"Obviously Steve Jobs has a huge influence on Apple because he is Apple," said Tom Merritt, the executive editor of CNET. "So his influence permeates everything, and while they are doing a good job in his absence you know that they want him back."
The Apple CEO is reportedly on the mend after receiving a liver transplant in Tennessee two months ago, reports CBS News correspondent Daniel Sieberg. In January, Jobs said he was suffering from a hormone imbalance and appeared thinner in public when he announced he was stepping away from daily duties. He also battled pancreatic cancer in 2004.
Doctors who have not treated Jobs but are familiar with his rare form of pancreatic cancer tell CBS News that the liver transplant could give Jobs many more years of life.
A deeply private person, Jobs has not said much about his health problems. But in 2005, speaking before students at Stanford, Jobs was uncharacteristically reflective after recovering from cancer treatment.
"No one wants to die," Jobs said in 2005. "Even people who want to get to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is, as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent."
The latest iPhone was released on Friday, and a return from Jobs would be especially welcome now since Apple is facing increased competition from Palm with its Pre and Research In Motion with its line of smart phones. Investors will be closely watching what Jobs does.
"I think he wants to leave everything in the hands of the folks that are running it right now and we'll see him come back in his own time," Merritt said.
When Jobs stepped away from Apple back in January, he said he'd return to the office by the end of June. Following this reported liver transplant he now appears ready to do just that.