One of the problems with Apple's secretive approach to development is that rumours fly faster than Concord in a nose-dive.

You could hear the wailing and gnashing of countless Apple owners world-wide when gadget blog Engadget announced that Leopard wouldn't show until 2008. At Macworld this faces us with a tough choice: do we report the rumour, or wait for clarification?

As it happens I've been caught out by Engadget before. Far be it for me to suggest the site makes up stories to drive traffic for its advertisers; but it's certainly not known for being backwards on driving forwards spurious stories. Good job I did, because Apple quickly moved to discount the story.

It just goes to show that you have to be careful regarding Apple rumours. While it's great fun to speculate, more often than not the speculation is wrong.

Edit: Tom Spring, over at our US site, has an interesting take on things. I agree with his analysis that Engadget was played by a rogue stock market trader - even so I wonder just how much damage the site has done to its reputation vs. how much extra traffic it has got from the attention....