Apple frontman Steve Jobs has taken a six month leave of absence over health related issues, sparking the usual concerns over the future of the company.

Last week, the chief executive addressed the Apple community, revealing that a hormone imbalance was to blame for his health issues, in the wake of his battle with pancreatic cancer a few years ago. But this week Jobs announced that his health issues are more complicated than first thought and that he would be taking six months leave.

In his absence, chief operating officer Tim Cook, will take the helm.

Apple is unusual in the tech world in that the company is more closely tied to the health of its CEO that at any other firm. Rampant speculation on Jobs’ health over the past year have seen Apple’s share price take a battering on more than one occasion. And the company’s decision to make this year’s Macworld Expo its last, as well as Jobs’ decision not to do the keynote, has only thrown fuel on the fire.

In iPhone news this week, Apple appears to have relaxed restrictions on its App Store approval process, allowing third party web browsers into the marketplace.

The move marks an about face on previous guidelines which banned third party apps from replicating the functionality of the native iPhone installation. Four web browsers – Edge, Incognito, Webmate, and Shaking Web – are now available in the App Store, and all are based on Apple’s WebKit engine, which powers the iPhone’s version of Safari.