For several months there have been rumors about the fragile health of Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs. During his last product presentations he looked gaunt, as if he were going through a strict diet or some kind of health problem. We all remember, he survived a rare pancreatic cancer that was kept in secret, even to member of the Board of Directors.
Jobs is joking about the subject every time it is addressed by reporters and Apple PR Department is saying everything is fine with Jobs, but the rumor mill keeps on going.
In September, Apple CEO Steve Jobs prefaced the introduction of the new iPod and iTunes 8, by standing in front of a screen that showed the words: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
On December 17th, Apple made public that Jobs would not speak at the Macworld Expo to be held on January 4-8. There’s plenty of speculation about why Jobs won’t be at the trade show, a traditional launch pad for Apple’s new products: Jobs’ health, a possible squabble with the company that organizes Macworld or the absence of new products to announce.
This announcement has made Apple stockholders nervous and the vast armies of Apple Evangelists fearful that Jobs would soon leave Apple and name a successor. For both Apple stockholders and “Mac Faithful”, Steve Jobs represent a brand that symbolizes both style and simplicity.
Steve Jobs, simply, is Apple. His non-appearance at Macworld sets off alarm bells for good reasons, whether it’s because the company is in transition, Jobs is ill or there is a trade show spat to blame—or none of the above.
Second to the news of Jobs’ non-appearance at Macworld was Apple’s announcement that 2009 will be the last year it takes part in the event. (Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller will give the keynote address next month at the San Francisco event.)
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, in a report on Silicon Alley Insider, said, “While we do not believe that this change provides any indication regarding Steve Jobs’ health, we do believe that it is a sign that we are in the early stages of changing roles in Apple’s management structure.”
It is very possible that 2009 will be the year of a Job-Less Apple. The writing is on the wall. Good Day.