Apple (AAPL) is not creating quite the buzz it expected ahead of its highly anticipated event on September 9, when it’s expected to take the wraps off a new iPhone and iWatch.
The company’s stock had its worst day in more seven months yesterday, with shares tumbling more than 4% on Wednesday, and was little changed by midday. The stock slide comes after the company’s iCloud services was hit by a hacking sandal in which nude photos of celebrities were stolen and posted on the Internet.
“The iCloud hacking, and the response to it, is a pretty big deal,” said Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Aaron Task. It raises concerns if your information is safe on Apple products, Task said.
“After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet,” Apple said in a statement. “None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved."
Task said it was a bad PR move by Apple to say they were not hacked, especially if they’re going to try to convince customers to put personal information about their finances and spending on something like the iWalllet, which is expected to be unveiled next week.
Related: Apple iCloud: how safe is your data?
To make matters worse, Samsung beat Apple to the punch yesterday by unveiling a curved ‘phablet,' and a virtual reality headset. The devices are set to debut in October just in time for the holiday shopping season.
Apple CEO Tim Cook will have to put on quite a show for the first major new product launch since the death of founder Steve Jobs three years ago.
Task said Cook has done an admirable job since taking over at Apple, and the stock has performed phenomenally since its quarterly earnings report in July beat estimates and its 7-to-1 stock split. The stock has gained more than 30% over the past year.
“The iPhone 6 is going to be a major launch for the company and if it falters or fails, which I don’t think it will, but if it does ... the scrutiny will be intensely focused on Tim Cook,” Task said.
We’ll have to wait four more days to find out if Apple could continue to shine in the post-Jobs era.