Things haven't really calmed down ever since Steve Jobs so elegantly announced that he was taking a six-month leave of absence. Recently, communication between Apple and its partners has been productive and the company is firing on all cylinders.
In regards to Steve Jobs and his return in June, there's a few interesting pieces of information to be shared. With pretty close ties into the world of NBC, I personally know that at least one of the NBC Universal comedy shows that have recently mocked the Apple CEO, 30 Rock and Chuck, did it with underlying security (knowledge of the situation) that he was coming back in June and doing fine. Otherwise these parodies would not have been ok'd.
A report from the Wall Street Journal fleshed through Gizmodo explains that "Members of Apple's board of directors are monitoring the situation directly, communicating regularly with Mr. Jobs's physicians." This seems absolutely normal and makes sense given such a long leave of absence. Of note, leaked photos of the next generation iPhone made the rounds back in the first half of February, and one can only assume that accelerated hardware will help build a solid foundation for iPhone 3.0.
The WSJ goes on to explain that Jobs has been extremely involved in Apple's recent happenings around iPhone 3.0. "People privy to the company's strategy say Apple is working on new iPhone models and a portable device that is smaller than its current laptop computers but bigger than the iPhone or iPod Touch." This has been a long-standing Apple rumor, similar to that of the iPhone before the iPhone was officially unveiled. It's been understood that Apple isn't particularly interested in getting involved in the netbook game, no matter how lucrative others think it is... Enter the tablet.
The latest, and perhaps most reliable tidbit of information was posted by TechCrunch back in December. In regards to a "slightly larger iPod touch-like device," - "TechCrunch explains that they’ve received the same or similar information from three independent sources close to apple." - “…expect a large screen iPod touch device to be released in the Fall of ‘09, with a 7 or 9 inch screen. Prototypes have been seen and handled by one of our sources, and Apple is talking to OEMs in Asia now about mass production.”
It seems that things are heating up once again on the Apple front. We're more than half way through Jobs' scheduled absence, and June is right around the corner. Let's hope these hints stay positive and we keep hearing about productive talks coming out of Cupertino.
Enjoy the videos below...