Is Apple preparing the ground for Steve Jobs' early return? In Saturday's The Wall Street Journal it was reported that Jobs was deeply involved in important decisions at Apple, despite a leave of absence announced in January. Reportedly, Jobs still has his hands on the controls for Apple's business strategies, products, product plans, and upcoming project development.
Unidentified sources, apparently in the know about Jobs' involvement, say in the WSJ report that Jobs had a big say in the user interface for the recently announced iPhone operating system 3.0. The sources also revealed that Jobs is helping with new iPhone models and some kind of Apple tablet device--reinforcing the two most popular Apple rumors-du-jour.
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While the Journal's report could just be a typical information leak, it seems conveniently timed to me. We're just months away from Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference in June, and a report comes out saying Jobs is in control of the company's product line and happily developing Apple gear from the comfort of his living room. Face it, Jobs is a great resource for Apple to tap into to generate buzz for itself in the face of what could be another snoozer at this year's WWDC. So far, WWDC hype isn't coming close to hitting the fever pitch it has in the past. Rumors of new iPhone models and a new tablet -- even if they are true -- are not expected to make an appearance at WWDC.