Steve Jobs’ inevitable resignation from Apple has sent shockwaves around the tech world, with analysts debating whether the company will fall from grace without its visionary leader.
Jobs has passed over the reins to the company’s COO Tim Cook who will now be at the forefront of its next launches and warding off competitors looking to take advantage of Apple now it has lost its talisman.
Observers across the internet are already circling, arguing that Jobs’ resignation will see Sony, Samsung et al. regaining market share. Absolute nonsense.
Apart from the most passionate of Apple fanboys, consumers didn’t buy iPods and iPhones because Steve Jobs was CEO of the company. They bought them because they were good products backed by solid marketing muscle.
This isn’t like Nirvana losing Kurt Cobain, this is more like Guns N’ Roses losing Slash. Apple has lost its visionary mastermind, but it can still prosper where Jobs left off.
Apple’s product roadmap for the next 18 months or so has already been set out, including a new iteration of the iPhone and the third iPad. Tim Cook has been at the forefront of these launches since the start of the year, as acting CEO.
Peter Walshe, global brands director at brand research company Millward Brown, says: “[Jobs] has left the Apple Brand in rude health so that the company is still poised for future growth. The future direction is mapped out, the successor is in place – also a designer by background – and consumers rate the brand uniquely ’creative’, ’fun’ and ’adventurous’.”
Cook has also personally e-mailed Apple staff, reassuring them that “Apple is not going to change” he adds that Jobs is in the company’s “DNA” and it will continue to prosper. Let us not forget that Jobs hasn’t retired from the company altogether, he is still staying on as Apple’s chairman for the forseeable future.
Yes, Apple’s shares did slump immediately after news emerged about Jobs departure, but this is to be expected when its leader, who co-founded the company back in 1976, announces he is to leave following a period of long-term sickness.
Just a day later Apple’s stock, which fell 5% in after hours trading on Wednesday (24 August), was down just 0.65% at the time of writing – ahead of the majority of the stock market.
Apple’s shares will no doubt be rejuvenated after the consumer launch of iCloud, which some investors have said will add $100bn (£61bn)to the company’s market value.
As our columnist Mark Ritson said yesterday (25 August), brands can succeed after their founders depart. Jobs is already venerated by the company and the wider tech-world and will no doubt be seen as an icon and guiding force for years to come.
Steve Jobs is irreplaceable, but he has handpicked his successor. Apple is still ship-shape and will ride this short term storm as it continues its voyage towards world domination.