Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the most widely discussed company on the Internet today. That's no surprise. With the world's largest market cap and legions of loyal followers, the sheer amount of Cupertino speculation on the blogosphere is mind-boggling. In some cases, though, you need to take what you hear with a grain of salt, as there have been more than a few instances of false rumors being reported as news-worthy content.
Making its way across social media and a number of credible sources this morning is a story from Taiwanese tech site DigiTimes, which reported that Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) "is expected to begin trial production of a new version of its [...] iPhone 5S, in December with initial production volumes likely to top 50,000-100,000 units." DigiTimes itself was reporting on a translated report from the Chinese Commercial Times. The report also mentions that Apple's decision is a result of "low yield rates in the production of iPhone 5," which have forced it to hasten "the certification processes for related parts and components for the iPhone 5S."
While this is a tempting chain of logic to follow, one must remember that DigiTimes has been wrong about Apple speculation before. Discussed rather brilliantly by AppleInsider here, "both Commercial Times and DigiTimes have poor track records with respect to Apple-related rumors," as their most infamous blunder was confusing iPad supplies with the production of a non-existent netbook.
Now, CNBC has said that the "Taiwanese technology website that has a mixed track record when it comes to making accurate Apple predictions," but that hasn't stopped the media outlet from pushing the story through its channels. Heavily frequented sites like Business Insider and Mashable going as far as re-categorizing these rumors as a "report." So what's the big deal for AAPL investors?
Well, if true, an earlier-than-normal iPhone 5S production would mean that the tech giant would deviate from its typical fall scheduling format, which can be seen as a sign of strength, but also as a sign of admission from Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) that it wasn't expecting a rosy outlook for the iPhone 5. In the stock's current malaise, which has seen it lose close to 20% over the past two months, this type of information can be taken as a bearish signal by those willing to sell on a rumor that has been improperly justified by the rest of the web.
Our advice: wait for a more credible source to break this story if you're considering using it to make an investment decision on AAPL, and don't be fooled by the headlines.