Apple CEO Jobs won't deliver Macworld keynote

Steve Jobs, Apple Inc.'s Chief Executive Officer, introduces the new MacBook's aluminum laptop enclosure at a news conference in Cupertino, California, October 14, 2008. REUTERS/Kimberly White

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc said on Tuesday that Chief Executive Steve Jobs will not deliver the keynote address at the Macworld trade show next month, an announcement that could revive concerns about the state of his health.

Shares of Apple fell 5.6 percent in extended trading following the announcement. Apple also said 2009 would be the last year it exhibits at the Macworld trade show.

Instead of Jobs, Philip Schiller, the senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, will give the keynote.

Earlier this year, Jobs, who is often perceived as irreplaceable as Apple’s leader, appeared thin but jaunty as he introduced new iPod digital music players.

Investors have been concerned about the cancer survivor’s health after he appeared thin at another product launch in June. In 2004, Jobs, 53, said he had undergone successful surgery to remove a rare type of pancreatic cancer.

Macworld draws thousands of Apple fans and technology aficionados to San Francisco, where in years past they have been treated to major announcements from Jobs.

“Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers,” the company said in statement.

Last year, the event saw the launch of the MacBook Air, the company’s ultrathin portable computer. In 2007, it was the first version of the iPhone.

Shares of Cupertino, California-based Apple closed at $95.43, up 68 cents on Nasdaq.