Our favorite gadget blog, Engadget was taken in by a fake Apple email that claimed the iPhone would be delayed until October and Leopard would be delayed until January.
Here’s the story. A trustworthy source supplied us with an actual internal Apple email that went out to thousands of Apple employees earlier today (published after the break). The fact that this was an email sent within Apple’s internal email system to its employees is not in question. Let us reiterate: this was an ACTUAL email distributed within Apple’s internal email system to Apple employees. As it turns out, the internal memo Apple employees received was actually retracted by Apple shortly after it was sent out. (Also published after the break.) We received confirmation from Apple PR that this initial email sent out to Apple employees was incorrect, and they let us know that the iPhone and Leopard are both still on track, and should meet their expected launch timeframes. Presumably Apple is now on the hunt for whomever was able to spoof its internal email system.
This is a great example of why checking your sources is important. Just receiving a forwarded email is not the best way to ‘fact check’ your story. Get on the phone and try to get the party to confirm. If you can’t just say, ‘this story is unconfirmed, but…’
Update: It matters even more when the stakes are this high and you are dealing with a publicly traded company. Turns out stock manipulators may have been at work as Paul explains:
This is a bigger deal than a blog getting a story wrong. Why? Because this was almost certainly done for market manipulation, with someone — Russian hackers again? — inserting this into the Apple network, knowing it would get out and hook someone, while allowing them to trade against the news.