Steve Jobs: Will iPod Event Mark His Return to the Stage?

Speculation is heating up regarding whether Steve Jobs will appear at Apple's iPod event.
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CUPERTINO, Calif., (

TheStreet

) -- Will he, or won't he?

Speculation is heating up regarding whether Steve Jobs will appear at

Apple's

(AAPL) - Get Report

iPod event, which kicks off at 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday.

Three months back on the job after his medical leave, Jobs, like the mythic Sasquatch, has been spotted walking upright in the wild by bloggers. And a recent

report

by

The Wall Street Journal

indicates he's been actively micromanaging the upcoming Apple Tablet.

Jobs might be back in keynote shape, but will this be the event that brings him back to the stage?

So many factors to weigh here:

  • A re-vamp of iPods. That's so 2000 and not quite the venue for a victorious Jobs return.
  • Jobs already did the blood-pressure reading joke last year as a poke at health concerns.
  • Why bother? His baggy-jeans appearance will invite comment and steal the limelight from products.
  • Then again, it's been a rough year for Jobs, and it's been 11 months since he last appeared publicly. His fans would relish an opportunity to welcome him back.
  • Investors certainly would see a few points of potential upside for the stock if Jobs gives as little as a thumbs-up from the stage.
  • Jobs may want to save the thunder for the eventual unveiling of Apple's Tablet
  • The aptly named marketing chief Phil Schiller has filled in capably as Apple's leading shill.
  • Tim Cook took the wheel does Jobs step in and effectively say: "Thanks, I got it now."
  • Yet a no-show by Jobs could fan those old concerns again.
  • Jobs who? We're looking for Jagger or McCartney.