Just yesterday, rumours spread like wildfire around the Internet that Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, was dying. Some also said that Apple would die with him. But the closest one ever got to the truth was that Steve Jobs—having fought Pancreatic Cancer back in 2004—decided to resign from the company. His successor was Jobs-groomed Tim Cook. And with Cook’s takeover came a few questions: particularly if this change in company heads would bring Apple down in any way and if this advantaged Apple competitors like Samsung, Sony, Windows and HTC.
In his much anticipated last official presence as CEO, Jobs took a light hearted approach to tackle the various declarations of his death or dying condition, saying (in big, bold letters and twisting Mark Twain’s quote,) The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.
However his continually frail-looking body and rapid loss of weight seem to speak otherwise to most people. But where does Jobs—and Apple—stand right now?
In his article, Godspeed, Steve, blogger Oliver Blanchard puts the Apple fanboys’ opinion perfectly:
“If Steve were my son, my father, my brother, my best friend, I would trade Apple and all of its success and revenue a thousand times over if it meant saving his life. No hesitation. Not even a hint of it. You can always rebuild a business, start over, change the world again. People though, when they’re gone, they’re gone.”
—Oliver Blanchard, blogger
And, while Jobs has been busy disappointing people with his resignation, some are almost put off by the way reports have been handling his health, weighing it below the health of his three major companies, Apple, Inc., Disney-Pixar Animation Studios and NeXT; and all the trend-setting gadgets that (may not) come.
I’m a little amazed that a guy to whom we owe so much and whose health has been a concern for quite some time would be treated as a side note in so many articles that choose to focus instead on what his departure might mean to the future of cool little gadgets.
Clarifying the situation
Hoping to clarify the situation rather subtly, as TIME magazine reported, Steve Jobs took a good fifteen minutes to showcase their newest bundled software, Genius, before playing the songs, Don’t think twice, It’s alright by Bob Dylan, and Beck’s Guess I’m doing fine!
Apparently, not everybody gets subtlety. Bloomberg News published a premature obituary to Steve Jobs, proclaiming him dead and then following it up with a corrigendum that declared the news item was marked Hold for release, Do not publish, perhaps in anticipation of the worst.
Nonetheless Jobs took the 17-page obituary cooly. Perhaps it was the consolation that Pope John Paul II had, before him, been the subject of three obituaries—including one that spoke of his love of racing—that he lived to read. And activist Marcus Garvey whose obituary was wrongly published after his stroke, and after reading which, he suffered a second stroke and died.
Apple, Inc. will live
The man often dubbed as whom Steve Jobs groomed since long to be his successor, Tim Cook, will be taking charge of Apple as its new CEO. Once Apple’s Chief Operating Officer under Steve Jobs, Cook will be—to misquote Britist commentator Clive Tyldesley—coming in to replace Jobs, the irreplaceable Steve Jobs.
“[Tim] has been running Apple since a long time now,” says Michael Janes, the first General Manager of Apple Store online,“Steve is the face of the company… but Tim is the guy who takes all those designs and turns it into a big pile of cash for the company.”
Cook, an ex-compaq employee and Apple’s highest-paid executive since he joined in 1998 has played a major role in product design finalisation and the fact that he shares an attitude of going over the tiniest details carefully with Jobs is expected to give investors some relief—and hope, hopefully!
Apple’s next ten years and the unknown Steve Jobs
Smart analysts are saying that even if Apple, Inc. were to plummet into an abyss like it did the last time Jobs quit the company, Steve has brought it to such a height now that—survive 2012 and—it would take Apple a whopping ten whole years to lose its market place. In short, if anybody is planning to bail out on Apple following Cook’s takeover, they would have at least nine years to think it over before they start losing money.
While it is obvious to many that Steve Jobs has been hiding facts about his ill health, not many are aware of the stuff about him that he has not made any intention to hide!
James Althucher of Business Insider penned an article titled, 10 things I didn’t know about Steve Jobs, detailing some remarkable factoids about the almost legendary CEO who has been hailed, in a period of technological revolution, as the revolutionary.
As it turns out, Steve Jobs’ father is Abdulfattah Jandali, making Jobs—biologically—a half-Syrian muslim. However, Jobs practices Zen Buddhism and had no idea until recently that novelist Mona Simpson was his sister. Also, he wrongly claimed he was sterile; dismissed his first child (although he took it back later;) is a pescetarian; created the famed game, Breakout; skipped out of his Reed college undergraduate degree after the first semester; and does not give money to charity, and makes sure that his company does not indulge corporate philanthropic programmes of any sort.
So Steve Jobs is alive, but we cannot say how well he is just yet; Apple, too, has hopes in spite of Jobs’ resignation, but only time will tell how it will fare in the market. The biggest phenomenon—whether true or not—is that giants Samsung, Windows and Sony have begun to view Apple as a much less fearful competition now, perhaps even as one they can take on and come on top. But underestimation has seen more than its share of downfall on the estimator’s part.
Will the other companies take advantage of this shift to grab the markets as Samsung did last year when it released the Galaxy Tab? Or will Apple have too much substance to simple trample over? Or will Tim Cook be the next Steve Jobs?
[NB Word is that all iPhones went silent for one minute yesterday after Steve Jobs’ official resignation from Apple, Inc.]