Jobs for the boy

There's just one more thing we want to tell you about the iPad 2 launch earlier this evening. The biggest surprise of the night wasn't the iPad 2 itself, which we were expecting; or the new software, which we weren't; or the nifty new cover, which we don't think anyone was expecting. No, it was the person introducing all this cool stuff: one Steve Jobs.

Yes, the Steve Jobs who's on indefinite medical leave and who the National Enquirer reckons has mere weeks to live. Engadget reports the crowd were 'flipping out' when a skinny-but-healthy Jobs took to the stage. 'We've been working on this product for awhile, and I didn't want to miss it,' he explained before launching into the presentation.

What to make of this? The obvious conclusion, and one that Apple would no doubt very much like us to draw, is that Steve is in much better health than everyone thought (it was widely assumed his medical leave meant his cancer from a few years back had returned, but we don't know that for sure). But others see it differently: the Guardian's Jemima Kiss called it 'a mark of desperation. Is Apple so in need of a boost to its share price that it needed to haul Jobs out of medical leave?' she snarked.

Which it was we'll probably never know, but it's fair to say the chances that Steve Jobs will, at some point, return to daily duty at Apple seem better than they did a week ago.

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