May 31, 2011 at 10:31 AM ET
Steve Jobs, who has been on medical leave since early this year, is expected to deliver the keynote address at next Monday's Apple Worldwide Developers Conference and introduce the company's cloud-based service — called — yup, iCloud.
Apple made the announcement Tuesday, with the cloud-based storage service expected, but not necessarily Jobs' presence. The CEO did, however, break from his medical leave in March to unveil the iPad 2.
"It's a good sign he's healthy enough to be there and participate," Pacific Crest Securities analyst Andy Hargreaves told Reuters, adding that Jobs' appearance next week is "not a huge surprise" because he has made some other public appearances in recent months, including meeting with President Barack Obama in February, along with other tech industry leaders.
Jobs, 56, announced in January that he would take a third leave of absence from Apple to focus on his health. The Apple CEO has survived pancreatic cancer and had a liver transplant in 2009.
Also expected to be unveiled at the conference June 6-10 in San Francisco, is Lion, the next major release of Mac OS X and iOS 5, the next version of Apple's mobile operating system for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The addition of iCloud has been in the works for awhile; last year Apple bought cloud-based Lala, then promptly shut it down. Amazon.com this year started its own service, Amazon Cloud Player, which lets users store music that can be played on any computer or Android device.
While Apple outlined some spare details about iCloud, iOS5 and Lion in a press release, nothing was said about the fifth generation iPhone, known as the iPhone 4GS. It's traditionally been unveiled in June at the developers' conference — and still may be as Jobs is known to leave a surprise for the end of his presentations as "one last thing."