A fake email posted by Engadget claiming that the iPhone and Leopard had been delayed causes Apple stock to plunge 2.2%. News.com has the background:
Engadget posted a story Wednesday morning at 11:49am ET claiming that Apple was about to announce another delay of Leopard, the next version of Mac OS X, as well as a delay for the iPhone, perhaps the most hyped gadget of all time.
"This one doesn't bode well for Mac fans and the iPhone-hopeful: we have it on authority that as of today, the iPhone launch is being pushed back from June to... October (!), and Leopard is again seeing a delay, this time being pushed all the way back to January," Engadget said. Panic ensued. Apple's stock immediately plunged 2.2 percent as investors contemplated another product delay at Apple, following the first Leopard delay as well as the Apple TV delay in February.
Putting aside the fact that this email was a fake (and also lets ignore the fact that people seem willing to make trades based on a blog post ... ), this episode makes it crystal clear that Apple shareholders are losing faith in the company and are unwilling to swallow much more bad news from Apple. A 2.2% drop is prices within minutes of the news breaking is a pretty extreme reaction and may be an indication that confidence in Apple is waning. So far this year we’ve had an Apple TV delay and the release date for Leopard has been pushed back and it seems that this has made shareholders jittery and they’re now demonstrated a willingness to dump stock if there’s a hint of any more delays.
Apple's going have to be very careful in future. The shareholders are watching and are ready to punish slip-ups.
There's no shortage of people who are pretty displeased with Engadget for publishing this information. Here's just a very small sample of the feedback that Engadget has received:
"You guy's suck! Validate before you publish! I just lost $127K in about 7 minutes because you clowns spooked the street and Apple's stock got nailed because of your BS article. YOu F***ers are liable!"
"What a joke. Engadget posts unsubstantiated rumor, AAPL drops. Engadget later posts correction, stock fails to fully bounce back. Reckless and irresponsible, Engadget. Thanks a lot."
"You shills should go to jail for this. You should be responsible and check with Apple before you run garbage like this. You are a cheap freaking rag and cost folks billions of dollars with either your criminal behavior or negligence."