Report: Steve Jobs return 'irks Apple staff'

Report: Steve Jobs return 'irks Apple staff'

WSJ claims Apple employees need to readjust

The return of Steve Jobs to Apple's Cupertino campus HQ has been welcomed by Apple shareholders and fans - but not, it seems, by Apple employees.

A story in the Wall Street Journal claims that the Apple CEO's focus on the much-rumoured Apple Tablet has been "jarring for some Apple employees, who had grown accustomed to a level of freedom over strategy and products while the CEO was on leave".

"People have had to readjust" to Mr. Jobs being back, an unnamed Apple employee told the newspaper.

Since his return in late June, Jobs has been "pouring almost all of his attention into a new touch-screen gadget that Apple is developing," claims the WSJ.

Those working on the project are under intense scrutiny from Jobs, it reports - particularly with regard to the product's advertising and marketing strategy, said one of the people talking to the respected newspaper.

In an email response Jobs said: "much of your information is incorrect," but didn't provide specifics.

Jobs officially returned to work in June after taking a six-month leave of absence due to medical issues.

Jobs, a survivor of pancreatic cancer, took 6-months leave of absence from Apple in January, citing health issues. At the time he said he was diagnosed with a hormone imbalance that caused him to lose weight. The health-related issues were "more complex" than he originally thought, Jobs wrote in a memo to Apple employees at the time.

It was later revealed that Jobs received a liver transplant at the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis, Tennessee.

The WSJ reports that a tablet device has "been many years in the making" at Apple, with the company filing a patent related to a tablet device as early as 2000, according to a Thomson Reuters patent database.

Development has apparently come in fits and starts, with Jobs killing the project twice in recent years - the first time because battery life was too short, the second time because there was insufficient memory.

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Leander Kahney, author of The Cult of Mac, says that Apple has "been working on this for the past six years. People expect it to be the ultimate Apple surprise. This thing will knock people's socks off."

Market researcher Richard Doherty told BusinessWeek that Apple has developed two tablet computers prototypes: a 6-inch oversized-iPod version and another with a bigger display.

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According to Doherty, the 6-inch Apple tablet, which we have hearing about for the past month, will be aimed mainly at watching videos, playing games, and reading e-books. The second model will have a larger screen and will be able to run all Mac applications, including audio/video editing and graphic animation, he said.

Apple is keeping mum on any rumours or speculation about the tablet. It has scheduled a special event on September 9, where the Apple tablet might or might not make an appearance. Some say that we won't see an Apple tablet this year, but more likely next year.

Additiional reporting by Daniel Ionescu, PC World

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