Apple has denied a rumor posted on CNN's iReport page that Steve Jobs suffered a heart attack Friday morning.
The unsubstantiated rumor, posted on the "citizen journalism" section of CNN called iReport, caused a sharp drop in Apple's stock price around 7 a.m. PDT before company representatives were able to deny the charge. Blogs such as Silicon Alley Insider initially published the rumor as written on CNN with the 21st century fig leaf--a question mark at the end of the headline--but updated its story after hearing from Apple representatives. CNN has since removed the post in question.
It's not hard to imagine this was a brazen attempt to move Apple's stock price to someone's benefit, and an investigation will probably follow. The episode is eerily similar to one last year in whichclaiming to be from an Apple employee that the release of the iPhone and Mac OS X Leopard had been delayed. And it also smacks of the questioning Jobs' health based on his appearance.
Updated: Courtesy of our friends at ZDNet, here's a screen grab of the actual post that appeared on CNN's iReport site.