Update: We’re calling it a fake. Lots of grammatical inconsistencies, along with one misspelling. Combine that with the problems we outline below, and it seems safe to call this one a hoax. You can view the full PDF of the document here. Also, if you are in need of some laughter after this rather disappointing affair you can view the LinkedIn page of the man behind the hoax. He has quite the résumé.
Razorian Fly has received an “Apple Certified Technical Handbook,” which seems to detail the launch dates of multiple high-priority products, such as the iPhone 5, iOS 5, and OS X Lion.
The packet seems to be legitimate, and is simply reminding Apple Technicians to not service hardware running software that is currently in a beta testing form. The highlights of the letter are this:
iOS 5 and OS X Lion are not supported at this time. Support for OS X Lion, will be available on release date, July 14th. iOS 5 Support, will be available on release date, September 7th, in accordance with the iPhone 5 Keynote.
The packet is then signed by Tim Cook, who is the acting CEO of Apple, while Steve Jobs is on medical leave. This brings up the only fishy part that is visible to us: Tim Cook signs the packet as “Chief-Operating-Officer”, which isn’t technically correct at this time. Also, the manner in which he signs it is a bit strange. Of course, it would be easy to argue that Jobs’ and his famous ego still claim the CEO title, and that it is only signed in a unique format because this was never intended to leave Apple and their close circle of Certified Technicians. Also, I’m not sure if Apple routinely informs their Technicians (who are not always Apple employees) of release dates for products.
So, while things look fairly legitimate, this could well be a hoax (as some are stating).