Yesterday's announcement that Steve Jobs will be temporarily stepping down as CEO to take a "medical leave of absence" wasn't entirely surprising.
Three weeks before Macworld Expo Apple announced that Jobs wouldn't give his traditional keynote presentation and that Phil Schiller would do the honors instead. Then on the eve of 'Expo Jobs stated that a hormone imbalance was the reason for his recent weight loss.
A post on the Wired blog suggests that Jobs' latest statement is unreliable and that his health may be worse that he's letting on. Many have speculated that Jobs' health was failing based on his recent weight loss leading some analysts to speculate that Jobs' email to staffers yesterday "is the first step in a phased goodbye."
"My bet is he's not coming back," said Roger Kay, an Endpoint Technologies analyst. "Despite all the protestations, I think he has cancer. They talk about digestive this and digestive that, but ... forget all the buzz you're hearing. Just look at the photos." ThinkPanmure analyst Vijay Rakesh said it's been obvious for some time that Jobs' health condition is critical.
However, the New York Times provides a glimmer of hope to Mac fans reporting that Jobs' health issues stem from a problem with food absorption and not from a recurrence of cancer.
Two people who are familiar with Mr. Jobs's current medical treatment said he was not suffering from a recurrence of cancer, but a condition that was preventing his body from absorbing food. Doctors have also advised him to cut down on stress, which may be making the problem worse, these people said.
Whatever the case may be, Apple fans are hoping that the hiatus will help Jobs return to his previous glory and that he returns to Apple in good health this summer.
Photo: Paul Sakuma/Associated Press (via Wired)