Steve Jobs no-show at Verizon iPhone event, the Daily delayed, due to health?
With the news of Apple CEO Steve Jobs taking a medical leave of absence breaking today, a natural question to arise is how long Jobs has been in declining health.
While Jobs and Apple haven't given details on what health issues are plaguing arguably the most charismatic figure in the tech industry, it's worth noting that Jobs didn't show up to Verizon's iPhone 4 news conference last Tuesday, and the rumored unveiling of the Daily, News Corp.'s iPad-only magazine, was also put off, according to reports.
This all prompts yet another question -- did Jobs miss the Verizon event and was The Daily postponed because of his health?
For his part, Jobs is asking for privacy at a difficult time for him and the company that has been the biggest venture of his life.
"I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can," Jobs said in a letter addressing his leave of absence posted on Apple's website this morning. "In the meantime, my family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy."
The hiatus announced today isn't the first for the very private Jobs -- two years ago he underwent a liver transplant and took a six-month leave.
If not for health, Jobs might have been a no-show at the Verizon iPhone event simply because he has a penchant for speaking to the press on his own terms and on his own turf.
Jobs and Apple make no habit of showing up to tech shows and conventions and other events the company doesn't itself control and organize.
Apple has never made an appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and Jobs bailed out of speaking at the Macworld Conference and Expo in 2008, sending Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, in his stead. 2008 also marked Apple's last official appearance at Macworld, after more than a decade of unveiling new products there.
Rumors over why the Daily was delayed have mostly centered on technical details dealing with subscriptions being finalized. The Associated Press reported that the process would take "weeks and not months" and that the Daily was still on track for a formal debut soon.
If the Daily is still on track, it is likely that Rupert Murdoch will unveil the News Corp. product without Jobs on stage alongside him, though it is possible that Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, could appear at the expected event.
It was Cook who showed up in New York for Verizon's iPhone news conference, not Jobs, and it's Cook who will be filling in for Jobs during his leave.
"I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company," Jobs said in his note before adding, "I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for all of Apple’s day to day operations. I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011."
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo: Apple COO Tim Cook (left) and CEO Steve Jobs remove their microphones after a news conference at Apple headquarters in Cupertino on July 16, 2010. Credit: Reuters