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.
That post led to skittish investors dumping the stock to the tune of $4 billion! (per TechCrunch). The stock has recovered, but some investors may not.
So, one lesson is that blogs are powerful. This should be news to no one.
The more important lesson (which should be news to no one) is that blogs, even in this situation, try their best to vet.
Before you label Engadget as a blog unconcerned with the truth because they got this wrong, please check out their explanation.
For a reporter, this kind of thing -- an internal memo to a company's employees -- is solid gold. You don't often get inside information more sound than a memo stating plans -- and it is not uncommon to see these sorts of internal emails quoted in mainstream newspapers and magazines -- but we are still aware of precisely how dangerous it would be to leave any story at that. So after verifying that the email was indeed sent to internal Apple email lists -- but before publishing anything -- we immediately contacted Apple PR, trying to reach our contacts on their PR team that handles iPod / iPhone matters. It was before business hours on the West coast, though, so we even called an Apple PR manager via their private cellphone in search of a statement. When no one was immediately available, we left voicemail and email.
What it truly means is that (and this should be news to no one) PR professionals will always, always have to be on the clock. Sorry about that.