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Apple After Jobs

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the stuff-to-think-about dept.

Apple 454

recoiledsnake writes "The connection between Apple and Steve Jobs is unlike any other brand and CEO relationship in corporate America, maybe the world. While Bill Gates has successfully transitioned himself away from his day job at Microsoft, can Apple do without Jobs at all? Once word started circulating that Jobs may be ill, Apple stock took a considerable hit, dropping more than $10 a share. And when Mr. Jobs was absent from last week's quarterly earnings conference call, the questions started again — and the stock fell again. What does this mean for corporate users of Apple for whom switching costs are high? Can Apple continue innovating in Job's absence?"

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454 comments

I like blow jobs (-1, Flamebait)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367393)

but unlike /.ers, I am into receiving blow jobs, not blowing steve jobs...

Re:I like blow jobs (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367697)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Come on, guys. (1, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367403)

Get this through your heads already: Apple is not Steve Jobs. He does not personally do all of the stuff Apple does. Assuming Apple's engineers (the people who actually matter) don't quit when Jobs leaves, Apple will do just fine after Jobs.

Re:Come on, guys. (5, Insightful)

mini me (132455) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367595)

Jobs' vision for the company, and the computer industry as a whole is what sets Apple apart from other technology companies. I'm sure Jobs can be replaced, but what happens if the wrong person takes over his job and wants to turn the company into another Microsoft?

Thinking Jobs does everything at Apple would be silly, but Jobs does enable those who work at Apple to do the kind of work they do. If, for example, Steve Balmer took over the reigns, it wouldn't be long before Apple was putting all their efforts into web searching.

Re:Come on, guys. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367753)

If, for example, Steve Balmer took over the reigns, it wouldn't be long before Apple was putting all their efforts into web searching.

Balmer tries to pull some shit like that, he'll soon find out that he's not the only one who can throw chairs.

Re:Come on, guys. (5, Insightful)

Lord_Frederick (642312) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367869)

Someone coming in after Jobs will be more concerned with not becoming "the guy that killed Apple" than in creating innovative products. Jobs plays to win. His successor will play to not lose and that will hurt Apple.

Re:Come on, guys. (2, Funny)

$random_var (919061) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367881)

what happens if the wrong person takes over his job and wants to turn the company into another Microsoft?

No change?

Re:Come on, guys. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367911)

Umm it already is another Microsoft. They ripyou off when you buy one of their machines and you cant use their software how you like.

Re:Come on, guys. (2, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367951)

Jobs' vision for the company, and the computer industry as a whole is what sets Apple apart from other technology companies. I'm sure Jobs can be replaced, but what happens if the wrong person takes over his job and wants to turn the company into another Microsoft?

Remember where John Scully [wikipedia.org] took Apple? Without Jobs' return, Apple would be what HP/Compaq are today - shitty printer ink companies.

Re:Come on, guys. (4, Interesting)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367599)

Don't be ridiculous. There is no doubt that the success of Apple has been closely tied to Jobs' involvement with the company. Jobs has been the creative brain behind most of the companies success products.

Re:Come on, guys. (5, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367601)

Yeah, but remember what happened when he left before? They ended up losing a huge amount of market share and got their asses handed to them by MS. Certainly Apple would survive, but would it ever again be the same kind of force that it was under Jobs' charismatic leadership? He's not just a CEO, he's a symbol. And much as I personally despise his smug attitude and heavy-handed leadership, it has given him a certain cache among Apple users that can't be replaced with just any old CEO in a business suit.

Re:Come on, guys. (4, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367871)

He left in 85. Apple's decline was after (much after), not because of. If you look at some of his decisions wrt to Apple III, Lisa, early Macintosh, and even NeXT, it's entirely conceivable he would have driven the company into the ground.

Re:Come on, guys. (2, Insightful)

Higaran (835598) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367615)

He may not do everything at apple, but he is the heart & soul of the company, he makes sure everyone there shares a single vision. He already left once, and the company almost went bankrupt, without him no one over there really gives a krap about anything.

Re:Come on, guys. (1, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367645)

Quite, I'm looking forward to the post-Jobs clamshell version of the iPod, possibly with a lovely tartan and a Hello Kitty motif. Or pompons maybe.

Anyway they'll do fine.

Re:Come on, guys. (1)

v0x0j (99584) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367675)

There was a period in Apple without Jobs. It was disastrous to Apple - it lost all positions in personal computer market, new models were in effect series of commercial failures. That pretty much turned around when Jobs came back.

Re:Come on, guys. (4, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367693)

that's just it will it? in 1984 the Apple BOD fired Steve Jobs and the company nearly went out of business a decade later right until they brought Steve Jobs back.

While Steve doesn't design anything, he is the asshole who pushes products to be better than anything else. Johnathon Ive is the best person to replace Steve. Anyone who can spend months testing materials just so the click wheel on the ipod has the right feel is a good choice.

The iPhone isn't the first touch screen phone, or PDA. It is however the first one to get the UI right. I have handed my iPhone to computer nerds and neophytes. They all have picked up the UI in minutes.

Apple is very controlling and i don't buy DRM encumbered music. I will however buy a well designed product no matter who actually produces it.

Re:Come on, guys. (5, Insightful)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367695)

Get this through your heads already: Apple is not Steve Jobs. He does not personally do all of the stuff Apple does. Assuming Apple's engineers (the people who actually matter) don't quit when Jobs leaves, Apple will do just fine after Jobs.

I disagree. If there is one company that is its leader it's Apple. Of course Jobs doesn't personally do the engineering, but what he does is get people to work long hours for normal pay to be part of something that they feel is bigger than themselves. He also inspires tons of people to buy products for the simple reason they are cool. I obviously don't know him personally, but from the stories I've read he has an exacting, perfectionist personality that he uses to drive all of these engineers and thus the products.

Re:Come on, guys. (2, Insightful)

Bandman (86149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367973)

I don't know what his life insurance policy coverage is, but it should probably be tripled.

Aside from his vision and stubborn bullheadedness, Steve's reality distortion field is probably Apple's biggest asset.

Re:Come on, guys. (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367703)

He's not the source of their innovations, but a lot of public perception is tied to Jobs being Apple (whether or not that is accurate or not is really inconsequential).

The bottom line is that if the public refuses to accept an Apple without Jobs at the helm, then they will falter.

Re:Come on, guys. (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367839)

You're right, he's just one man. They can always find another CEO to run the company, it's the engineers that make the product! Heck they could even bring on the CEO from, say, Cocacola or something.

Re:Come on, guys. (4, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367935)

Jobs set up the culture at Apple, and does do a lot of stuff that the average CEO wouldn't. I think the secret to Apple after Jobs will be to look within for a new CEO, or at least to a closely related company. Promote someone from the ranks, or maybe from Pixar, but don't go shopping for one of the usual business school grad CEOs that other companies seem to end up with.

But more importantly (5, Interesting)

JamesP (688957) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367411)

Can the press, or maybe slashdot, stop speculating??

Maybe today is Apple trifecta day, you never know...

Re:But more importantly (2, Insightful)

Vexor (947598) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367487)

Rumor != News. Steve Jobs is pretty much the heart & sole of Apple. That period of time where he wasn't with Apple (doing the Pixar thing because they fired him), Apple wasn't doing so hot. Apple might still make a decent product without him, but he sells it.

Re:But more importantly (4, Insightful)

a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367575)

Actually he was doing the Next thing - Pixar was more or less just an investment.

Next wasn't a huge success. So one might as well ask if Jobs can do well without apple.

Either way this 'article' is just gossip.

Re:But more importantly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367581)

The heart and the bottom of the foot (or the Flounder fish) of Apple.

Anyway, the problem is... Jobs is going to die sometime...

Re:But more importantly (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367955)

Rumor != News. Steve Jobs is pretty much the heart & sole of Apple.

So what you're saying is that he should step on it ?

This doesn't make much sense to me... But that's ok, I'm a consultant, things don't have to make sense to me (nor do I have to make sense, so it all balances out in the end).

Socialism? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367413)

Apple After Jobs

I don't know what will happen to Apple after they abolish all their jobs. I gotta imagine it'd be something like pure socialism with people just doing whatever they feel like at the company and getting just enough to get by. No jobs at Apple would probably be a pretty bad move ... how would I start working there?

Re:Socialism? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#24368037)

I don't know what will happen to Apple after they abolish all their jobs.

Several years back, Jobs had himself cloned. The clone replicant should be ready about the time Jobs is ready to push off. In fact there is no way of telling if what we see today is just the clone being controlled by The Real Steve Job.

Wow, that was easy for Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367417)

Don't you think we should wait more than a month or so before it's declared a success?

Can Apple continue innovating in Job's absence? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367421)

Actually, it would be Jobs's or Jobs'.

Perception - (4, Insightful)

Recovering Hater (833107) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367443)

Perception is everything. I think most people remember how Jobs came back and restored Apple to what they once were and how without him Apple seemed to fade a bit. So naturally, it *superficially* appears that Apple needs him more than he needs Apple and if he leaves, becomes terminally ill or dies so does the innovation at Apple. That may or may not be the case but it seems so on the surface.

Re:Perception - (5, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367627)

Lets face it, under Scully Apple was within a hairsbreath of becoming another Windows beige box shop. Computer industry CEOs all seem to want to be Dell, except for Jobs who knows that there is a better way. For another example, look at what happened to SGI when they got a "seasoned" CEO. Sadly, in that case the CEO left the dagger in their back when he left and they've never recovered.

Re:Perception - (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#24368005)

So don't get a "seasoned" CEO. Apple has lots of young, visionary higher ups who have been well steeped in Jobs' approach.

I agree, appointing someone from the usual pool of company-runners would pretty much kill what makes Apple different.

I think so (3, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367467)

Surely there must be an unemployed cult leader out there capable of taking over. Maybe Warren Jeffs [wikipedia.org] could do some kind of work release program.

Stock movement != health indicator (4, Informative)

Sir_Real (179104) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367469)

Don't put much stock (hah!) in how people are betting APPL. The shorts got a hold of it early to try and shake out (successfully I might add) anyone with a tenuous grasp (those that bought recently, those that had unrealized gains). Look what happened after that 15 point down spike. It bounced back 10, and the following day totally filled the remaining gap.

Using 2 days of trading to predict the future of a company is less likely to work out for you than say... flipping a coin

Re:Stock movement != health indicator (3, Insightful)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367639)

Except now there's a chance that this notion that Apple needs Steve Jobs in order to thrive will make it to some of the financial shows, and facts will be blown out of proportion and influence investors.

Example: "Now, as well all know, Jobs is the driving force behind Apple's success and rumours of prominent illness could explain several absences, including the most recent quarterly meeting. Can Apple survive without Steve Jobs? I don't think so."

Granted, that's pure FUD, and opinion and speculation, but if that were to be said on Mad Money or whatever finance shows people like to take advice from, it could drastically impact the casual investor's confidence in the company.

Re:Stock movement != health indicator (5, Insightful)

Sir_Real (179104) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367929)

And the casual investor will get scalped. Don't be a casual investor. Be a trader, or find a less risky long position. News moves markets but only so far, and most casual traders play news totally bass ackwards anyway.

Also, you said it... "facts will be blown out of proportion and influence investors"

That's called an "opportunity" where I come from. The market is very information efficient. If it's blown out of proportion, it will be blown back into proportion.

Road Map (3, Insightful)

imstanny (722685) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367471)

Before the iPod, there has been no distinct road map for Apple, at least no easily identifiable one. Now they have iPod/iPhone/Macbook/iTunes tied together in a very unique way. I'm sure with or without Jobs, they'll continue to build on the success of these platforms, though I expect more evolution than revolution... maybe come up with an iLCD TV, which would be derived from the iMac + iTV.

Re:Road Map (1)

palpatine (94) | more than 5 years ago | (#24368063)

Very true. Steve Jobs has pretty much set up a foundation for what Apple products should work, should look like, and the level of innovation involved in launching a new product. You can't easily go back from that.

I believe that a post-jobs CEO will continue with the evolution of the iProducts, and the company will release a lot of cool stuff, but I don't know if you'll see the same kind of "revolution" that Jobs regularly brought to Apple's customers every couple of years.

Innovation vs Confidence (5, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367473)

I would contend that Jobs isn't the source of innovation at Apple (yes, he is _a_ source, but not _the_ source, imho) so, yes, Apple can still be innovative without him. Jobs is, however, the source of confidence. He ensures that investors are confident in the choices Apple makes which allows them to proceed the way an innovative company needs to - the engineers are given the room to innovate the way they need and want to. The company is allowed to develop products at the right pace and in the right way and investors remain confident that they are doing "the right thing." Would that same confidence exist in his absence? Would investors be as willing to allow Apple to proceed the way it currently does? That's a more accurate question. In my opinion, at least.

Re:Innovation vs Confidence (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367757)

In the consumer marketplace, there is a relatively fine line between good and great, between also-rans and champion products. It does take a significant amount of corporate force to insist that a product is done "right" and to drive (or inspire) people to make the extra effort on products. Whether it is true that it takes Steve Jobs to drive the company to produce the desirable products (and hence brand) to the level it has achieved will not really be known for 1-2 years after he is gone.

Huh...? (1)

rowanparker (1154877) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367481)

What does this mean for corporate users of Apple for whom switching costs are high?

I don't see how this is an important at this stage, with the amount of solid information available. However surely the answer is either pay the money to switch (why are they doing this again?) or don't pay and stay.

Apple After Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367485)

For a moment there, I thought Apple was hiring. Damn. Back to the grind.

Robotics (1)

UberHoser (868520) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367497)

I mean if they can make the lifelike sextoys, why cant they make a lifelike Jobs.

It seem to be pretty easy to program.

"I am right, you are not"

What it means is... (2, Funny)

nadamsieee (708934) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367507)

Now is a good time to buy Apple stock. ;)

Re:What it means is... (2, Insightful)

mraiser (1151329) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367577)

Now is a good time to buy Apple stock. ;)

Maybe. That's a long term play tho, at this point. There may be some arbitrage dollars to be made if Steve bounces back into his regular role. But does anyone remember what happened when he left the company the first time? Without Steve's cult of personality, Apple will falter. Badly.

Not to worry (5, Funny)

Number6.2 (71553) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367519)

he has already transitioned the day-to-day operation to his younger brother, Raúl.

Oh, wait a minute, that's Cuba...

Innovate... (4, Insightful)

RandoX (828285) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367523)

I'm not trying to bash Apple here, but I'm not sure innovate is necessarily the right word to use. Product design seems more appropriate. So much of Apple's product line seems to be UI and attractive exterior, as opposed to Really New Ideas (tm).

Don't get me wrong. That's two things more than anyone else seems to be doing these days.

Re:Innovate... (3, Insightful)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367585)

Maybe it's be semantics. Innovation in UI and appearance, is still innovation. It doesn't matter if the hardware is the same: they have innovative ways of making the same hardware more usable. Especially if it means they succeed in a field where everyone else failed.

Re:Innovate... (1)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367605)

And "maybe it's be" time that I start editing my posts more carefully. DOH!

Re:Innovate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367725)

You's got no beef with me holmes, I's understood ya.

Re:Innovate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367755)

It's called marketing and having a small army of rabid brand fanboys. Like all fads, the tide will turn, especially now they're microsoft mark2.

Re:Innovate... (2, Interesting)

kTag (24819) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367759)

AFAIK, Apple brought Airport and that was a Really New Idea (even if they didn't invent it). If Apple didn't license this technology from Lucent do you really think we would be using Wifi right now ?

And tell me more about this Really New Idea concept. What do you consider as being the latest RNI ?

Re:Innovate... (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367931)

The thing with Apple products is that they aren't really designed for the average geek here on slashdot. Thus to you and me, it's not "innovative". Average geeks care about hard numbers like CPU cycles and frames per second. Apple designs for general consumers not for us in particular thus Apple focuses on how things work and look and whether these every day consumers can use them.

Take for instance Time Machine. Pfft. It's just a backup and restore. We've had that for ages. Really all it is just:

#> tar -czvf back.tar.gz *.*

Yeah that and some fancy algorithms. I mean even Windows has Restore Points and Shadow Volume Copy. Sure you can look at a single file and directory and figure the difference and it's available on every new version of Leopard. But those are just details right?

While the idea has been around, no one has taken the idea and refined it like Apple to be as consumer friendly as it is. Remember, Apple is the largest seller of Unix machines in the world. To get everyday consumers to use Unix machines took lots of innovation on many levels.

Re:Innovate... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#24368039)

Apple does a lot of innovation in UI, which turns out to be really the most important thing, and a lot more in integration. Apple didn't invent the mouse but they integrated it into their system in such a way that it caught on, instead of being just a curiosity.

Wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367529)

If there's no jobs at Apple, then who will build the computers?

Re: Apple After Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367533)

What innovation? The iPod?

Re: Apple After Jobs (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367633)

What innovation? The iPod?

The iPod, the iPhone, the iMac, Mac OS X, every Macintosh computer since 1997, the Macintosh, the Apple II.

Yeah really, what has that slacker done for Apple anyways? If he hadn't returned to Apple I'm sure Apple would be thriving now. Or dead.

It's not about Jobs (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367535)

The stock tanking may correlate with rumors of Steve's impending death, but really, any company whose products depend solely on the phenomena of social trends is more or less doomed. There's nothing really innovative about Apple's products. For the three top products from apple that pop into my mind (The iPod, the iPhone, and the iMac), I can immediately think of three far superior products that cost less (the View, the Blackberry, and my PC).

Re:It's not about Jobs (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367875)

Their laptops are also quite popular, I might even say more popular than their iMacs. They are decent rigs, and after a hardware refresh their prices are in the ballpark of Dell's offerings with similar hardware (bluetooth, integ camera, LED backlit screen, etc).

Likewise, OS X is a major asset as it serves as a large reason people get their machines (though not the only one).

I'd say their business model is more about integration than trendiness.

  • OSX + Apple-branded hardware.
  • iTunes+iPod/iPhone.
  • iTunes+appleTV
  • etc

That's why even before the whole PsyStar fiasco I felt that Apple would never want to release OS X into the wild, it would brake their integration strategy.

Brake their integration and they will have major financial problems.

Re:It's not about Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367937)

Superior in what way?

(That's a rhetorical question -- I understand you're just trolling.)

P.S. "any company whose products depend solely on the phenomena of social trends" -- you mean like Coca-Cola?

Re:It's not about Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24368045)

That was my question, too. Not that the iPhone is necessarily the second coming, but calling the Blackberry superior means that they really must think the iPhone is the equivalent of an old Tiger handheld football game. *shudder*

Philosphy (4, Insightful)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367557)

I would think he is grooming someone that has a similar vision. That's what Steve brings. It's a unique view on the way the product should be. That's what was missing when he left.

Jonathan Ive (5, Informative)

nano2nd (205661) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367559)

Jonathan Ive [wikipedia.org]

Responsible for look and feel of virtually all Apple products for the last ten years, is as much responsible for Apple's resurgence as the man Jobs himself.

Old news though is that he himself is already positioned as a possible successor to the big man.

Jonathan Ive groomed to take over from Jobs [engadget.com]

If that happens, I'd feel pretty confident about Apple and their continued ability to innovate in create great products.

Re:Jonathan Ive (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367945)

Unfortunately the general public doesn't know the name so it won't matter.

It wouldn't matter even if Ive did 99.9% of design and business decisions during the last decade, the general public doesn't know him so they won't care. So even if they announced all of this at a press conference they'd think "Yeh right, they must be in trouble to lie about Ive. We all know it's only Jobs"

Sure a careful investor might know and breathe a sign of relief but the market is flooded with people that base their decisions on popular knowledge. And their fear can move mountains.

Perception = Reality.

What does this mean? (0, Redundant)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367563)

It means it might be a good time to buy Apple stock, since it will bounce back up after Jobs turns out to be as healthy as any other software titan.

Time to buy? (1)

lcoughey (975892) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367607)

Personally, I think it is somewhat silly to say that Apple cannot survive without Mr. Jobs. That being said, I couldn't think of a better time for Microsoft to start buying up Apple stocks.

He's just this guy, you know. (1, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367623)

Let's face it, At some point SJ will no longer be running Apple. When that happens, just like when any visionary leader leaves a company, the stock will take a hit. However, providing he's not the only, single source of talent within the company, things will recover - maybe even be better without insiders having to deal with the cult of personality, as well as technical issues.

For those who think Steve is Apple, that is a pretty insulting thing to think about the dozens of other good people in the company.

Drive, Vision, and Engineers (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367635)

Apple's successful products, that not only turned around the company from the brink, but have put it in the spotlight today, have not been entirely orchestrated by Jobs as the media would have you believe. The iMac, the iPod, and so on, were all dreamt and refined up by talented engineers, and these engineers will still exist at Apple long after Jobs leaves.

Yes, Job's drive and vision have helped push the products above and beyond what someone might expect. But Jobs isn't the only person in the world with drive and vision. You can be sure that Apple will select someone when the time comes who has similar drive and vision, while those same engineers keep innovating the products that make Apple Apple.

Job's absence (4, Funny)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367659)

Can Apple continue innovating in Job's absence?

Wow! I knew Apple were early starters, but I had no idea they were operating in Biblical times!

Steve's rarely at the earnings calls (5, Informative)

Ignis Fatuusz (1084045) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367665)

This is the second high-profile article online that has mentioned Steve Jobs' absence from last week's quarterly earnings call. I have listened to Apple's quarterly earnings calls pretty regularly for over five years, and it is rare for Steve Jobs to be present at that event. It's usually Tim Cook (COO) and Peter Oppenheimer (CFO). And holy jeebus...the linked article cites Rob Enderle as its chief Apple 'expert'. Enderle is a joke among the Apple community, as his track record is abysmal.

Yes, but with a twist (5, Interesting)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367671)

I did a research project on Polaroid and came to the conclusion that, like Jobs and Apple, Polaroid was essentially Land's company and after he died, it spiraled rapidly downhill. They had some amazing stuff and once their "vision" had been lost, they were caught short by all the tech that came after.

With Jobs and Apple, I think the situation is the same only insofar as, pointed out in the article and elsewhere, Jobs and Apple are synonymous. The difference, I see, is that Land was the chief guy people expected all tech advances to come; once Land left there wasn't any one person to keep their eye on the industry. Jobs, however, is not the tech guy; he has a *lot* of good people who are clearly making great stuff, only to be held in check by Jobs until he's satisfied they "have a product".

Apple without Jobs would probably put out more products quicker, and that is the problem; Jobs is the "great floodgate" for a company that probably is literally bursting with cool, but unpolished, stuff that, if put out in the marketplace, would get a lot of buzz, but then probably sink under the weight of bugs.

Obviously Jobs can't be there forever, but unlike Microsoft that has been happy to throw everything and anything at the wall to see what sticks (and promise it'll stick better in the next version), Apple needs that special someone who can tell when a they "have a product", as well as be the human face to the company.

So yes, Apple can continue and prosper without Steve Jobs, so long as they find someone who is just like Steve Jobs.

Any takers?

Re:Yes, but with a twist (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367747)

I thought Polaroid died out because of the advent of the consumer-grade digital camera, which made Polaroid's innovation obsolete. Did I miss something where they had a vision that could compete with digital photography?

Re:Yes, but with a twist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24368067)

Yes, you did miss something there. About ten years. Polaroid hits the skids long before the first digi camera.

Re:Yes, but with a twist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24368077)

cool, but unpolished

That describes OS X 10.4 and 10.5 pretty well, especially the unpolished.

With SJ's attention is focused on the iPhone, OS X didn't get scrutinized thoroughly enough before being put out for sale, at least that's what it looks like. It might be a good indication of where things will go afterward.

Jobs isn't on conference calls (5, Informative)

RevRigel (90335) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367681)

I guess submitter doesn't listen to many quarterly calls, because Steve is literally never on them, and certainly hasn't been in the last year. Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's CFO, runs those calls. His not being on the Q3 call is simply business as usual, not something special.

Hmm opportunity (1)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367707)

Apple Stock drops huh?

Might be a good time to buy Apple stock. Let's be realistic, they will be sucessful with or without Jobs. In fact, there is the possibility of them being even MORE successful without him.

iPhone, iPod, etc... these items, love them or hate them, are devices that sell. I guarantee Rachel, the Alpha Beta Delta serority girl will have both and not even know who Steve Jobs is.

They'll be fine (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367711)

You can look at any large company that carries a namesake, and most of them aren't exactly bankrupt (i.e. JDPowers isn't defunct without J. D. Powers at the helm).

What about NeXT? (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367719)

Seriously if Jobs is the Shit why did NeXT go belly up so fast? That was his baby. Apple is a complete entity. NeXT was not.

Reverse Tactics? (1)

asdir (1195869) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367761)

"What does this mean for corporate users of Apple for whom switching costs are high? Can Apple continue innovating in Job's absence?"

Is this what it looks like when Linux fanboys start using FUD?

(Before you start CAPS-LOCKING at me: I use Linux as well, but I just think it's unfair.)

Innovation (0, Flamebait)

pdusen (1146399) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367763)

Hard to continue doing something you never really did to begin with.

Seriously, has Apple done anything seriously new since their original PCs? There were music players before the iPod, there were smartphones (with touchscreens!) before the iPhone, the Macbook Air should never have been made... Jobs basically takes great ideas that have already been done and stylizes them to death.

Re:Innovation (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367985)

I would say (and I'm really not an Apple fan) that there's a big thing about experience. Non-geeks I know love the iPod because of the ITMS/iTunes/iPod combination and how seemless it is.

Likewise, Macs don't give you much driver trouble as it's a complete solution.

Personally, I prefer the anarchy of using my own damn graphics card and having my music files in a filesystem.

As the time draws nigh (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367789)

Apple Inc will insert 5 Golden Tickets randomly in iPhone boxes around the world. The lucky winners who drew the tickets will be treated to a Special Tour of Infinite Loop, Cupertino. At end of the tour a special prize awaits...

nig6a (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367819)

riva7ry. While M0ans and groans

Jobs is still critical for product success (1)

Cutie Pi (588366) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367835)

There was a story [wired.com] a while back in Wired about the iPhone development. A key part of the story was when the iPhone team approached Jobs with a buggy, barely-functioning prototype. Jobs coldly told them, "We don't have a product yet". This motivated them to get the phone up to par in the mere three months before its debut.

Sadly, I don't think a run-of-the-mill CEO would have had this reaction, and the employees wouldn't have had the motivation to fix things. Without jobs, the iPhone might have been the Vista of the cell phone world.

Don't forget about Microsoft! (3, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367843)

It's not ALL about Jobs. Vista is managing to push even more users towards Apple. Gotta give credit where credit is due, no matter how Balmer may take it (ducks for cover)

Conspiracy Tinfoil hat alert! (1)

Tragedy4u (690579) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367847)

The stock went down twice huh? Maybe it's a good time to buy Apple stock then huh? Especially for Mr. Jobs ;)

counterproductive speculation (5, Interesting)

reversible physicist (799350) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367859)

Jobs is 53 and has no life threatening illness. The cancer he had in 2004 was of a type that usually doesn't recur, and both Apple and Jobs have said that it hasn't recurred. Thus the odds are that Jobs will be in charge for at least the next decade. There's no point in speculating on how Apple would do without him that far in the future. TFA is just "analyst talk" directed at manipulating the stock price.

Why oh why? Here's why. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367899)

While Bill Gates has successfully transitioned himself away from his day job at Microsoft, can Apple do without Jobs at all?

That's a poor comparison. Bill Gates left Microsoft. Microsoft, if nothing else, is substantially diminished. That may be "successful" from the Bill Gates point of view, but not from the shareholder's point of view.

Jobs can leave Apple at any time. He can leave on his own will; the board can ask him to step down; or he can leave due to reasons outside of either of their controls. Undoubtably the board has a strong succession plan in place, which I am confident they are keeping close to their chest.

After all, if Apple has a great successor in mind, that person either has to wait for Jobs to leave (unlikely any time soon), or he/she may be recruited by another firm to step into a CEO spotlight tomorrow. You can't hand the reigns over to a replacement if the existing person is both doing a great job and isn't going to be leaving any time soon.

This is just standard stuff - that's why wall street doesn't really mind Job's appearing to be the leader of Apple... because he IS the leader of Apple.

Absent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367925)

"And when Mr. Jobs was absent from last week's quarterly earnings conference call"
I do believe that I read somewhere that saying that Steve was "absent" is incorrect.
They said that Mr. Jobs has never been present during the quarterly earnings conference calls.
So how could he be absent? Someone is just BSing people.

Battery cover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24367939)

Maybe if Jobs had included a removable battery cover on himself it would be easier for him to keep going.

Rob Enderle - Enough Said (5, Interesting)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 5 years ago | (#24367957)

The majority of this article is based on opinion from Rob Enderle. Enough said. The man is an absolute pin-head. This is the man, who stated that SCO had a case against IBM.

Nothing to see here but the ravings of a lunatic.

Apple is innovation and Steve is the face (1)

saveonweb (939227) | more than 5 years ago | (#24368021)

Steve founded Apple with a vision. His passion (I believe what i've heard and read about this is true) for technology has enabled him to continue this vision till now. Throughout his career he has represented Apple like no one else has done...ok...Bill did that too, but Bill, I would rather think him as a business tycoon than a technocrat. Steve represented technically advanced and artistically attractive products which the engineers at Apple invented....maybe copied but definitely made it more innovative. Apple without Steve may start a new era for Apple, but I am sure someone like Steve who has been a perfectionist in choosing the right technology to bring to market would be able to handover the reign to the right person.
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