Conflicting reports about Apple (AAPL) boss Steve Jobs’ health: A “solid” Gizmodo source says Jobs’ health, not politics, is the reason why Jobs is skipping his annual Macworld Expo keynote. CNBC’s Jim Goldman follows up saying that’s not true: He says the same source who told him two weeks ago that Jobs was fine now says nothing has changed.
Specifically, there’s “no new news” about Jobs’ health, according to Goldman’s sources. He’s “totally fine as far as we know,” Goldman said.
Citing sources, Goldman says Jobs is not delivering his keynote next week because Apple no longer wants to invest in that particular conference — the same explanation Goldman’s sources gave earlier this month.
We’ll have to trust Goldman and his source. Because Apple’s response to Reuters is hardly a denial. “When asked about Jobs’s health, the spokesman said ‘if ever Steve or the board of directors decided that he was no longer capable of doing his job as CEO of Apple, I’m sure they will let you know.’ “
Apple officially declined to comment to CNBC and has not commented to Gizmodo. We’ve separately asked Apple for comment and will update if we hear back.
Apple’s stock shot down about 3.4% on the report but has recovered and is now down just 0.7% on the day to $86.00.
We have no inside information, but it’s plausible that Jobs’ health is the reason — or one of the reasons — he’s not giving the keynote at Macworld next week.
As we noted earlier this month, there are plenty of possible explanations as to why Jobs won’t be giving the speech: Perhaps it’s just that Apple is phasing out trade shows, or that Steve wants to share the limelight with other Apple executives. Maybe Steve wants to pop out of a cake and surprise everyone, or maybe Apple and Macworld organiser IDG hate each other.
But given the late date that Apple announced it’s pulling out of Macworld, it’s also plausible that Steve’s health is the reason.
Earlier this month, CNBC’s Jim Goldman reported that Steve isn’t sick, citing Apple sources. We hope Jim is right. But at this point, we can’t rule it out as a possibility.
And whether Gizmodo’s source is plugged in or just making stuff up, it’s clear that this issue isn’t going away any time soon.
The good news: Apple has a talented management team, including marketing boss Phil Schiller, who will deliver the Macworld keynote next Tuesday. (Tune in here for live coverage.) That will, in theory, help Apple continue to deliver quality products and financial results once Steve eventually retires.
The bad news: There’s a perception — and certainly a healthy dose of reality — that Jobs is linked to Apple’s vision and products more than any of his rivals’ CEOs. Which means that even after Apple has announced a succession plan, there will still be extreme interest and speculation about Steve’s health from Apple fans, investors, and media.
Gizmodo: According to a solid source, Apple misrepresented the reasons behind MacWorld and Steve Jobs’ keynote cancellation. The real cause is his rapidly declining health. In fact, it may be even worse than we ever imagined:
Steves health is rapidly declining. Apple is choosing to remove the hype factor strategically vs letting the hype destroy apple when the inevitable news comes later this spring.
This strategic loss will be less of a bang with investors. This is why MacWorld is a no-go anymore. No more Steve means no more hype. Saying they are no longer needing [MacWorld] is the cover designed by the worldwide “loyalty” department.
This source has repeatedly been 100% correct before. Those times, however, were always related to news and images of unreleased Apple products.
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