Earlier this week, Apple called an alleged and unflattering e-mail conversation between CEO Steve Jobs and a customer a fake. Now the site that published the exchange is saying the messages definitely came from Jobs' e-mail address and is providing what it says is proof.
Gadget rumor site Boy Genius Report (BGR) on Saturday posted an explanation of how it came into possession of the e-mail exchange and gave a timeline of its discussions with the customer. The Web site also gave some detail into how it verified the authenticity of the exchange for itself before posting the original story, and it presented what it said were the actual e-mail headers generated during the exchange.
On Thursday, Fortune reported that Apple's public relations department said the e-mails attributed to Jobs in the original BGR post had not been written by him. Jobs has reportedly been responding directly to customer e-mails quite a bit lately, and the messages published by BGR were supposedly in response to a customer's complaints about the iPhone 4's widely reported antenna problems. In them, the correspondent identified as Jobs allegedly told the customer "you are getting all worked up over a few days of rumors. Calm down."
In defense of its having published the disputed e-mails, BGR said that prior to publication it had received from the customer the headers from the alleged Jobs messages and that BGR's "tech guys" had examined them.
"Their response was yes, that they were legitimate, and that the entire thread would be extremely hard to fake, if not impossible," BGR said.
Though the blog said it had made a mistake in the original post by attributing one of the more outlandish comments to Jobs--when, BGR said, it had actually been made by the customer--the Boy Genius Report said it had been given access to the customer's Google Apps e-mail client to verify the e-mail headers. The blog also published those headers. BGR said, too, that the customer's AT&T phone records showed that Apple representatives called him in regard to the e-mail exchange.
In addition, BGR admitted it paid the customer a "nominal fee" for the e-mail thread, but stood by the decision to publish the story because it was from Jobs' e-mail address.
"Well, I personally couldn't give a damn if this email was with Steve Jobs himself or not," the BGR post said. "What I care about is whether this was with Steve Jobs' email box, one that is obviously monitored by a bunch of employees at Apple, either in customer service or PR, or both."