Saturday, August 27, 2011

Will Jobs' departure shake up the mobile industry?

With succession plan, rivals will be 'foolish' to try to take advantage of leadership change at Apple, analysts say

Computerworld - The iPhone. The iPad. Both iconic Apple products have soared in global popularity. Both have led to a mobile computing movement started, arguably, when the iPhone first appeared in 2007.

Perhaps it is more properly called a minor revolution that has forced the public to question its reliance on desktop and laptop computers. However you describe the way the mobile market and IT in general have been affected by the iPhone and the iPad, both products had Steve Jobs as the motivating spark behind their development.

Now that he has resigned as CEO, probably due to lingering health concerns, can his fire still burn inside Apple's engineers, designers and marketers? Jobs is staying on as Apple's board chairman, with former Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook installed as CEO. But is that enough to keep Apple on top with alluring new product designs and technology marvels, much less the business savvy to work with carriers and manufacturers globally?

"His departure will affect parts of the [mobile computing] industry dramatically," independent analyst Jeffrey Kagan said in an email. "Remember, it was Apple that was the leader in changing the music business [with iTunes], the smartphone business, and Apple invented the [touchscreen] tablet computer business. Much of that came from Steve Jobs' vision."

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