In an email subsequently released to the media, Steve Jobs informed the Apple team that he will take a medical leave of absence to focus on his health. Jobs will continue as Apple's CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company.
Tim Cook, chief operating officer, will be responsible for all of Apple’s day to day operations.
Apple recently made a stir in the photovoltaics sector when it won a patent for a mobile device that derives power from a solar panel in a "plug-and-play" configuration. The patent shows that the solar panel would be removable and could be used to charge the device or batteries/accessories.
The company also influenced the MEMS microphone sector in 2010 with incorporation of MEMS microphones into the iPhone 4.
The PV and MEMS sectors will watch carefully to see how Apple's technology and design decisions are affected with Jobs on this medical leave. The Associated Press reports that Cook spent significant time at IBM before joining Apple, where he has taken the reins twice due to Jobs' medical leaves (2004 and 2009).