A story published on Engadget yesterday, which later turned out to be a hoax, caused Apple's stock to drop 2.2 percent (or $4 billion off Apple's market capitalisation).
The gadget site claimed it had received an internal Apple memo from one of their sources, which said that the iPhone will be delayed from June to October and Leopard to January 2008.
After this report Apple's stock immediately dropped 2.2% but about 20 minutes later Engadget updated the story and a bit later it turned out that the story was based on false information:
Apparently an internal memo was sent to several Apple employees--and forwarded to Engadget--around 9am CT today saying that Apple issued a press release with the news that the iPhone was now scheduled for October, and Leopard was delayed until January. About an hour and a half after that e-mail went out, a second e-mail was sent--this time officially from Apple--saying the first e-mail was a fake, and that the delivery schedule for the iPhone and Leopard had not changed. Engadget then updated its headline as "False alarm: iPhone delayed until October, Leopard delayed again until January.
Commenters on Engadget and Apple investor boards were not amused. Many of those comments are not printable in this space, but it's safe to say that there's some very unhappy Apple shareholders out there today. Apple's stock recovered as the full story emerged, but was still down slightly in afternoon trading.
Engadget said that the e-mail was forwarded by "a trustworthy source," and definitely sent from within Apple's internal e-mail system. "Presumably Apple is now on the hunt for whomever was able to spoof its internal email system," it said in a later version of the post that used a strikethrough font effect on the text of the original report.