The business world is now pondering what impact the death of Apple’s inspirational leader Steve Jobs will have on the technology giant and asking the question will this give Apple’s rivals a greater chance to catch up?
Tech watchers say Jobs’ creative spirit was so closely tied to Apple’s fortunes that there are questions about the future pace of its pipeline of transformational products.
Mark Newman, a senior analyst with Sanford Bernstein said: “I’m not going to say it’s the end of Apple’s innovation, I believe they’ll continue. They have many, many great people there, but they’re coming under increasing attack by companies especially Samsung. Especially at the low-end, as well as the high-end. And I think without Steve Jobs, this is going to get worse for them to fend off.”
Jobs’ commitment to minimalist design and his marketing genius brought forth a string of game-changing and share-price-boosting products – from the first Macintosh in 1984, through the all-in-one iMac, the iPod music player, the original touch screen iPhone, four years ago, updated just this week with the 4S, and the net book killer – the iPad tablet computer, which left rivals scrambling to catch up.
Analysts said South Korea’s Samsung is one of the best placed companies to make inroads on Apple’s market. It already has the closest competitor by sales to the iPad and is catching up with smartphone sales.
Samsung’s share rose on news of Jobs’ death, as did other rivals, LG Electronics, HTC and Sony.