I am back & it feels great, says Apple CEO

Steve Jobs speaks in his first public appearance since recouping from his illness on Wednesday. AFP

On Wednesday, Steven P Jobs talked about his illness and introduced a new iPod Nano. After a five-month absence, Jobs said, “I’m back at Apple and I’m loving every day of it.”
“I feel great. I probably need to gain about 30 pounds, but I feel really good,” said Jobs, Apple’s Chief Executive, in an interview after the event. “I’m eating like crazy. A lot of ice cream.” At the music-themed event, Apple introduced new iTunes software and a new line of iPod Nano music players with video cameras. But the product announcements were eclipsed by the public return of Jobs, five months after he received a liver transplant at a hospital in Tennessee. Jobs needed the operation after suffering from complications from a rare form of pancreatic cancer. “I’m vertical, I’m back at Apple and I’m loving every day of it,” he said on stage, after a standing ovation from the crowd, which included Apple employees and journalists gathered for the news conference. The applause “was an endearing statement for someone who is clearly still recovering,” said Gerry Purdy, a wireless analyst at Frost & Sullivan who has covered the mobile computing industry for 20 years. “You just feel like this is an opportunity to share in the greatness of someone who is an icon in the industry.”

Jobs, who appeared as gaunt as he was when he went on a leave of absence in January, immediately addressed the matter of his health.

“I’m very happy to be here, and thank you all,” he said. “As some of you know, five months ago I had a liver transplant. I now have the liver of a mid-20s person who died in a car crash and was generous enough to donate their organs. I wouldn’t be here without such generosity, so I hope all of us can be as generous and elect to be organ donors.”
But after that gentle opening, Apple’s chief executive, who wore his characteristic outfit of jeans and a black turtleneck, was as tough as ever. He used the news conference to take jabs at competing products from Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Dell and Cisco Systems. Jobs’s public return will reassure many Apple fans and shareholders, who view the charismatic co-founder of the company as crucial to Apple’s success.

“Apple users and investors think the world of Steve Jobs and the world of Apple products, and that he was here today is a statement that he is back in charge,” said Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray. “The wizard of Oz is back in Oz.”
The actual products announced Wednesday were not nearly as magical as recent hits like the iPhone.
The New York Times

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