As one might expect, following the death of Steve Jobs, many rumors and legends have taken on a life of their own. The most recent whispers are related to the notion, proffered by Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar in a recent research note, that Jobs worked on next year's iPhone 5. But while many tend to take the word of analysts with a grain of salt, especially when it comes to the hyper-secretive Steve Jobs, Apple partner Masayoshi Son, CEO of Softbank, recently recounted an anecdote that appears to confirm this speculation.
During an interview conducted last weekend by the U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos, Son talked about his relationship to Apple and Jobs. Son revealed an interesting series of events during the launch of the iPhone 4S.
Son said, "I visited Apple for the announcement of the iPhone 4S [at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California]. When I was having a meeting with Tim Cook, he said, 'Oh Masa, sorry I have to quit our meeting.' I said, 'Where are you going?' He said, 'My boss is calling me.' That was the day of the announcement of the iPhone 4S. He said that Steve is calling me because he wants to talk about their next product. And the next day, he died."
Recounting the episode, Son was visible touched by the Apple co-founder's passion and drive. He went on to say, "Even one day before he passed away, the first subject he wanted to call Tim Cook about…he wanted to talk about the next product… That's the kind of spirit a true entrepreneur would continue to have until they die. He was very sick, very ill. But the announcement of their newest product made him live longer. Physically he could have died much earlier. But his passion, his love for his own company and dream, about the next products, that made him energized."
Son didn't elaborate on which product Jobs discussed with Cook, but given this new information, the speculation that next year's iPhone 5 will be Jobs' final master stroke of product innovation now seems far more credible. You can check out the video here: