Since Steve Jobs first fell ill, Apple’s fortunes have been tied to his health with many investors seeing his vision as essential to the company’s continued growth.
Apple has gone from near bankruptcy to being one of the world’s most valuable companies.
In the original public offering of shares in December 1981, the price was $3.59 They really took off in 2007 with the success of the first iPhone and then slumped in early 2009 when Jobs took extended leave saying his health problems had become “more complex”.
The iPad tablet computer boosted the share price even further and when the newest version was launched they hit $352 each.
They slipped on word that Jobs was stepping down but not dramatically, only about one percent down at $372.
Analyst Fidel Helmer with Hauck & Aufhäuser says time will tell what happens: “Steve Jobs was very creative and took Apple a long way, I could imagine now that this progress will, at least, calm down a bit.”
The Jobs announcement did have an effect on the Asian markets as Apple suppliers like Foxconn and Wintech fell.
Rival manufacturers Samsung, LG and HTC all rose, they would benefit most from any Apple weakness. Samsung is seen as the biggest threat.