Apple’s inexplicable decline due to pure manipulation centered on Steve Jobs health concerns?

“Was Apple’s decline an indication of weakness? No. It was pure manipulation by unscrupulous FUD masters, bloggers, forum posters, hedge fund managers and media types. What an outright disgrace, to play fast and loose with the health of a man just to make a buck,” Zach Bass writes for Investor in the Wilderness.

“In the process, these malfeasants hide behind what they claimed was a legitimate discussion of the speculative case. They know all too well, that in the wake of one of the most important announcements in company history, and the obvious importance Steve Jobs plays in the make up of Apple, that they had the perfect opportunity to spread fear and profit from it. Well, all I can say is that these manipulators have had there day and set into motion a very negative karma,” Bass writes.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Patrice” for the heads up.]

Surely there was, and still is, some of what Bass writes about going on, but it’s a mistake to lump in everyone else who were simply just concerned about Jobs after noticing his physical appearance at WWDC. Like us, even reporters who initially declined to mention Jobs’ gauntness in their reports immediately noticed how he looked. That’s not “pure manipulation,” it’s simply awareness and concern.

In case you haven’t noticed, Apple is a very big part of our life. We know pretty much exactly how Jobs normally looks, we’ve seen his weight fluctuations, and, to us and many others in attendance, he looked very gaunt and tired at WWDC 2008. It was noticeable from the first second he stepped onstage.

This time around we decided, like CNBC’s Jim Goldman, to let video speak for itself. Wrong or right, that’s what we decided based on our assumption that Apple would be out ahead of any real issues this time and inform the world themselves if there was any real health issue with Jobs. We were basically forced to post about this story (or non-story, depending on how you look at it and what, or whom, you believe) when speculation from others began to be widely reported and after receiving emails from MacDailyNews readers were were concerned about Jobs themselves.

As CNBC’s Jim Goldman reports, Apple’s explanation is “that Jobs has been suffering from a [common bug], and thanks to an antibiotics regimen, is getting better daily, [according to] spokeswoman Katie Cotton, vice president of worldwide communications… She also knows that if the statement she’s sharing isn’t true, she risks going to jail. This is material information about the CEO of a company that hinges on his ability to run the place. Apple is synonymous with Jobs and vice versa… If there’s something more serious going on here than merely a nasty virus, and Apple knows it, and lies about it, the consequences would be devastating. Apple’s been through the SEC wringer before and likely doesn’t want to go through that again.”

We agree with Goldman, who writes, “This might be one of those rare occasions where it might be ok to take the company’s statement at face value. That doesn’t mean we stop looking around, but it does mean that all those bloggers and Apple shorts throwing kerosene on the rumor embers are doing so recklessly. And investors ought to be aware of that.” Read Jim Goldman’s full article via CNBC (and watch his interview with Steve Jobs) here.

Just don’t castigate everyone and accuse them of trying to manipulate the market; some people are simply genuinely concerned about Jobs.

And, Apple, with your past history on this issue, and you simply cannot put Jobs out on stage looking like an animated wire clothes hanger and expect the world to swallow your “common bug, getting better with antibiotics” statement hook, line, and sinker. A lot of people just aren’t buying it (or AAPL shares, lately). If Jobs is on a new diet or training for a marathon or something else, it would be a good idea to issue a more comprehensive statement that better explains why Jobs looked and sounded the way he did at WWDC.

See also, Wired’s Betsy Schiffman, who reports, “Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ gaunt appearance at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference on Monday prompted a number of prominent bloggers, with understandable trepidation, to question his health.”

“We wondered if a CEO’s health could be considered ‘material’ — the sort of information the SEC requires a company to disclose to all shareholders equally. So we asked some lawyers,” Schiffman reports. “The consensus: it probably makes sense to disclose something that will affect a CEO’s performance, but there is probably no legal requirement to do so.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Luke” for the heads up.]

[Disclaimer: We are long AAPL.]

51 Comments

  1. yes it is true, we are all concerned, but if apple doens’t want to break the law they have to tell the truth here and that’s why is is rational to believe that he had a “commom bug” (not a virus as goldmann mistakingly reported). being on antibiotics makes it to be a serious infection (montezuma anyone?) which is not unusually coming with severe weight loss. spreading the doubt though (that the spokeswoman of apple is lying) as some of these blogs do is a common shorties-pratice. but i for myself am betting on the”common bug”, seeing this irrational price behavior as an opportunity and therefore officially declare buying 250 share as of this moment. wish me luck.

  2. Jobs isn’t underweight, everyone else is over.
    His face wasn’t gaunt, just what one would look like if they were the ideal weight.

    You don’t see too many fat 90+ year olds do you? Living just a little less gets you longer life. He likely eats very healthy, trying to cure his ills with proper nutrition.

    We all should take some lesson from this if we want to stay healthy, and avoid needing to go to the doctor at 40.

    signed,
    The Doctor

  3. Calm down. The “market” (MDN Magic Word) will cause the stock to reflect its real value over the next few months. What a nice buying opportunity considering AAPL will be over $200 soon. May I even boldly suggest that if the DOW is up today by 100 points you may well see AAPL up $8. today.

  4. On another factual point whilst the Apple spokesperson pointed out that it she was lying then she would go to jail. I accept that but would respectfully point out to her that when SJ had cancer he concealed that from Apple for some 9 months I understand.

    She would not go to jail if she had information concealed from her for which there is a clear precedent.

  5. Steve might have looked thin but he seemed all fired up and willing. Hell, the man is not a machine, this guy has a LOT on his plate.

    Viewing the Keynote I was interested in the lack of cordiality between him and Phil Schiller … or was that just me … or is it old news.

  6. If you watched the iTunes version of the WWDC Keynote Steve does not appear to have lost a lot of weight, nor does he look seriously frail. Which is the two things that everyone keeps talking about. He looks like everyone else that is recovering from the nasty Flu that’s been going around. Look close and you’ll see that Steve was just getting over the nasty flu, he had to suppress coughing a few times and he was breathing a bit hard because if some minor lung congestion. It is nothing more then this. This is a very nasty flu and one in which even a minor case of it can kick even the healthiest person in the nads and make them look a bit run down and sick. My Wife had this flu (and I’ve got it now) it’s nasty with major respiratory congestion, high fever, gastric discomfort, and I could go on. My Wife is 5’4″ and 98lbs. runs 15 miles everyday and never looks sick even when she is sick and with this flu she looked tired and sick. Which means I must look like the walking death because I look sick even if I’ve got a very minor cold or just had to get out of bed an hour or so earlier then normal.

  7. This M$’s doing. Ever since they stopped being a technology company and became a marketing company they trash people and products this way. They probably have some former political strategist on their payroll. Remember M$ has proven that they cannot create relevant technology anymore. What they do is outright copy someone else’s idea, trash talk the original product, try to out market (spend) their competitor and then take a big loss on per unit sales to try to gain market share.

    Even here on MDN..heaven knows how many of these people are Apple and M$ paid bloggers. I am just waiting for the M$ paid rumor mill to get nasty. Maybe one well placed lawsuit will stop this B.S.

    just my $0.02

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