The WSJ this evening said that Steve Jobs’ status is … status quo. He’s running the ship from home these days making important decisions from the comfort of his own couch. He’s expected back in, yep, June. Exactly like the plan it seems. That’s even true for operations inside Apple:
People inside the company, business partners and others who are familiar with the situation say life at the Cupertino, Calif., company remains much the same as it did before.
Those at other corporations who deal with the company also say their interactions with Apple haven’t changed. Mr. Cook, who had already been handling most of Apple’s day-to-day operations, has kept tight control over the company, say business partners and those inside Apple.
But the Journal does say that Apple’s board is communicating directly with Jobs’ doctors. Whether that is perceived as lack of trust, or more likely, covering their own backsides in light of the current SEC probe into allegations that there were misleading statements regarding Jobs’ health, is uncertain.
More interestingly, they mention (or confirm) that there might be something shiny on the horizon:
Apple co-founder Mr. Jobs, who is considered the company’s creative leader, is also involved in the development of future projects, they say. People privy to the company’s strategy say Apple is working on new iPhone models and a portable device that is smaller than its current laptop computers but bigger than the iPhone or iPod Touch.
Unsurprisingly, Jobs didn’t respond to requests for comment. Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said: "Steve continues to look forward to returning to Apple at the end of June". – That sounds very much like no WWDC.
The credibility of the story headed south from there with the Journal quoting infamously ill-informed Shaw Wu as saying he expected Jobs to recede into a chairman role and Tim Cook taking over as CEO in the long term.