.
    Ryan’s main defense seems to be that Engadget is a blog, not a newspaper, and blogs are supposed to be “light and fast.”
    Notice he didn’t say “light and fast and accurate.”
    Funny thing about newspapers, they all have this newfangled option called a “Web site” now, and it can be updated quickly, just like a blog.

  4. maczealot – sorry, but you’re an idiot. It has nothing at all to do with Apple’s secrecy, which is simply good practise from a company with information every competitor wouldkill for..

    MDN got the email and rang Apple and got a straight answer.

    What’s secret about that?

    And as for the options issue, the SEC said Apple had been open and up front.

    Take your conspiracy theories back with you to your office ijn Redmond chum.

  5. @ Islandgirl

    It’s too bad he can’t just cop to this. If his “light and fast” blog hadn’t read “we have it on good authority..” I’d buy his argument. But that was just plain BS. Good riddance, journalistic integrity!!!

    -c

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