Steve Jobs Emails Fake?

BoyGeniusReport (BGR) posted a story a few days back that quoted an email exchange between a disgruntled iPhone 4 customer and Steve Jobs concerning the reception issues with the new smartphone’s redesigned antenna.  Apple quickly dismissed the story as a fraud and BGR ended up revising the story multiple times. The juiciest quote from the exchange has to be the last one in the exchange: “Retire, relax, enjoy your family. It is just a phone. Not worth it.” BGR originally attributed the line to Steve Jobs, but later changed the story and attributed it to the customer.

So what is really going on with those emails that allegedly came from Apple CEO Steve Jobs?

Apple says that the story was faked and that the emails never came from Jobs, but BGR maintains that it is real. The result? BGR has received a pretty brutal beating on the blogosphere. BGR’s evidence for the validity of the story is mostly just the headers in the emails. Since headers in emails contain information that can help track who sent it, they can be used to determine validity to a degree. However, since the emails were forwarded to BGR from a paid source, nothing is certain.

Why does this matter?

The situation showcases the problems with tech news, rumors and getting exclusives. In the end of things, will this affect a single customer who is suffering from problems with their new iPhone 4? Nope. Will this make tech news and rumor sites make sure that they get stories right the first time? Probably a little, for a while. However unscrupulous operators abound and as long as websites are willing to pay for unconfirmable tips, fake stories will pop up. Just this morning I was browsing Google News and saw a website claiming that Verizon already released a CDMA iPhone 4. The story was written in horrible English and blatantly false, but hey, someone out there is probably already debating whether or not they should run with the story and cite the website as a source.

Is the online blogosphere a little too full of itself? Angry that nonsense like this distracts everyone from real stories about the technology we love? Let me know if you have an opinion or just want to get back to looking for when Apple will release the software patch that should fix some of the iPhone 4’s reception issues (aboutthan two weeks from now is the word on the block).

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