iPhone 4S last year and the new iPad this year have proven to be highly successful products, in unit sales, revenues, gross margins and profits. The iPhone 5 is expected to continue that success.
But many point out these products, and Apples current success, is simply the momentum created when Jobs was at the helm. A Los Angeles Times story quoted Pete Solvik, managing director of venture capital firm Sigma and a former Apple employee, saying The $64,000 question is: Does Tim have the ability to lead the organization to another major breakthrough in a new product category? I have little doubt he is going to have continued success with revisions of the current products. Everybody hopes that he has the ability to sustain the business with a new hit too."
But both the senior management team that Jobs assembled, and the very ethos of Apple itself, where Cook has worked for nearly 25 years, are still intact. Some commenters have said that Cook is simply delivering products midwifed by Jobss creativity. But Jobs hired Cook for precisely that reason: to create a powerfully efficient and adaptive supply chain that Apple is now leveraging on an unprecedented scale for its mobile product line.
Tim is all about execution, says Chuck Goldman, CEO of Boston-based Apperian, and a former Apple employee. What he lacks in product development has been picked up by the [larger] team. He is much more customer-centric then Jobs and he listens to them more.
Apple is a large, well-oiled machine that knows how to design and sell beautiful products that consumers want, writes CNNs Kelly.
And its that knowledge, embedded in Apple under Steve Jobs, that some say is the essence of Apple. The company itself shows the same qualities as its products, John Gruber argued over a year ago, in a blogpost after Jobs announced his resignation as CEO.
The same thought, care, and painstaking attention to detail that Steve Jobs brought to questions like How should a computer work?, How should a phone work?, How should we buy music and apps in the digital age? he also brought to the most important question: How should a company that creates such things function? Gruber wrote. Jobss greatest creation isnt any Apple product. It is Apple itself."
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.