Steve Jobs Still Close with Apple

People close with Apple claim Mr. Jobs continues to be involved with the company's strategies and product development

People familiar with Apple's plans have revealed that Steve Jobs is actively reviewing the development of iPhone OS 3.0, as well as the development of new hardware products, remaining “closely involved in key aspects of running the company,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

In the report, people familiar with the matter are cited as saying that while Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook runs the day-to-day operations at Apple, Steve Jobs continues to work on the company's most important strategies and products from home. For example, these people say, Mr. Jobs regularly reviews products and product plans, and played a crucial role in the development of iPhone OS 3.0. Additionally, the same report outlines, Apple's CEO “is also involved in the development of future projects,” including “new iPhone models and a portable device that is smaller than its current laptop computers but bigger than the iPhone or iPod Touch.”

Steve Jobs, who was treated for a rare form of pancreatic cancer years ago, took a medical leave in early January, posting an open letter to the Apple Community, as well as sending an email to staffers revealing that he would be taking a medical leave, but that he would be returning to Apple in six months' time. Apple's CEO added that, despite his absence, he would remain involved in "major strategic decisions.” Until now, it has been highly unclear just how involved Mr. Jobs continued to be.

Naturally, Mr. Jobs didn't respond to requests for comment, The Wall Street Journal reports. However, Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said that "Steve continues to look forward to returning to Apple at the end of June," as promised.

It would be only fair for Mr. Jobs to showcase the company's latest achievements in hardware and software this summer, including new iPhone models along with a fresh OS version, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, as well as the highly anticipated (yet unconfirmed) Mac tablet / Apple netbook.

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