Steve Jobs’ resignation as CEO of Apple is sad news indeed. “iQuit” read the headlines this morning alongside a smiling picture of Steve in his all-too-familiar black turtleneck. He will truly be missed.
It’s hard to convey the important role Steve Jobs played on the industry, nay, the world, unless you lived through it. Indeed, the Steve Jobs Era made a significant mark in the growth of technology, social media, business, and the stock portfolios of some very happy investors.
Jobs’ announcement that he is stepping down after these all-too-quick years of making headlines and transforming a once near-bankrupt company to the largest and most valuable in the world leaves many concerned.
Truly Apple’s reach is so far that his departure is a topic on which few could lack an opinion.
Naturally, no one has time to read all of the opinions out there. Never fear, we gathered the essentials from several prominent news sites and summarize them below:
“Some potential unknown market that Jobs would have pulled out of thin air will now never happen.” All the same, “Apple has a deep pipeline of products that has likely been packed even more deeply in anticipation of this day. New creations that will come to market in the next two years are already in development, and sketches likely exist, stretching out for another three to five years beyond that, of ideas for which technology and costs don’t yet fall into line, but will at some point.”
Lastly, “After the very long pipeline has been worked through, there won’t be a whole set of magic new businesses at the far end. At that point, Apple will become a lot more like other companies, merely mortal.”
The final note: “Apple’s rivals — companies like Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Google — shouldn’t take too much comfort in Jobs’s departure. Apple will remain a formidable company for years to come.”
Analysts downplayed the drop [AAPL shares dropped nearly 6% on Wednesday after news of Job’s retirement, and just over 1.2% Thursday morning] , noting that Jobs was long expected to step away from the CEO role. “Frankly it removes an overhang. People didn’t know when this would happen or when the day would come. It’s probably the best outcome,” Michael Walker, Portfolio Manager for WP Stewart told Reuters.
Ultimately, Walker said, the market had already priced Jobs’ departure into the stock.
“The good news for Apple is that the product road map in this industry is pretty much in place two and three years out,” said David B. Yoffie, a professor at the Harvard Business School. “So 80 per cent to 90 per cent of what would happen in that time would be the same, even without Steve.”
Mr. Jobs’s hand-picked successor, Timothy Cook, who has been the company’s chief operating officer, has guided the company impressively during Mr. Jobs’s medical leaves. But his greatest skill is as an operations expert rather than a product-design team leader — Mr. Jobs’s particular talent.
Assuming Apple executives and employees don’t begin leaving the company en mass, and fans don’t begin rioting at Apple Stores across the country, today will be a normal day for Apple. And so will tomorrow, and the day after that, and so on and so on. We suspect that Apple will continue to dominate the smartphone market and, thanks to the success of the iPad, it may soon announce that it’s now the number one PC manufacturer in the world, stealing that title from the hands of HP, which is going through its own set of changes.
By letting Tim Cook learn the ropes as acting CEO for nine months, Jobs has allowed him to preside over two quarters of record growth for the company, giving investors little reason to worry about Cook’s ability to manage the company’s daily operations.
Steve Jobs’s keynotes are packed with press — including popular press. Will the media fawn over Tim Cook or Phil Schiller when they talk? Don’t count on it. And that means that you might not see every Apple product announcement featured on the local TV news as it has been.
News of Jobs’ move helped Samsung shares rise 2.4 per cent in Seoul on Thursday. The broader Korean market was up 0.6 per cent.
“Investors were concerned that Apple would encroach into Android’s turf, but Jobs’ exit offers opportunities for Samsung to expand its smartphone market share at a time when Nokia is struggling,” said Jeon Nam-joong, a fund manager at Consus Asset Management, which owns shares in Samsung.
For some additional perspective, here is the Turbo Chart, which shows the performance of Apple against the S&P 500 index over the last year.