SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs poked fun at reports of his poor health on Tuesday as he introduced new iPod nano and Touch music players.
Shares of Apple fell more than 3 percent during the presentation, as frequently happens during eagerly anticipated product launches by the company. Apple last week announced a mystery rock-themed presentation and midway through the presentation there were no major surprises.
Jobs appeared thin but jaunty as he walked around the stage in his trademark outfit of jeans and long-sleeve black shirt in front of a screen which said "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."
In 2004, Jobs, 53, said he had undergone successful surgery to remove a rare type of pancreatic cancer.
Bloomberg News erroneously published a Jobs obituary recently, while investors for months have been concerned about the cancer survivor's health after he appeared gaunt at another product launch in June.
On Tuesday, Jobs introduced a thinner iPod nano for $149 with 8 gigabytes of storage, a new version of the Internet-ready Touch device and said that iPhone users had downloaded more than 100 million applications from a new online store.
The new nano has a "shake to shuffle" feature to change song play.
"I would call it a series of both expected and unexpected announcements. Clearly the new iPod nano in the flesh is certainly more appealing than it's been. It was expected but I think it will sell well in the holiday season," said Michael Abramsky, analyst with RBC Capital Markets. He added that Jobs did not look much different from June.
Apple also said that GE's television broadcaster NBC had rejoined online video and music store iTunes.
"NBC is important content for Apple to have on iTunes, especially with the direction it's taking, which is for iPods to handle more video. Having robust iTunes video is key to their success," said Shannon Cross, analyst with Cross Research.
Apple stock slid $5.57, or about 3.5 percent, to $152.35 in afternoon Nasdaq trading.
(Reporting by David Lawsky and Eric Auchard, writing by Peter Henderson, editing by Maureen Bavdek and Derek Caney. Additional reporting by Sue Zeidler in Los Angeles)
Copyright 2008 Reuters.