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Will Apple Survive the Loss of Steve Jobs?

January 19, 2011

I’m not wishing any bad luck or premonitions to Steve, but conditions don’t look that good given he already had a liver replacement and he hasn’t been the picture of health at conferences.  I hope that he has a good recovery and stays at Apple keeping the industry hopping and keeps Apple bringing out newer and better products that make our lives free from Microsoft.

THOSE WHO SAY YES

There is enough in the pipeline with iPhone extending to new carriers like Verizon and any CDMA based companies.  The iPad is just beginning to take off and as soon as they resolve flash or HTML 5.0 or whatever video standard, it will be the de-facto standard.  The only drawback I can see is the keyboard is less than stellar, but I’m sure the form factor will change.  We can already see what the iPad has done to NetBooks, the next big notebook innovation that never happened.  It will likely kill most of the low to mid range PC sales.  I think the iPod has a lifespan that may be ending after a few more revisions, but there is just too many other options that make this redundant.

This doesn’t even count Macbook which shouldn’t be selling as well as it does at 3 times the price of a Windoze PC, but they have a following and a growing market share.  If they pattern it after the iPad, look out HP and Dell.

The Apple designers have enough Steve Jobs inspiration for 3-5 years of innovation and they have set the bar again and again.  As long as Tim Cook keeps the Jobs mantra viable, they will dominate.

Let’s not forget that Jobs created Next and sold it to Apple, and Pixar which made him one, if not the largest Disney stakeholder.  He is the creative mind who invented Apple and rejuvenated it.

THOSE WHO SAY NO

John Sculley came to mind as a corporate wizard who doesn’t get what Apple is.  It is a culture and a mindset that just isn’t GE or Pepsi or your standard fortune 100 company.  They need to keep Cook in place to keep things together, but will need an actual creative genius who will keep the juices flowing and create the next iSomething.  Otherwise, short the stock and move along.  Tim Cook is boring and will try to tread water, but will likely lead the company down the Political Correctness and climate drain of boredom and safety rather than innovation.  He seems more worried about diversity and the culture of appeasing political groups or his interests rather than how Jobs ran the company.

OTHER COMMENTS

Others like ZDNet weigh in:

There’s no doubt that Jobs played a big part in shaping Apple and helping it grow beyond that early base of cult followers and taking the company mainstream and beyond. Like Apple or not, you can’t dismiss the impact that the company has had on consumer electronics, music and movies. Jobs has done a marvelous job as CEO, and whether you own any Apple products or not, I’m certain that in some way Apple’s vision will have shaped and influenced some of the tech you have in your life. Apple shareholders should especially be grateful for the work he’s done and the effort he’s put into Apple.

So, given that Jobs has done so much for Apple, are the pundits right? Is Apple doomed without Jobs?

In a word, not yet.  It will slowly deteriorate with the next product cycles or iphone refresh rate.

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