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Steve Jobs could return for iPhone speech next week

Or not

Apple's CEO, Steve Jobs, could return from sick leave next week, in order to present the new iPhone at its developer conference in San Francisco.

Jobs took medical leave in January saying his health issues were more complex than originally thought. He said a hormonal imbalance was causing him to lose weight and he had already begun treatment. Jobs was treated for pancreatic cancer in 2004.

The official line is that Jobs is on track to return to work at the end of June but speculation is mounting that he might put in a surprise appearance at the Worldwide Developers Conference next week.

The keynote speech is scheduled for Monday although marketing boss Philip Schiller is expected to make it.

But sources have told The Wall Street Journal that PR bods are trying to co-ordinate Jobs' return with a product launch or other announcement.

Any story about Apple or Jobs immediately spins into frenzied speculation so it could just be that whisperings about his scheduled return have taken on a life of their own.

Jobs, and his mis-parked Merc, were supposedly spotted at the Cupertino headquarters last month.

Some of Apple's directors get weekly updates from Jobs' doctor, according to the WSJ. ®

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