Apple without Jobs: Winners and losers

Apple without Jobs: Winners and losers

Summary: Yes, Steve Jobs is still Apple's chairman, but as he retires from being Apple's CEO, everything in technology will change. My question for today: "Who will win and who will lose?"

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Some people are still in denial. They think that Steve Jobs retiring as Apple's CEO won't change Apple much. I beg to differ. I think it changes everything. Further, I think it changes far, far more than just Apple's role in the world.

Complete Coverage: Steve Jobs resigns

First, while Apple's new CEO Tim Cook looks to be a fine choice, he's no Steve Jobs. No, I don't think the sky will fall on Apple now that Jobs is no longer CEO, but for almost 20 years now Apple has been Jobs' company. Ever since he came back from exile in NeXT, Jobs, and no one else, has led innovation at Apple.

You don't replace a Steve Jobs easily. Actually, you can't replace him at all. Love him or hate him, he's a genius and you can't just go out on the street and hire genius. So, in the short run, Apple will be fine. They'll still dominate smartphones and tablets. Two, three years down the road, it will be a different story.

As I said, though, Jobs moving out of the spotlight will affect far more than Apple. Here are my quick thoughts on what his departure will mean for the other technology players.

Android manufacturers and developers:

Break out the champagne, get the party started, sure the iPhone 5 is coming. Yes, the iPad 2 is still the tablet of choice. But, and this is a big but, Jobs will no longer be regularly appearing to say the magic words "One more thing" and have everyone with a credit card  ordering a new iOS device

This is Android manufacturers and developers' big chance. Don't blow it. As my buddy David Gewirtz points out, there are a lot of reasons not to buy Android devices. Make him, and everyone else who might buy an Android smartphone or tablet, happy and fix these problems.

Dell:

Michael Dell must be one happy CEO. Not only does HP give up on the PC market, but now Apple won't be quite as aggressive as it has been for the last few years. The PC market's margins are still as razor thin as ever, but it seems certain now that Dell will get a bigger share of the PC pie. Life is good.

Google:

Google bought Motorola Mobility for its patents, but now that Apple no longer has Jobs at the helm, I wonder if they'd be tempted to really add being a serious smartphone manufacturer to the company's ever increasing to-do list. I doubt it, but still, I wonder...

Hewlett-Packard:

HP is looking even dumber than before. Bad enough that HP's CEO Leo Apotheker had already blundered by killing off its tablet business and announcing that HP was spinning off its PC business, but now HP has surrendered to Apple on PCs and tablets... just before Apple's general retired from the field of battle. I don't think Apotheker cares at all. He want to recreate his old company, SAP, or become a cut-rate version of IBM, but anyone who ever cared about HP's orphaned business lines should really be asking themselves what the heck is going on here.

IBM:

You know what? IBM won't be effected one darn bit by Jobs' retirement. I mention Big Blue only because there was a time when they really were mortal enemies. How things change! Today, IBM has transformed itself into a services giant, much to HP's envy, and Apple owns the hearts and minds of the consumer market.

Microsoft:

Too little, too late. Yes, Windows Phone 7.5 Mango looks promising; yes Windows 8 looks interesting too. So what? I can't find anyone, except the most die-hard Windows fanboys, who is interested in Windows phones. Windows tablets? They're still out there but they've never sold well.

As for the PC, I think it's very telling that XP has only now fell beneath the 50% market share mark. It's pretty darn clear to me that PCs are indeed becoming legacy devices. At the same time, it clear that people are buying Macs, iPhones, and iPads in greater quantities than ever.  Windows-based hardware just isn't moving the way it used to be. I don't see Jobs leaving changing this trend.

I could be wrong about the details here. My crystal ball has had cracks in it before. The one thing I do know for certain, though, is that Jobs leaving the CEO office changes everything in technology, and not just what's been happening with Apple.

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Topics: Windows, IT Employment, Tablets, Software, Operating Systems, Mobility, Laptops, Hewlett-Packard, Hardware, CXO, Apple

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34 comments
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  • Eh?

    " Make him happy and fix these problems."

    There is nothing, absolutely nothing in Jobs resigning as CEO that will aid, assist, propel, induce, affirm or change Apple's competition. They will be the same inept copyists tomorrow as they are today. This is emerging as a common refrain that it's time for the competition to shine because Jobs is no longer running Apple day to day. How can this be supported by anything other than wishful thinking? The secret sauce that Apple's competition lacks will now not become evident because of a change in management at Apple. It won't even make a difference for the next two, probably three years. The competition won't fix their problems any faster because Jobs is not in direct charge of Apple.
    His_Shadow
    • RE: Apple without Jobs: Winners and losers

      @His_Shadow They won't be able to convince people as easily that all of their competition are "copyists" anymore unless they appoint British stage mentalist Derren Brown as their new CEO, so that will be a change.
      jgm@...
      • Apple doesn't have to convince people their competitors

        are copycats. Folks can figure it out for themselves. To wit: http://www.marco.org/2010/08/19/a-smartphone-retrospective
        baggins_z
      • RE: Apple without Jobs: Winners and losers

        @baggins The blog is silly. If touch screens weren't available years before the iPhone, how could developers have been using them?
        jgm@...
    • Without Steve Jobs

      @His_Shadow <br>Well, Apple could repack, improve, rename and commercialize existing products very well. But to be honest is where existing products. I doubt there was no MP3 player before the Ipod, there was a very successful Blackberry before the Iphone, the success of the netbook, itself based on the OLPC project, broke the trend of bigger, more powerful computers for fast, portable, light and quick ones and amazed everybody. The Ipod used just an, also already existing, format to build such a more limited but very user friendly PC.<br><br>Also the graphical user interface came from Xerox. A somewhat similar interface was a little bit later also found on Amiga, Atari and many others. And in the end also by Microsoft calling the latecomer modestly "Windows". Also then Apple was trying to protect it's look and feel with many lawyers, but was in the end not successful against Microsoft.<br><br>To predict what will happen without Jobs, one should look at what Apple did when Jobs was not working there. And hope for Apple that now things are better prepared.
      bezoeker
  • RE: Apple without Jobs: Winners and losers

    PCs are legacy devices. ha ha ha ha ha. :-/
    Let's take the company I work, for instance. We have approx. 300 employees in our offices. Every one of them has a Windows PC/Laptop. Do you REALLY think we are going to switch to Apple Macs or (even more ridiculous) iPads? Seriously? Not for the forseeable future at the very, very least.
    About 1/3 of us have Blackberry devices. Do you think we'll be getting iPhones to replace them? No way. No interconnectivity. We will be switching to a future, well interfaced, well-supported Windows Phone before an iPhone.

    My point... Apple is a CONSUMER device company... just like they were in the 80's and 90's. Just because people are buying tons of iPhones for home use and a few buying iPads (I know of only 3 people who own one), it will NOT translate into corporate dollars being spent on Apple. CORPORATE (whether you like corporations or not) is where the dollars are, and will continue.
    DigitalMan1001
    • RE: Apple without Jobs: Winners and losers

      @DigitalMan1001 Well said. Until people are running full-featured spreadsheets or writing code or running SQL queries on terabyte databases on their cell phone, PCs are here to stay. I'm willing to bet we'll be seeing quantum computing emerge before or around the time it's possible to do those types of things "post PC", which will make the PC orders of magnitude more powerful again.
      jgm@...
    • RE: Apple without Jobs: Winners and losers

      @DigitalMan1001 a lot of people are not aware of the fact that you can't write an email on a tablet device, you need a real keyboard, once you attach a keyboard it's not a tablet any longer, it's a notebook ...
      AdnanPirota
      • RE: Apple without Jobs: Winners and losers

        @AdnanPirota What nonsense. I write email on my iPad all the time.
        steve@...
    • RE: Apple without Jobs: Winners and losers

      @DigitalMan1001 while I agree with you that corporate does not change overnight, consumers switching to tablets from PCs have a lot of impact on what some of the corporations develop. There would be a switch from developing PC applications to iPad / iOS applications. Naturally there would be Macs in those enterprises to develop. With this, the need for Mac related software for the enterprise arises and a B2B which caters to enterprise needs would need to develop for a Mac [or the web whichever is easier]. If B2B develops for the web, many people in the enterprise [product guys, sales, coordinators, etc] do not need a Mac or PC, they can work with a tablet [iPad] and the cycle continues...

      Anyways, the point here is that there is a shift that Steve Jobs has brought about with the iPad, but it is more gradual. I wonder if Apple would have sold these many iPads if Tim Cook was on stage propagating the Post-PC era...
      browser.
    • RE: Apple without Jobs: Winners and losers

      @DigitalMan1001 Funny, I was around when mainframe people were saying the exact same thing about Windows PCs. And you know why Windows got into the enterprise? Because people were using it at home and wanted the same experience instead of what they had.

      You really shouldn't think that the enterprise isn't influenced by the consumer space. It most certainly is.
      steve@...
  • RE: Apple without Jobs: Winners and losers

    If one watches closely what Google is doing in different fronts, and unifying them now, together what has happened in the las two weeks, I only see Google rising and becoming the dominant force. Once that happens then, they will be the evil ones!!
    czorrilla
    • RE: Apple without Jobs: Winners and losers

      @czorrilla Yeah right! They are a non-entity in enterprise. Their tablets are a failure. Their software on the whole sucks. The only thing they will ever be dominant in is being an ad, data mining, and search company.

      This is company that reads people's email and buys and sells personal user info for Christ's sake. This is company that steals patented technology to build their crappy mobile OS, and then they dump it on the market for free. This is company that is engaging in uncompetitive practices with their search engines and in other areas. They already far beyond evil.
      jhammackHTH
    • Google is a one-trick pony. The day someone makes

      a search engine that's equally good, they are gone.
      baggins_z
  • RE: Apple without Jobs: Winners and losers

    LOL! Who couldn't tell that SJVN wrote this article? You are quite frankly the dumbest idiot that ever had a job writing about anything.

    "Windows-based hardware just isn?t moving the way it used to be."

    LOL! Yeah, 400+ million Windows 7 licenses sold means nobody is buying Windows at all. What a complete tool.

    "As for the PC, I think it?s very telling that XP has only now fell beneath the 50% market share mark."

    ROTLMAO! I don't know Steven, could it be that XP is 10 years old? Could it be that Windows 7 has sold 400 million copies. I mean for Christ's sake, how does this clown even have a job.
    jhammackHTH
    • RE: Apple without Jobs: Winners and losers

      @jhammackHTH Dude it is 400 million copies sold to OEMs. Did you see the results of the OEMs - HP, Dell, Samsung, Acer - they are all under... Lenova had ok sales among all of them
      browser.
      • RE: Apple without Jobs: Winners and losers

        @browser.

        <i>Dude it is 400 million copies sold to OEMs. </i>

        Dude, the way manufacturing operations run the difference in "Sold to OEM" vs "Sold to customer" is in the single digit percent at most for an established OS.

        ie it is virtually irrelevant to talk about the distinction unless you are looking at first quarter launch numbers.
        SlithyTove
  • RE: Apple without Jobs: Winners and losers

    " I can?t find anyone, except the most die-hard Windows fanboys, who is interested in Windows phones."

    I'm a Linux user and I'M interested in Windows phones, especially with Nokia behind them and WebOS gone. So now you can delete that sentence. ;-)

    Don't forget the positive experience Scott Adams of Dilbert fame had when he was challenged by Microsoft to try a WP7 phone.
    jgm@...
    • Positive experience?

      @jgm@... Once you twist the fact that he said that the UI feels like a toddler's toy, then you can say it was a positive experience.
      wackoae
      • RE: Apple without Jobs: Winners and losers

        @wackoae Here's what he really wrote:

        "The Windows phone has the best user interface experience, although the onscreen keyboard is problematic just as it is with the other phones I used. The Windows interface is intuitive, simple, and has a liveliness that I find appealing. Voice call quality was good, and battery life seemed good too. I declare it the winner compared to my iPhone 3GS with AT&T and my HTC EVO 3D with Android on the Sprint network.

        However, the intangible coolness factor is impossible to ignore. Even the names Microsoft and Windows feel dated. And the home screen of the Windows phone is great from a usability standpoint, but lacks sizzle. I?d be lying if I said that didn?t matter to me."

        No twisting necessary... by one of us, at any rate.
        jgm@...