Steve Jobs 'Wants to be Back as Soon as He Can'

Steve Jobs wants to return to his full-time role at Apple 'as soon as he can', according to Tim Cook, chief operating officer and the man who has taken over Jobs' day-to-day responsibilities.

Cook made the comments on Wednesday as the company announced record profits. Jobs took an indefinite period of leave in January for medical reasons, though what precisely these reasons were has not been specified. Jobs underwent a liver transplant in April 2009.

"He is still on medical leave but we do see him on a regular basis. He continues to be involved in major strategic decisions. I know he wants to be back full time as soon as he can," said Cook.

Apple has performed well under Cook's stewardship so far, as the strong Q2 results announced yesterday proved. iPhone sales were up 113 percent year-on-year, Mac sales up 28 percent over the same period, though iPod sales dropped 17 percent year-on-year.

Some analysts, though, described iPad sales as disappointing. "Dynamite numbers across the board. The only hiccup is lower than expected iPad numbers," Capital Advisors Growth Fund portfolio manager Channing Smith told Reuters.

Apple sold 4.69 million iPads in the last quarter, though in all likelihood would have sold more if they had not been constrained by supply issues. "We sold every iPad 2 we could make in the quarter and we would have liked for the quarter to have ended with more iPads in the channel," Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said.

Most analysts were impressed by the figures, though. "Their products are being embraced wholeheartedly by the entire world," Michael Walker, a portfolio manager at WP Stewart & Co, told Bloomberg.

"Right now the only limit to how many products they can sell is how many they can produce."

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