Apple Inc investors may want to circle June 8 on their calendars.

That's when the iPod, Mac and iPhone maker will kick off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, an event at which it usually offers early looks at technologies under development.

This year's conference could offer even more, with investors, analysts and customers waiting for a possible new iPhone model and word on the return of Chief Executive Steve Jobs, who has been on medical leave.

Apple has said it expects Jobs to return in late June, meaning investors and the media will be looking for any update to that timetable at the June 8 conference.

Philip Schiller, Apple's vice president of worldwide product marketing, will be the keynote speaker at the conference.

Interest will be high when it comes to potential new products for Apple, which has remained adept at selling its computers and devices in a tough economic environment, even as some of its peers have struggled.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, is expected to unveil a new iPhone in the coming months. Rumors have also circulated about a touch-screen tablet or small laptop under development.

So far, more than 21 million iPhones have been sold since the product was launched in 2007. Combined with the iPod touch, which uses the same software as the iPhone, about 37 million units have been sold.

Among the sessions planned at the conference are one on the iPhone OS 3.0, its mobile operating system, and Mac OS X Snow Leopard, a version of its desktop operating system.

The company, announcing the conference date on Wednesday, said it plans to have more than 1,000 engineers on hand to present the latest technology developments.

Shares of Apple were down 2.4 percent to $121.43 in morning trading on the Nasdaq stock market.

(Reporting by Paul Thomasch; editing by John Wallace)