The Web site Gizmodo got Apple watchers into a dither this afternoon by reporting that CEO Steve Jobs is in rapidly declining health. That's the supposed reason for Jobs not delivering the keynote address next month at Macworld (a sure thing on the techie calendar for years). From the Gizmodo source:
Apple is choosing to remove the hype factor strategically vs letting the hype destroy apple when the inevitable news comes later this spring. This strategic loss will be less of a bang with investors. This is why MacWorld is a no-go anymore. No more Steve means no more hype. Saying they are no longer needing [MacWorld] is the cover designed by the worldwide "loyalty" department.
I’m not exactly sure what that means, but CNBC's Jim Goldman says that according to his sources Jobs is "totally fine as far as we know." That sounds a little wiggly, as well.
If Apple is lying, holding some truth back, manipulating its own stock by manipulating the truth, someone — indeed a lot of people — could be going to jail. Do I like the way Apple has handled this ongoing story? No. But do I traffic in rumors to fill the void the company has created by not choosing to be more forthcoming about Jobs' health? Absolutely not.
Sounds like nobody knows nothing. Apple stock took a brief hit on the report, but it has since recovered.