Apple lied about Steve Jobs’ health when it tried to quash concerns about his appearance at the WWDC conference last month, Joe Nocera of the New York Times says (this was also our impression). Steve himself also finally weighed in on the matter last week, calling Joe Nocera a “slime bucket.” Thankfully, it doesn’t seem that Steve has cancer.
Apple tells analysts far less about its operations than most companies do. It turns low-level decisions into state secrets. Directors are often left out of the loop. And it dissembles with impunity.
As, indeed, it has in this latest episode. On Wednesday, John Markoff reported in The New York Times that Mr. Jobs had had a surgical procedure earlier this year, the details of which remain unclear. I hear that he has had ongoing digestive difficulties, which have contributed to his weight loss — possibly a side effect of the surgery. And in the weeks leading up to the conference, he came down with an infection, which had a lot to do with why he looked so gaunt. It wasn’t cancer, thank goodness. But was more than a “common bug.” By claiming Mr. Jobs had a bug, Apple wasn’t just going dark on its shareholders. It was deceiving them.
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