Report: Steve Jobs' health issue not life threatening

Apple's stock fell last week after the company declined to comment on Job's health

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

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. The report cites a phone conversation with Jobs, but adds 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 his health, and the company declined to comment, citing Jobs' privacy.

Apple's silence on the issue did not reverberate well with people worried about his health. The company's stock ended trading on the Nasdaq down nearly 2% last week at US$162.12, in part over health concerns. The New York Times story even cites 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 tumour removed from his pancreas in 2004. Most recently, concerns were raised after he appeared on stage looking gaunt at the Worldwide Developer's Conference in June. It's the second time people have worried over his appearance at the conference. The other time was in 2006.

The New York 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 iPhone.

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

"This is Steve Jobs," the New York Times quotes 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."

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