Steve Jobs 'fesses; bloggers boggle

In Tuesday's IT Blogwatch, Richi Jennings watches Steve Jobs confess he does have a medical condition after all. Not to mention Tony the Tiger as you've never seen him before...

Gregg Keizer reports:

Apple logo
Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs said today that a hormonal imbalance has caused the weight loss that had fueled speculation he was seriously ill. He is currently undergoing treatment.

In a rare open letter to the Apple community, Jobs acknowledged his weight loss, but said his doctors believed, and tests had confirmed, that a "hormone imbalance has been 'robbing' me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy."
Apple had come under fire from several quarters since Jobs' health became a matter of concern to investors last June, when he appeared at Apple's annual developer's conference looking gaunt. Most talk centered around the possibility that he again had cancer ... Apple officials pegged his weight loss to a "common bug."

Seth Weintraub adds:

The letter said that treatment should be straightforward and Jobs should see results by Spring [and] alludes to the fact that Jobs chose to figure out the weight problem rather than spend December preparing for Macworld's presentation. The illness they've found, however, isn't life threatening.
Apple's board also issued a statement in support of the CEO.

Harry McCracken dons his white coat:

I’m neither a doctor nor an Apple shareholder, and there are few things more personal than one’s health. So I don’t like talking about Steve Jobs’ physical condition–especially when the only thing there is to write about is gossip.
But now Jobs has ... addressed months of rumor about his weight loss and recent scuttlebutt that he opted out of giving tomorrow’s Macworld Expo keynote because he was too sick ... I hope that [this] ... stifles further rumors rather than spawning a flurry of new ones. Aren’t you glad that your weight isn’t the subject of an avalanche of speculation–some of it by people who apparently thought they knew more about Steve Jobs’ health than the man himself did?.

Owen Thomas reads between the lines:

Steve Jobs himself has admitted that his declining health is keeping him from taking the Macworld stage tomorrow ... The letter is an obvious response to the furor unleashed by a post on the gadget blog Gizmodo, in which a source privy to Apple's product secrets claimed Jobs's health was "rapidly declining."
Why did Apple PR lie and say everything was fine? ... The lack of clarity about his future has become an albatross for the company. The stock market hates risk ... as far as investors are concerned, Jobs is already dead to them. Which is the real reason why we're seeing ... Phil Schiller ... give Jobs's keynote speech ... it's time for his company to act like he's gone.

Nicholas Carlson compares and contrasts:

One interesting side note is that  an online media outlet most people would call a blog got the story right and a reliable old media brand did not.
We don't mean to single out [CNBC's Jim Goldman] on this one (most major media got the Macworld explanation wrong or punted on the question). But it is worth noting that one of traditional media's self-professed differentiators over "blogs"--that traditional media has actual sources--continues to erode.

Charles Arthur checks his watch:

The timing of the announcements is fascinating: rather than putting paid to speculation, as could have been done at the time, Jobs and Apple put out their statements, blaming his weight loss on a "hormone imbalance", just as MacWorld is getting prepared... and Steve Ballmer is practising his speech for CES on Wednesday.

Effortlessly, Jobs has wrenched the spotlight away from CES and MacWorld without even going there.

John "Anne Ant" Biggs has another theory:

So there we have it: Steve isn’t so sick, Apple isn’t pulling out of MacWorld because it thinks the show sucks, and we’re all morons for prying into Steve’s business. Here’s my take:
  1. Steve is really sick.
  2. Apple is pulling out of MacWorld because it sees the ROI on big shows as less than nothing.
  3. We’re all morons for prying into Steve’s business.

And finally...

Buffer overflow:

Other Computerworld bloggers:

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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 23 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email:

Previously in IT Blogwatch:

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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