back to article Jobs was 'working on future product day before he died'

Steve Jobs, whose life was celebrated by employees at Apple's Cupertino campus yesterday, was said to be working on the company's next product the day before he died. Jobs lost his lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer on 5 October, and the iPhone maker held a memorial service in his honour on Wednesday. Apple stores around …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Man, that's beautiful

    *Wipes away tear*

  2. My Opinion

    Is it not more likely...

    Is it not more likely that the call to Cook was getting him to go visit Jobs because he knew the end was near - and that either Jobs or Cook used the "future product" line in order to cover that fact?

    Just my own thought...

    1. Ilgaz

      could be true

      As a coincidence I just watched History channel's Jefferson bio and there was something with his last days and his trying to keep living until 50th year anniversary of declaration of independence comes which he wrote.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    that is all.

  4. DZ-Jay

    This is stupid!

    >> "He said that Steve is calling me because he wants to talk about their next product."

    Could it be that Mr. Cook received a distress call from a friend or family member announcing the imminent death of Mr. Jobs or perhaps even an emergency meeting to deal with the urgent matter?

    I can see why Mr. Cook would not just blatantly say "Sorry, I need to cut our meeting short. Steve is on his death bed and I gotta go deal with his family."


  5. Robert Grant Silver badge

    Cashing in on the automatic advertising generated by a person being dead? He'll be better than Tupac for this!

    1. bfeist

      Too funny. I was just about to make a Tupac comment. Apple will be claiming that every new product for years was "Steve Jobs' pet project before he died".

  6. HP Cynic
    Thumb Down

    It's already been said / speculated that he was already on the iPhone 5 when the 4S launched - but we all know that the 5 will be due in about a year so this is hardly news anyway.

    As to the ceremony itself: did not read due to lack of tech-relevance :)

  7. Efros

    Future Product

    The iCasket?

    1. hplasm


      "New...iPad... square corners... get injunctions... on the rest of them ..."

    2. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Surely it's just a larger iPod.

    3. Scorchio!!

      Re: Future Product

      iDeath cam? iFuneral pod? iCrem? iCemetary? iFuneral? Lots more in my head but, all of a sudden, I realise that I too will one day die. Not the greatest invention of life methinks.

  8. Tim Brown 1

    Just for perspective

    I think it's worth posting something I saw on Twitter a few days ago

    The death of Steve Jobs vs the death of Dennis Ritchie:

    1. PJI


      Both were in English and Swiss newspapers. Jobs got more coverage because most people have got direct experience of the results of his work, i.e. they have probably heard of him and certainly got direct experience of what he achieved. Ritchie, excellent as he was, did the stuff that even programmers know, about many years ago and, by the nature of his contribution (actually also not his alone, as with most great work) C etc. are tools of which the vast majority of people, even in informatics, have got little or no idea even if they have heard of it. Most people seem to think C is shorthand for C++, if they know what that is.

      What is wrong with you nasty little people that you feel the need to put two cooperating people and fields of work, types of people, in some sort of artificial competition, the loser being denigrated out of sheer jealousy and ignorance? What use would Ritchie's and Thompson's and Bourne's and .... work have been without people like Jobs and firms like Sun and Apple to use it?

      The chap who can make a wonderful material to build a car engine piston is probably useless at designing a car and selling it. For that you need a BMW, a Ford or a Tata to create a use for it and sell it.

      Grow up.

      As for "slave labour": silly canard that can be thrown at every manufacturer of everything from cheap clothes to radios to tea sets. If you imagine that Samsung or whoever keeps especially nasty conditions for staff producing Apple products, while the makers of your cheap components for your home-assembled Linux or Windows machine pay top rates to happy workers, please give up the drugs and become sober.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        "Grow up" ?

        I'd say face the truth, its not as pleasant as you make it. Although I respect Jobs as a person and also think he died way too young, I have little respect for the way he worked. For example; employee's who are afraid to share the same elevator with him because there would always be a liable risk that the moment they got out they were also out of a job (which has happened on several occasions). That's no way to treat employee's nor is it very professional IMO.

        The sweatshop aspect is also a proven fact.

        I can't comment on the greedy part, but everyone is entitled to his/her opinion.

        Just because someone has another opinion than yours doesn't make them "nasty jealous losers". In fact; starting personal attacks like that makes you look more like such a kind of person, just saying.

      2. hplasm

        I object to this post!

        Not to have it removed, but because you sound like an arse.

      3. Daniel B.
        Thumb Down

        Yes, reallyi.

        The problem being that Ritchie was rarely mentioned, if at all, in the news while Jobs' death "shook the world". Jobs was both a good salesman and a First Class Jerk. While he has done stuff worthy of admiration, hs bad stuff has been pretty bad.

        You can't talk about Good Steve without talking about Bad Steve.

        1. Scorchio!!

          Re: Yes, reallyi.

          "You can't talk about Good Steve without talking about Bad Steve."

          Nor about his personal mistakes. I find this tragic, really I do. What a waste:

      4. Brendan Sullivan

        @PJI Re:Really?

        I think it probably has something to do with the way that Job's death was covered on every news outlet as the loss of a 'great innovator', a 'world-changing' person or the person personally responsible for every major gadget or technological advance of the past 20 years while Ritchie was lucky to get a mention in the obituary section with no one making any serious mention of his contributions to the modern world and the technology we have today.

        Just remember, Jobs gave us shiny white and chrome toys (or rather, approved and occasionally contributed to the appearance and interface design of said toys), Ritchie created the language that is used to write much of the software that makes those toys actually do anything (or at least created the language that the objective-C used for iProds was based on) and co-created the operating system and associated specs that all of Apple's products use to actually work in addition to all of the other places UNIX is used or has served as the basis or inspiration for some other system or product.

        Which one made the bigger contribution to the world we live in? Which one humbled himself and kept on giving? Which one tried to be a genuinely good person? Which one got all the public eulogies and memorials and 'he will be missed' and 'the world is worse off without him?

        The answer to the first three questions is different from the last one.

  9. DAN*tastik

    iAnother iRevolutionary iNvention iFor iSure

    I wonder if it was iOval iCorners or iCons arranged in a spiral fashion?

  10. Craig 12

    I still think he died before the announcement, but they had to delay the news 'til after.

    It's weird how much he's loved, when his company extracted and sits on more money than the US government holds, yet *still* produced their devices as cheaply as possible using as close to slave labour as legally possible. If Apple manufactured all their goods in the US, think how much better his home country would be doing...

    Jobs is a reminder that you can have $8bn in the bank and it still can't help you.

    1. Armando 123

      Keep in mind that Apple may have more money than the US government, but they've earned it. They create products and service that people want and are willing to pay for. Whereas the US government, like all governments, create things that are either unwanted or would be better done by the private sector. Honestly, if they didn't hold a loaded IRS to your head, would you pay for 85% of this stuff?

      Or, to quote the excellent documentary Yes Prime Minister, budgets are not about what's needed, it's about how much you can get and then figuring out what to do with it.

      1. Craig 12

        My main point wasn't to do with whether they earned or deserved the money, but was maybe a little buried under the word 'extracted'. They take the money of (willing) US/European customers, pay a smidgen to China, and keep the majority. The money is gone forever from the communities of the customers, and Apple (and therefore Stevil Jobs) are happy with this due to that unexplainable thirst for never-ending profit.

        Surely after the first $50 billion, you could do business in a way that gives something back?

      2. PAW

        would I pay for these...

        Roads, bridges, fire protection, police, education. Yes I would. Basic research, national weather, Center for Disease Control. Yep. Military protection, legal protection, environmental protection. Yes again. What I haven't spent a penny on despite being in the pc business since the early 1980s, is an Apple product. I've often recommended Apple to people, but I usually warn them they'll get ripped on the price.

  11. fixit_f

    Poor, poor man

    As if he hadn't been through enough, he had to have Coldplay AND "Snorah" Jones perform at his funeral.

    It reminds me of an old Spike Milligan quote from Harry Secombe - "He sent me a fax. It said: 'I hope you go before me because I don't want you singing at my funeral"

  12. Wheaty73

    To the Dennis Ritchie was more important brigade

    He died on the same day as someone more famous. It happens all the time - Mitch Benn even wrote a song about it (quite a good one).

    Geeks care about things like this. Newspapers don't. The tech press covered it perfectly well, and lets face it, even if Jobs hadn't died then he would only have been a footnote in the regular press.

    If you don't like it, tough, that is life (death). Yes the man developed a language that underpins quite a lot of what we do now, and it is quite sad he is dead, but I think you are missing the point.

    1. Captain Save-a-ho

      Most ironic post of the week candidate

      "...but I think you are missing the point."

  13. DrXym Silver badge

    Shades of Gene Roddenberry

    TV shows allegedly created or written by Gene Roddenberry were coming out ten years after he carked it. Given how bad most of them were I assume they just raided his reject bin, random thoughts and other papers and sold shows based on what they found.

    I wonder if the same shit will be pulled by Apple for a while, name whoring Steve Jobs even for products that were in early stages of development when he died or where his input was minimal.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I wonder if the same shit will be pulled by Apple for a while..."

      DrXym...You can be assured of this happening. Chances are Apple can milk this for quite a long time.

      I think it's hilarious that the Apple Lemmings flocked to the stores and online outlets to buy the "last iPhone" done under Boy Wonder...only to now find out that it may NOT be the last iDevice he had influence on.

    2. Ron Christian

      Well of course.

      Seriously, if you were Apple, wouldn't you?

  14. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Revisionist History

    I've no wish to speak ill of the dead but I find that last line a little too sentimentally sweet to swallow.

  15. andy gibson

    Talking about the next product

    Are you sure Jobs wasn't rambling about the old NeXT?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He might have won his "lengthy battle"

    if he hadn't been so egotistical as to ignore his doctors for nine months.

    I'm all for being able to choose your own treatment, but trying to treat [a very treatable form of] cancer with "alternative medicine" was just plain stupid.

    Flame away, alternative medicine fruitcakes and fanbois...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I thought pancreatic cancer was fairly untreatable.

      1. Richard Barnes

        Pancreatic cancer

        Not sure how many medics read The Register, but I'm prepared to be shot down in flames here.

        According to a post I read elsewhere ( from someone who claimed to be a researcher in the field, there are (at least) 2 types of pancreatic cancer. Adenocarcinoma is the common form of pancreatic cancer and has a low 5 year survival rate. The other type is something called a GEP-Neuro Endocrine Tumour, which was apparently what Steve Jobs had and which the author of the article said had a very high (approaching 100% in his research experience) 5 year survival rate. Apparently a significant number of autopsies show an asymptomatic presence of a GEP-NET.

        By all reports, Steve Jobs' GEP-NET was caught early so the likelihood is that he would not have died from what he did die of if he had sought conventional medical treatment as soon as the tumour had been found.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        It still has a 0% survival rate.

        One day we might overcome this.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        "I had a very rare form of pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor, which represents about 1 percent of the total cases of pancreatic cancer diagnosed each year, and can be cured by surgical removal if diagnosed in time"

        Steve Jobs

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Just for accuracy

        Jobs had a endocrine pancreatic tumour. These are usually histologically benign, and have the highest survival rates, in fact most people with an endocrine pancreatic tumour are largely unaffected. Clearly very few people know the full details, but the difference between an endocrine tumour and an exocrine tumour is huge. With an exocrine tumour, 5 year survival is 5% to 6%. With an endocrine tumour survival rates are significantly higher and treatment regimes are both available and highly successful.

    2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      "Alternative medicine has either been proved not to work, or not proved to work. You know what they call alternative medicine that's been proved to work ? Medicine."

      (c) Tim Minchin.

    3. Rainer

      Keyword being "might"

      From all I have read, it's unclear what exactly happened before and immediately after he was diagnosed with that isletcell-tumor.

      There was a very lengthy blog-post doing the rounds a few days ago, from a doctor. It contained a lot of details and insight.

  17. Chad H.
    Thumb Down


    Article seems a but superflous... Unless you've got a lead on what it was he was working on....

    1. Gio Ciampa


      I doubt it - there's a "stories on Apple" quota that need's to be maintained, don'tcha know...? ;^D

    2. Smokey Joe

      We'll just have to wait and see what product Apple decide to associate his name with...

  18. Michael H.F. Wilkinson


    The claim that Steve Jobs may have had a good idea for a product the day before he died is still more believable than a similar claim about Steve Balmer on any arbitrary day.

    More seriously, though I am not an Apple user in any form, I do not find the former claim beyond the realm of the possible. Though the story does have a strong ring of spin on it, it may well be true, and it may be a bit cynical to reject it off-hand (though cynics are right depressingly often). Trying to keep working may be a good way of keeping your thoughts off what must be scary to anyone. It can also take your mind off pain, or give you some positive feeling.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The sweatshop aspect is also a proven fact."

    What people miss is that for some people in these countries it is a choice - either have a job (even it is crappy / poor conditions / long hours) or don't have a job and starve.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I'm all for being able to choose your own treatment, but trying to treat [a very treatable form of] cancer with "alternative medicine" was just plain stupid."

    It's called FREE CHOICE.

    1. John Bailey

      And being free does not stop it being a STUPID CHOICE..

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Keep in mind that Apple may have more money than the US government, but they've earned it."

    This is mis-quoted - it was actually that Apple had on deposit more money than the US government had left for a few days before they extended the debt ceiling - what is actually shows you is how monumentally HUGE the US debt is.

    The reality is anyone has more money than the US Gov't - unless you owe many TRILLIONS on your Mastercard?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "It's weird how much he's loved, when his company extracted and sits on more money than the US government holds, yet *still* produced their devices as cheaply as possible using as close to slave labour as legally possible. If Apple manufactured all their goods in the US, think how much better his home country would be doing..."

    It's called capitalism / competition - you can't manufacture for 5x the cost when your competitors are happy to continue using Chinese labour.

    You are also naive - what we consider a poor wage cannot be compared to other countries that have lower costs of living etc. - here in the UK we have a minimum wage of ~£6 an hour (not far off $10 a hour - which is higher than the minimum in most US states). It's hard to compete with countries where people would work for a fraction of that.

    Believe the average wage in China for computer / IT type jobs is around $750 (about £500) a month.

    1. spiny norman

      This would be a relevant argument if Apple was being squeezed on price by a large number of competitors. As it is, competing products, however they compare technically, are being offered at similar prices, and Apple customers seem remarkably unwilling to consider alternatives, whatever the price.

      Whether Apple could produce their products in the US is another matter - they would presumably have had to build the manufacturing facilities from scratch, rather than outsourcing to existing facilities in the far east. Dell used to do final assembly in the US, but do they now?

  23. Bear Features

    oh my goodness is this ever going to stop? The poor guy is dead. I wish Apple would leave him alone and stop milking it.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


  25. c3

    Fuckin roads, who needs them ?

    And since we're here, disband the police, let everyone get their private police and/or, event better, their private army. Why get tazed by the police when a private "contractor" can do a much better job and kill you with just one bullet ? The taxpayer would pay for the electricity in the Tazer, but not for the private contractor's bullet. The contractor would have to cover his own expenses - for example by forcing your wife and daughter to provide sexual services to the highest bidder.

    PS: If it's not clear, I think you're a "libertard" who's way too confused about what having no government (or "merely" having almost no rules) would mean. I'd recommend reading up on some history, but I doubt you have the mental strength to accomplish such a monumental task.

  26. Antoine Dubuc

    Cheap suspense.

    Oh grow up will ya?

    Cheap thrills from the ending of a B movie.

    He died like Beethoven and Mozart, working at it.

    Give me a f@#$g break, or show me the BEEF.

    What else would keep the share price up, eh?

    Yeah, he was great. He also had great flaws.

    Disgusted with Apple PR.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Notice that all the photos were taken outdoors, since they forbade the photographer from using flash.

  28. Wang N Staines


    WTF, he was still working on his few days on this earth?

  29. Gil Grissum

    iPad mini?

    There has been speculation on an iPad mini. But then, there was a ton of speculation on an iPhone 5. I suppose we'll have to just wait and see.

  30. JaitcH

    Need to get their stories straight

    According to other news sources Jobs was too sick to even climb stairs and that he was curled up in a foetal position and that for the last two days he was just lying in bed waiting for the Grim Reaper to knock.

    Still Apple can claim whatever product was Jobs last and sell a few million more or make it a special and double the price.

    That would be a fitting score that he would appreciate.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Both of those things are true.

      He was too sick to climb stairs and of COURSE he was still working/thinking about Apple. Look at how much it meant to him. Even when he was on medical leave, he was still burning up the phones making calls to Apple and board members.

      As to new products, it would be very atypical of Steve to not have been thinking about product strategy for several years forward. He always was. So I would say chances are pretty good that the next few years of products have Steve's fingerprints all over them.

  31. teknopaul Silver badge


    Apparently lots of foxcomm workers were working on a new Apple product

    the day before they died too.

  32. dcd

    Is that it El Reg?

    Or are there more Steve Jobs stories to follow?

    Asking, as I for one am done with this reverence.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is this supposed to make me want to buy the next product? Exploitation of the dead. What next?

  34. Ron Christian

    And whatever it was... didn't have flash or removable storage. Or a user-replaceable battery.

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