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Steve Jobs Talks New iPods, Health: My One On One

Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduces the new iPod Nano in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008.
AP
Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduces the new iPod Nano in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008.

Steve Jobs is healthy, was taken by surprise by all the speculation about his health swirling around him after his last public appearance in June, and says while he could "stand to gain 10 or 15 pounds," he's doing just fine.

Those comments from Jobs were made to me following my sit-down interview with him after today's product event in San Francisco where he unveiled Apple'snew line of iPods for the holiday shopping season. (You can read live blog of the event with link at bottom of this post).

I spent much of my interview with him focused on those new music players, what he expects from this portion of the Apple business that has slowed year-over-year in recent quarters, as well as his thoughts on the Mac momentum, the macro economy and his thoughts about the recent bugs and missteps by Apple in connection with iPhone bugs and some other software issues.

I agreed not to address the speculation about his health on camera, because Jobs didn't want to go there. As long as I could ask a passing question about his health off-camera, but on the record after the interview, I'd be satisfied. Apple agreed.

So after the interview, I did ask Jobs how he was doing. "I'm doing fine, really," he said. I asked him about the rampant speculation and rumors on the blogosphere about the issue, and whether he was surprised by it. Where did he think it all came from, I asked. He picked up his briefcase and told me it was from "hedge funds with a big short position in Apple."

I think a little context here might be helpful. He said it in passing. It wasn't as if he was lobbing some specific grenade on Wall Street.

I didn't follow up with which funds he was talking about because it wasn't relayed to me that way. He just said matter-of-factly that it's what he thought. Or felt. Nothing specific on which to base it, or maybe there was, but he didn't share that with me.

    • Apple's Jobs Unveils New iPods, But Shares Fall

I think it was an off-hand remark. Nothing more. Nothing less.

The bigger focus of course, is his health. And while he still looks thin, there was definitely a bounce in his step lacking in that June appearance. He reassured me he was doing fine, that he could stand to gain a little weight, but all in all, he didn't know "what else I can do" to for those still concerned about him.

Questions? Comments? TechCheck@cnbc.com

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