The now-infamous leak of a lost iPhone 4G prototype to tech blog Gizmodo has caused "huge" damage to Apple's earnings, the company is saying, reports CNN. "By publishing details about the phone and its features," Apple attorney George Riley told police investigating the sale of the phone to Gizmodo, "people that would have otherwise purchased a currently existing Apple product," decided to wait for the next release, "thereby hurting overall sales." Does Apple have a case?

What malarkey: Apple has released new iPhones at their World Wide Developers Conference each year "for the past two years," says Chris Weiss at Gadget Crave. So "any intelligent consumer" should have been able to "deduce that a new iPhone is coming in June" and managed to make the momentous decision to wait "without Gizmodo’s story."
"Leaked iPhone called 'immensely damaging' to Apple profit"

How could it not affect sales? The coverage of the leak was "so widespread and mainstream," however, says Chris Rawson at The Unofficial Apple Weblog, that the "hold off" strategy has reached "even average" buyers who don't track Apple's release patterns. Apple could easily be telling the truth, but we won't know "just how immense the damage has been" until its July earnings report.
"Mac sales going strong, but iPod sales down"

Regardless, Apple's whining isn't flattering: "Could the iPhone leak put a tiny dent in two months worth of iPhone 3GS sales as consumers await the 4G?" asks Andrew Hickey in CRN. "Perhaps. But saying the leak is 'huge' and will be 'immensely damaging' is hyperbole." Rather than complain about minor losses, "Apple should embrace the leak as free advertising and publicity" and move on.
"Apple iPhone 4G leak won' put 'huge' hurt on sales"