While all the fancy new iPad 2 specs announced today were exciting, it was Steve Jobs himself making the announcement that was the most remarkable of all given his health. Though rumors began circulating Tuesday night, his appearance today was largely a surprise, and a welcome one at that.
In 2003, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer; in 2009, he had a liver transplant; and in January, he went on medical leave. Rumors have been circulating that his health is failing even further; some tabloids recently claimed he had only six weeks to live. So his showing up today was major.
He was thin, but he didn't appear weak, and came through with the same contagious enthusiasm that has earned him a cult-like following. "We've been working on this product for a long time, and I just didn't want to miss the day," he said, but made no other mention of health.
On screen he certainly didn't appear to be a man with just weeks to live, but pancreatic cancer is a highly deadly disease. While circumstances vary, the average five-year survival rate is just 4 percent.
Our most cynical instincts make us question if today's announcement could be a swan song for Jobs, that perhaps rumors are true and he's not going to be around for long. Perhaps he knows the end is nearing and may have wanted to feel the rush of making a major product announcement one final time.
But our optimistic nature is buoyed by his appearance today and thinks perhaps this is the beginning of his comeback, that he's healing and will be around for many more generations of iPads to come. Let's hope so, anyway.
Why do you think Steve Jobs chose to make the iPad 2 announcement himself today?
Image via Danny Novo/Flickr