He left Apple at a good shape and that is not surprising, but what few could suspect was the quick and huge sales success of the iPhone and iPad that followed soon after that made the company the world’s largest firm by a huge margin. Recently, Apple flirted with $700 price per share and a market cap exceeding $650 billion. This was no coincidence.
The thought that he isn’t going to make it much longer might have crossed Steve Jobs’ mind the first time he heard his diagnosis of a rare form of pancreatic cancer in 2004. In the following years Apple introduced groundbreaking new products like the MacBook Air, the iPhone, and the iPad, all of which changed or created an industry.
The company based in Cupertino, California is now widely seen as a well-oiled, disciplined machine releasing an iPhone once a year, always at the same time and shipping millions of it in less than two weeks after the announcement, and a lot of that is due to Cook. 5 million iPhone 5s were sold in the opening weekend alone. No other company can ramp up production and deliver well polished products in such killer times. Even Samsung that comes closest takes months to bring its Galaxy S III flagship to one of world’s biggest markets, the United States.
One year after: has Apple changed under Tim Cook?
Apple’s former chief executive Steve Jobs however was not just a manager, he was a visionary. 1 year after his passing we keep on hearing reports that the iPhone 5 was the last product approved by Jobs. This means that it’s too early to say whether Tim Cook is cultivating the same revolutionary innovation that Apple under Jobs was known for.
It is not too early to conclude, though, that Cook has done a remarkable job in keeping Apple’s cash pile growing. Apple shares have nearly doubled in value from around $370 to around $670 in this past year. What’s more, the company has widened its geographical outreach delivering iPhones to more than 100 countries.
He has allowed, though, the launch of two sub-par products with Siri (which was at least clearly labeled “beta”) and most recently Apple Maps. We wouldn’t ask the absurd question whether or not Jobs would have launched them. What matters more right now is how quickly Apple will react to fix them.
The big takeaway here, though, is that this one year has been business as usual for Apple. The company proved it is still aggressive in innovation by launching the 2048 x 1536 extremely high-resolution screen on the new iPad (no one has matched that yet, and it’s been half a year!). Apple is also leading the way in graphics with both its iPad and iPhone. Finally, Apple is also traditionally pushing the envelope when it comes to battery expectancy on its products as the iPad remains the longest lasting tablet on the market.
“Stay hungry, stay foolish”
“Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.” Jobs’ last words still echo in our mind when we think about the man that created Apple. What was that kept his mind excited on his deathbed? We’ll never know, but it is this genuine excitement with the future that he seems to have successfully passed.
Check out Apple's tribute to Steve Jobs at Apple.com, and below you can also find the world's reaction to Jobs' death from last year, and his legacy in products.