How will Tim continue to Cook the Apple saga?

The first blow was discharged when Apple’s mobile advertising head, Andy Miller, who headed the iAd network, responsible for ads in the iPhone, iPad and iPod stepped down last week to join part a rival company, a part of which was bought over a year earlier by Apple. Strike two was the resignation of Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of Apple three days ago.

As predicted after the Google-Motorola deal, Apple would not sit silent and trouble was definitely brewing. And there were rumors a few months ago that Steve Jobs may quit Apple, due to health issues. 


While Jobs has said that he will continue to play an ‘active’ role in affairs of Apple, as a director on the Board, the question on everybody’s minds is whether Tim Cook, the former COO of Apple, who has now succeeded Jobs as CEO of the company, is the right person for the job. Moreover, what does a shift in leadership mean for Apple, what will be the new management practices adopted, that will ultimately have an impact on output, and finally, will Cook be able to keep doling out Apple genius products at a faster rate than his successor, keeping in mind sharks like Google and Samsung, who are no doubt waiting in the lurch for a single slip-up, to gain a brownie point or two for themselves?


While this marks the end of an era for Apple, it’s important to remember the there’s more to Apple than any one person, even Steve Jobs. Continuing as chairman Jobs will continue to leave his mark on both the company and products even as he transfers the reigns to Cook,” said Michael Gartenberg, research director at Gartner.


Steve Jobs resigning and making place for Tim Cook was expected and is a well planned move. Tim Cook has been doing well during Steve’s absence already and he is well respected within the company. Apple has likely decided product line up and strategy broadly for next couple of years. This change is going to be business as usual for Apple. I don’t see this being a moment of weakness for others to take advantage of. Apple will continue to use its competitive vigor to dominate its market,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst, Gartner.

Right from the early days, Microsoft and Apple were close rivals, with Apple finally closing in on the former, by venturing into the space set apart from the Macs- that it had become famous for, and instead venturing into the third screen space. First-by revolutionizing the way people listened to music, giving them an immediate plus over the MP3 player – the iPod came into being, and swept the world with devices, that in later editions included video, as well. Some years later came the iPhone – similar in design to the iPod, but the world’s first introduction to a smartphone. Soon after, followed the iPad – the lightweight tablet that once again revolutionized the mobile handset space – being an essence a way to carry your world in your pocket, and led the way for the storm of smartphones, including today’s number one smartphone by Google -the Android. Consistent innovation and quality, differential pricing for different markets and the drive to continuously be number one, by rolling out devices one after the other, just in time to make the new trend, have been hallmarks of Apple – and in effect, Steve Jobs.


When the world is heading towards a new communications revolution, with the huge growth in smartphones and tablets, can Apple afford to take the risk of losing its most valuable head at the top, and still be able to stand firm in the face of growing competition and patent issues?

Tim Cook has the experience of a boy-genius from Compaq, growing into a man able to effectively steer the marketing of Apple’s thought leadership, weaving into it the capable ideas of the brain that was Steve Jobs, and adding his own quintessential twist to the game, carefully studying consumer patterns and preferences and effectively capitalizing on the same in due time.

According to an analyst from Frost & Sullivan, Apple has survived and flourished under the capable hands of Tim Cook intermittently, since Steve Jobs’ health issues cropped up in 2004, 2009 and 2011, when he had to take a sabbatical. Unscrutinized by the public eye, Cook was steadily at work behind the scenes, learning the ropes and putting his years of experience working under Steve Jobs into practice, in preparation for what was inevitably yet to come.


Steve Jobs has been known to be undergoing an operation one day, and the next week appearing in public for a media briefing. His enthusiasm to always make himself an integral part in running day-to-day operations, and make himself seen to the public as an approachable commoner, and not as sitting high up, holding the reigns of the Apple cart, is what has made him and – to a certain extent, his products very popular. As he promises to continue to be actively involved in overseeing Operation Apple, it is hoped that his successor will be every bit and more of the iconic leader that he was.


By Beryl M

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