Jobs: Our "Hearts Feel the Suffering" for Katrina Victims; Little Impact on Apple (UPDATE)

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said Friday people everywhere are feeling for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, but that the damage and economic affects will have little negative impact on Appleis business.

In an interview with CNBC television Wednesday, Mr. Jobs said, "I think everybodyis hearts feel the suffering that the people are going through. A lot of technology companies are contributing to the Red Cross and contributing technology to aid in the re-building and really just to get peopleis lives back a little bit right now."

Mr. Jobsi comments were his first public reaction to the hurricane disaster. He was not asked what Apple Computer was doing to help victims and did not volunteer details.

Appleis senior manager of corporate media relations, Steve Dowling, did not return repeated phone calls and e-mails from The Mac Observer requesting details on what the company is or is not doing to help those impacted by the hurricane.

As for the the impact on Apple as a public company from the Hurricane and the aftermath, Mr. Jobs said there would be little. "Iim not sure itis going to affect our business that much," he said.

The Congressional Budget Office reported Wednesday that it had told congressional leaders that Hurricane Katrina could reduce employment this year by 400,000 jobs and could slow the economyis expansion by as much as a full percentage point. The Bush administration will ask Congress to approve $51.8 billion to pay for the recovery from Hurricane Katrina, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said Wednesday. The funds would be in addition to the $10.5 billion already approved by Congress.