Jobs' absence from Macworld raises health questions

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Jobs' absence from Macworld raises health questions

Simon Quicke

The Apple faithful gathering at Macworld will miss out on the usual glitz and fanfare that accompanies tomorrow's keynote speech from CEO Steve Jobs after it was announced he was not speaking

The keynote, which last year included the announcement of the iPhone  grabs a great deal of attention and rivals the Consumer Electronics Show for headlines, will be given by senior vice president of worldwide product marketing Phil Shiller.

Not only is Jobs not speaking but the vendor has already announced this is the last Macworld as the event is not being held after this year.

The problem for Apple is that lingering doubts remain over the state of the health of Jobs with the CEO struggling to shake off speculation that he is seriously ill.

This afternoon the vendor issued a statement putting Jobs weight loss down to a hormonal balance problem and pointing out that he remains CEO while he tries to shake off his illness.

Late last year Apple saw its stock drop after it was reported by a 'citizen journalist' on CNN that Jobs has suffered a heart attack.

Some commentators have seen the decision to put another executive in the spotlight as part of a plan to introduce the idea that there might have to be a change in leadership at the vendor.

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