Apple reportedly trying to time return of Steve Jobs to a major product launch

Thu, Jun 4, 2009

Analysis, News

The Wall Street Journal reports on Steve Jobs’ illness:

While Mr. Jobs has been on sick leave, some Apple directors have gotten weekly updates about his medical condition from the CEO’s physician, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Jobs’s recovery “is coming along” and he is on schedule to return to work later this month, said this person, who has seen Mr. Jobs in recent weeks.

“He was one real sick guy,” added this person. “Fundamentally he was starving to death over a nine-month period. He couldn’t digest protein. [But] he took corrective action.”

Mr. Jobs occasionally has come into Apple’s headquarters since his leave began, said a person who has seen him there.

There has also been talk, or perhaps hope, of Jobs making a surprise appearance at this years WWDC, but that seems increasingly unlikely as the conference nears.  After all, Phil Schiller and other Apple executives are already slated to deliver the keynote.   I somehow doubt that Jobs will show up just as a way of saying, “Oh hey guys, just wanted to stop in and say ‘Hi’ and let you guys know that I’m okay.”

Still, Jobs is poised to return to his CEO duties at Apple at the end of June, and according to the aforementioned WSJ report, Apple might try and time Jobs’ return to coincide with a major Apple sponsored media event.

But two people who do business with Apple said senior Apple managers have told them the company is now trying to coordinate Mr. Jobs’s return with a product launch or public event.

At this point, Apple has more than proved that it can survive quite well without Jobs at the helm – so from that perspective, a triumphant return by Jobs to introduce an amazing new product might seem un-necessary.  But realistically, given Jobs’ personality, you can bet that he’d like to come back with a bang with a product that will knock everyone’s socks off.  With so many pundits so quick to cast-off Jobs while he’s been out, I would imagine that Jobs would like to convey the following message as loudly and dramatically as possible.. “Hey Bitches, I’m baaaack”.

And with the Palm Pre garnering a shit-ton of good press and reviews over the past few days, you can bet that Jobs’ competitive juices are flowing as strong as ever.  It’s almost like Jordan coming back lookin’ to add some more rings to his fingers.




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