Softbank CEO: Steve Jobs Worked on iPhone 4S Launch Day

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was apparently still on the job the day before he passed away, and an anecdote from Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son backs up that idea. Mr. Son said he was talking with Apple CEO Tim Cook at the iPhone 4S unveiling when their conversation was interrupted by a phone call from Mr. Jobs.

Steve Jobs speaking at a media event in 2010Steve Jobs speaking at a 2010 Apple media event

“I visited Apple for the announcement of the iPhone 4S,” Mr. Son said, according to PCMag. “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.”

Apple introduced the iPhone 4S during a special media event on October 4, but Mr. Jobs wasn’t there. On October 5, Mr. Jobs passed away after a long battle with health problems from a metastatic pancreas neuroendocrine tumor.

Prior to stepping down as Apple CEO, Mr. Jobs continued to stay involved in new product decisions on a regular basis even though he was out on medical leave.

Mr. Cook didn’t offer up any hints as to what Apple’s next product might be, which has led to speculation that Mr. Jobs was calling about the iPhone 5 even as the iPhone 4S was being announced.

Regardless of what product Mr. Jobs was calling about, he remained dedicated to his vision for Apple until the very end.

“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,” Mr Son said. “That’s the kind of spirit a true entrepreneur would continue to have until they die.”