A recent 'heart attack' story which was false, and quickly denied by Apple but not quickly enough to prevent the stock price falling, proves that anything related to Steve Jobs leaving the helm of Apple is a hot potato right now. And while the Fake Steve Jobs is dead, the real chap has neither departed from this life nor is he terminally ill as some reports have suggested.

However, now reports are starting to appear in respected online news journals that suggest Steve Jobs is preparing to quit while he and Apple are ahead of the game. While The Inquirer takes the less than serious position of Jobs as some kind of cult leader and suggests he might be ready to ascend if not to heaven then to "a nice retirement home" the reports seem to have stemmed from Gizmodo which analysed the Jobs speech at the recent new MacBook launch.

"Steve Jobs is leaving Apple. Not tomorrow, but probably very soon" Gizmodo says, and bases this around the fact that he did not take centre stage at the launch but instead let other key members of the Apple team do much of the talking. It concludes that the event was used to get the message across that if Jobs moves on then nobody should panic and Apple will survive.

Unsurprisingly, Apple did not respond to my request for a departing comment from Steve...