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What lies in store for post-Jobs Apple?

The resignation of Steve Jobs from Apple has reignited the debate over the extent to which the company’s success and it’s charismatic leader are inseparable. Commenting on Jobs’ departure, Ovum’s chief analyst Jan Dawson suggested that there are “reasons to fear” for Apple’s future if this latest news suggests, as many believe, that Jobs health is failing.

“Longer-term, if Steve Jobs’ condition worsens to the point that he can no longer be involved in even occasional decision making at the company, there are reasons to fear that the company will struggle to emulate its recent success,” said Dawson. “Steve Jobs has provided both strategic vision and personal leadership at the top of the company, as arguably the most visible and well-known CEO of any technology company today. Tim Cook will not step easily into either of these roles. [Cook is a] safe pair of hands but hardly a visionary or charismatic figure.”

Other analysts have suggested that Jobs’ withdrawal from the company will have little impact, pointing out that Cook has been in charge since the beginning of the year, and has run the firm during Jobs’ previous long term absences. Earlier this year Malik Saadi, principal analyst at Informa, told Telecoms.com that “as long as Apple continues to innovate as it has in the last few years, it will enjoy a healthy performance over the coming years. With its existing products alone, there is no doubt the company will continue to score significant sales and revenue growth in the coming years, despite the mounting competition it faces in the mobile and tablet markets.”

If Nokia has proved anything recently, it is that nobody stays at the top of the tree forever. So what do you think: Can Apple succeed without Jobs at its core?

How will the departure of Steve Jobs as Apple CEO affect the company's future?

  • Negatively (61%, 88 Votes)
  • It won't (33%, 48 Votes)
  • Positively (6%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 144

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2 comments

  1. Avatar AhmedvKamel 25/08/2011 @ 11:18 am

    Apple will lead for the time until a new breakthrough takes place. Apple has the next generation platform in computing and communications. They invented a device between the smartphone and laptop and developed the needed touchpad OS. Look at MIcrosoft’s example with it’s MS Windows.

    • Avatar BrendanDunphy 05/09/2011 @ 2:28 pm

      I agree with Ahmed, its Apple’s market until the next platform cycle emerges and it does not require a Steve Jobs to do this. They can retain market leadership until then but will face a huge challenge in bridging to the next cycle, like all incumbents before them, including Microsoft and Nokia today, and will need to find another ‘Steve Jobs’to make that happen.

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