The device is expected to have a large touch screen but be bigger than the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch.
Despite being midway through a medical leave, Steve Jobs is still actively involved in the operations of Apple, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal that cites people familiar with the matter.
The report said chief operating officer Tim Cook is handling day-to-day operations, but Jobs is still highly involved in product planning and overall strategy. Jobs reportedly had a large role in the iPhone 3.0 software rollout, which is expected to make the platform more attractive for mobile developers, as well as please existing iPhone owners.
Jobs also is reportedly working on the company's next portable computing device. This device is expected to have a large touch screen and be smaller than the current line of laptops but bigger than the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch.
This device is expected to be Apple's response to the surging market for netbooks, which are lightweight computers that offer users access to the Web, e-mail, and multimedia at a relatively low cost. Jobs had previously dismissed the category, saying the company would take a "wait-and-see" approach to the netbook market.
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk, and our DNA will not let us ship that," Jobs said about the chances of Apple making a netbook.
Apple did not respond to the report as of publication time, but the news continues the long saga of Apple's founder and CEO. Following speculation about his appearance, Jobs took a voluntary six-month leave of absence to deal with his health in January. He's expected to resume duties this summer, which could coincide with the release of a new iPhone. Jobs draws more attention than almost any other CEO because there's a perception that he is inexorably tied to the health of the company and its stock price.
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