This morning Apple released a statement from its CEO Steve Jobs announcing that he would be taking another medical leave of absence. Cue the reporters warning of a fall in the price of Apple's stock. Nice guys.
The announcement, for me, goes a long way in explaining why News Corp.'s event scheduled for Wednesday of this week was pushed back. The event, to be held in San Francisco, was to feature both Rupert Murdoch and Steve Jobs, would have unveiled News Corp.s new iPad-only news product called The Daily.
My original reaction to the postponement was that Apple's next iOS update must not be ready to be released. Without it, my thinking went, Murdoch's new news product might not be able to launched due to needed changes in the way subscriptions could be sold through the App Store.
But this morning's announcement shows that Jobs was probably not going to be able to make the event on Wednesday -- and that would have led to rumors galore. I still think The Daily probably needs the iOS update, but who really knows now.
Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, will probably be the person who leads the next Apple event. While the event has not been publicly announced yet, it will probably occur within the next four or five weeks and will unveil plans for iPad 2.
Rumors of the specs of the latest version of Apple's tablet are pretty uniform at this point: added front and rear cameras, a slightly redesigned form -- flatter, faster processor and more RAM. The wildest rumor so far concerns the resolution of the display.
For media companies developing for the iOS platform, the absence of Jobs from the corporate office may put a freeze on things for a while. That is not good news for those who have been hoping that Apple will change its subscription policies, though it may have been wishful think in any case.