Apple Stock Drops on iPhone, Leopard Rumors

Apple's stock plunged over two percent Wednesday after technology news blog Engadget posted an unsubstantiated rumor claiming that both the iPhone and Leopard had been delayed.

The precipitous drop began after managing editor Ryan Block posted information "on authority" saying Apple had delayed the iPhone until October, and Mac OS X Leopard a second time until January 2008.

"The latest WWDC Leopard beta will still be handed out, but it looks like Apple-quality takes time, and we're sure Jobs would remind everyone that it's not always about 'writing a check', but just how much time are these two products really going to take?" Block wrote.

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Within minutes, Apple's stock tumbled two percent, falling to an Intraday low of $103.42. This was after the stock opened the day up over $1.30 from its previous close. As it closed in on the end of the day's trading, the stock had still not managed to recoup all of its losses.

Apple has a standard procedure of not responding to rumors and speculation, but within a half-hour of the original post, Block updated it saying Apple had contacted Engadget denying the report, saying the memo was a fake.

In defending the site's actions, Block posted the original e-mail it claims was sent out to Apple employees, and the redaction that followed. However, the original e-mail includes a key line that should have confirmed it was a hoax.

"Apple issued a press release today announcing that iPhone which was scheduled to ship in June, has been moved to October and the release date for Mac OS X Leopard has been moved to January next year," it said. But there was no press release.

Reponses to the post, both on Engadget itself and on a Wall Street Journal blog that covered the stock price drop were mixed, although many expressed anger at the trouble the technology blog had caused.

"This little 'miscommunication' cost Wall Street billions," one commenter posted Wednesday afternoon.

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