WSJ’s Ben Charny: On the sidelines of the All Things D conference, Mr. Wozniak said Mr. Jobs “doesn’t sound like he’s sick,” nor did he seem to be in a health crisis. Mr. Wozniak said, however, he has never directly asked Mr. Jobs how he is.
That’s encouraging. (Though based on Wozniak’s statements, it’s possible he doesn’t really know what health Jobs is in.)
We should find out more in a few weeks at Apple’s WWDC conference. If Jobs is healthy enough to appear on stage, even for a curtain call, that’s very good news. If he comes back in late June, that’s also fine.
If he retires, that’s less fine.
Apple does not necessarily need Jobs for its short-term product rollouts — the company has done about as well as it could have while Jobs has been on leave. (And other execs like Tim Cook, Phil Schiller, and Scott Forstall are competent leaders and have represented the company well in public events.)
But the concern is that even with great leadership, Apple will be weaker if Jobs retires, because he is the visionary who makes even the tiniest final decisions about Apple products.