Jobs Appears at Apple Product Launch

Apple CEO Steve Jobs speaks at an Apple event in San Francisco, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Updated 7:15 p.m. EDT

Steve Jobs walked onstage at Apple Inc.'s much buzzed about product launch, marking his first appearance since taking medical leave six months ago.

Apple's CEO, in his signature black turtle neck and jeans, looked thin and didn't speak with as strong a voice as he used to, but said he was very happy to attend, reports CBS News correspondent John Blackstone.

Over the years Jobs has been Apple's super salesman but his dramatic weight loss last year, raised new concerns about his health. In 2004 he was treated for pancreatic cancer. This year he took a medical leave of absence. Today was his public return.

"I'm vertical," Jobs quipped to an applauding crowd. "I'm back at Apple, loving every day of it."

Jobs, who had a liver transplant this spring, got a standing ovation. Looking thin and speaking quietly and with a scratchy voice, he told the audience he had received the liver of a 20-year-old who died in a car accident.

Over 100,000 people are now on the list for an organ transplant in the United States. About 18 die every day, waiting. So today, before he got down to selling iPods, Jobs made another pitch.

"I wouldn't be here without such generosity," Jobs said. "I hope all of us can be as generous, and elect to become organ donors."

Jobs thanked Apple's executive team for its leadership and "everybody in the Apple community" for their support.

The CEO outlined an update to Apple's iTunes software. Apple also issued a minor update to the iPhone software and lowered the price of the 8GB iPod Touch to $199. He also said that Apple would add a video camera to the iPod Nano without changing its current price or size.

Other additions to the Apple lineup: a new operating system and $1.29 ringtones for the iPhone; lots of new colors for all of the iPod lines; and more games and applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

CNET video of Jobs' appearance:



The event concluded without any "show stopping" announcements, Blackstone reported. Jobs focused on hardware and software upgrades to Apple products. For the audience, the biggest news was Jobs' return.

Follow the latest news at CNET's live blog

Jobs had not appeared at such an event since last October. He bowed out of his usual keynote at the year's largest Mac trade show in January and went on leave shortly thereafter.

Jobs disclosed in August 2004 that he had been diagnosed with - and cured of - a rare form of pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. Last year, he appeared increasingly thin, sparking speculation that his cancer had returned, though Apple attributed his weight loss then to a common bug.

On Jan. 5, 2009, Jobs said he had a treatable hormone imbalance and that he would continue to run the company. He went on leave the following week, saying his medical problems were "more complex" than he had thought. Apple's chief operating officer, Tim Cook, took over daily duties. Jobs returned to work this summer.

Jobs moved temporarily to Tennessee which has a short waiting list for liver transplants - just 210 currently, Blackstone reprorts. In California, more than 3,500 are waiting for a liver transplant.

"Those that have the resources and the capabilities of traveling to an area… with a shorter waiting list have the right to do so," said Dr. Ryutaro Hirose, a transplant surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco.

CNET has extensive coverage of the Apple news conference, including a live blog from the event.
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