Apple CEO Steve Jobs has issued a comment on yesterday’s report that Apple intends discontinuing its support for Java on OS X.

As reported yesterday, an Apple tech note said:

As of the release of Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 3, the version of Java that is ported by Apple, and that ships with Mac OS X, is deprecated.

This means that the Apple-produced runtime will not be maintained at the same level, and may be removed from future versions of Mac OS X. The Java runtime shipping in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, will continue to be supported and maintained through the standard support cycles of those products.

A Java developer from Portico Systems emailed Steve Jobs asking about Apple’s future plans for Java, Jobs’ answer suggests Apple will allow Sun itself to develop the Mac runtime for Java, as reported by MacRumors.

Sun (now Oracle) supplies Java for all other platforms. They have their own release schedules, which are almost always different than ours, so the Java we ship is always a version behind. This may not be the best way to do it.

The move then seems likely to be Apple’s response to earlier criticisms that its update schedule for Java lags behind that of Sun/Oracle itself.

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