New York: Apple Inc said chief executive Steve Jobs, who has been on medical leave, will open up the iPhone maker’s annual developers’ conference next week with a keynote speech.
Apple shares rose 1 percent after it said on Tuesday that “Steve Jobs and a team of Apple executives will kick off” the conference on 6 June. The statement did not make clear exactly what role Jobs would play or if he is coming back from medical leave.
An appearance by Jobs, a survivor of pancreatic cancer, would mark one of the few occasions he’s appeared in public on the company’s behalf since he went on his third medical leave in January.
Company executives have said Jobs, who is credited with rescuing Apple from near death in 1996 after a 12-year absence from the company he co-founded, has still been involved in strategic decision-making at Apple during this medical leave.
He came on stage at a company product launch in early March and also attended events such as a February meeting of technology industry leaders with US President Barack Obama.
Under Jobs, the launch of the iPhone, a smartphone with a touchscreen in 2007, and the iPad, a tablet computer in 2010, forged new business lines for the company that created the personal computing category.
Apple said it would unveil software upgrades at the conference including Lion, the eighth major release of its Mac OS X computer operating system, and iOS 5, the next version of its mobile operating system used in products including iPhone and the iPad tablet computer.
Apple typically unveils a new iPhone around this time of year but some sources had told Reuters that they did not expect this year’s model to appear until September this year.
Apple shares rose $5.79 to $343.20 in morning trade.