Apple without Steve Jobs: The five challenges ahead

Summary:What tasks are on Tim Cook's to-do list as the new Apple CEO?

What tasks are on Tim Cook's to-do list as the new Apple CEO?

On Wednesday, Steve Jobs stepped down from his post as CEO, taking up instead the role of chairman of the board.

For many people, Steve Jobs is Apple - one of the company's original founders and the directing force behind its success today selling high-end hardware to a devoted public. But Apple now has a different leadership - Tim Cook, its former COO, is now at the helm.

Like Jobs, Cook is a seasoned Apple staffer. Unlike Jobs the creative, Cook comes from an operations background, taking care of supply chains and reseller relationships.

And so, with the changing of the guard, what challenges now face Apple?

1. Finding the next big thing

Apple's product strategy will not have been thrown into disarray by Jobs' departure - Apple will have a product roadmap all locked down for several years to come, so it will be a shock if Apple doesn't release an iteration of the iPad and iPhone on a yearly basis. Designing these iterations is more than a year's work, so it's clear Jobs-supervised products will be with us for some time yet.

Steve Jobs and Tim Cook

Apple CEOs past and present: Steve Jobs and Tim CookPhoto: James Martin CNET

However, what isn't known is whether Jobs has left the company with another product category on the drawing board.

While iPads and iPhones have a healthy future in front of them, the nature of publicly traded companies is that shareholders demand growth - the sort of growth that comes from introducing new categories of products, as the company did with the first iPad in 2010.

Cook will need to be taking...

Topics: Mobility


Jo Best has been covering IT for the best part of a decade for publications including, Guardian Government Computing and ZDNet in both London and Sydney.

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