Report: Steve Jobs' health issue not life-threatening

More than 'a common bug,' but not cancer, newspaper says

Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs has some health problems, but they are not life-threatening, The New York Times reported.

While Jobs' health problems amount to "a good deal more than 'a common bug,'" they are not life-threatening, and he does not have a recurrence of cancer, the newspaper said on Saturday. The report cited a phone conversation with Jobs but added that he was only willing to talk about his health off the record, so the report provides no specifics about the conversation.

Worries over the health of the popular executive were part of the reason Apple's stock fell last Monday after the company's conference call with investors. A New York Post story earlier that day prompted questions about Jobs' health, and the company declined to comment, citing his privacy.

Apple's silence on the issue did not reverberate well with people worried about the issue. The company's stock ended trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market down nearly 2% last week at $162.12 a share, in part over the concerns. The Times story cited one analyst saying that were Jobs to leave Apple unexpectedly, the company's stock would likely plunge 25%, because he is such a huge part of the company he co-founded.

Jobs' health has been discussed widely since he had a tumor removed from his pancreas in 2004. Most recently, concerns were raised after he appeared on stage looking gaunt at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. It's the second time people have worried over his appearance at the conference. The other time was in 2006.

The Times article could go a long way in alleviating worries about Jobs' health. The executive is credited with most of what goes right at Apple, including the smashing success of the iPod and the iPhone.

Although the newspaper did not share details about Jobs' health, it did share one quote from the phone call that displays some of Jobs' frustration with the concerns.

"This is Steve Jobs," the Times quoted the executive as saying. "You think I'm an arrogant [expletive] who thinks he's above the law, and I think you're a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong."

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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