Apple head honcho Steve Jobs yesterday took time out from launching a thinner iPod nano, and a new thinner iPod touch and iPhone software to quell potentially damaging speculation about his health.

The charismatic 53-year-old Apple boss survived pancreatic cancer five years ago and his well-being has recently been the source of much rumour, with investors worried about the future of the company if Jobs had to step aside. Jobs himself recently admitted that he had been ill, but he said he was now well.

On stage at Apple's San Francisco launch yesterday, looking pretty thin himself, Jobs referenced and made light of the ill-health speculation by quoting Mark Twain's famous phrase: "reports of my death are greatly exaggerated".

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