Steve Jobs Makes First Statement Since January Leave

June 22, 2009
He announces that one million new iPhones have been sold in just three days.

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs, in his first statement since taking a medical leave of absence in January, announced on June 22 that one million new iPhones have been sold in just three days. "Customers are voting and the iPhone is winning," Jobs said in a brief written statement.

He said over one million iPhone 3GS models had been sold through June 21 and six million customers have downloaded the new iPhone 3.0 software in the first five days since its release. The iPhone 3GS went on sale in the U.S. on June 19.

"With over 50,000 applications available from Apple's revolutionary App Store, iPhone momentum is stronger than ever," Jobs said.

The two-sentence statement from the iconic Apple chief executive came two days after The Wall Street Journal reported that he had had received a liver transplant about two months ago in Tennessee. The Journal reported that Jobs has been recovering well from the liver transplant and was expected to return to work on schedule later this month, but may initially work part-time. Jobs's health has been the source of intense speculation over the past year, often causing swings in the price of Apple stocks. Apple has been secretive about Jobs's health since he underwent an operation in 2004 for pancreatic cancer but has been adamant that he is returning to the company's helm at the end of June.

Apple vice president of marketing Phil Schiller took the place of Jobs this month at a developers conference presentation and unveiled the iPhone 3GS, which is the first model to have video camera capabilities.

Apple's fortunes have been uniquely linked to Jobs, a visionary co-founder who returned to the company in 1997 after a 12-year absence to turn around the flagging tech giant with innovative and wildly successful products like the iPod and iPhone.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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