Steve Jobs leaving Apple, good for consumers?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by evanrousso, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. evanrousso macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Hello,

    With Steve Jobs taking another medical leave from Apple people have been speculating whether or not he will return. I am sure he will return, but if he decides to leave and focus on his health I am wondering if such a move would actually benefit Apple's customers.

    Bear with me.

    I believe that a lot of the "umph" of Apple comes from the charisma and vision of Steve Jobs. He is the face of the one of the most renowned brands in the world, EVERYone in the tech industry waits in anticipation for what Steve Jobs is going to come up with next.

    If Apple lost all of that, I think they would have to be more competitive in the market to restore faith that Apple can still innovate without SJ. To me, that means lower prices and more up-to-standards in their machines (faster processors, USB 3, BluRay etc...) machines.

    Without SJ, Apple's god-like brand would be damaged and they would have to come back down to the rest of the industry's level.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. iPhoneCollector macrumors 6502a

    iPhoneCollector

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    #2
    I dont think steve jobs invents everything anymore all by him self its the team that counts. And jobs is a major key person but not really the brain of the company, thou he is the face and soul.
     
  3. evanrousso thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I agree, Apple can continue to make great products without Steve Jobs. But you have to admit, he is sort of viewed as the brains behind everything. If he were to leave I can see Apple loosening their belt loop a little and becoming more consumer friendly.
     
  4. iPhoneCollector macrumors 6502a

    iPhoneCollector

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    #4
    He kind of is the brain but kind of isn't. I mean apple has tens if not hundrets of desingers engineirs and other co-workers. Jobs cant do everything all by himself, can he.
     
  5. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

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    #5
    The problem is game-changing products need vision and put simply: balls. And unfortunately, that is about 90% Steve.
     
  6. brentsg macrumors 68040

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    #6
    Apple's products have focus for a reason, and that's Jobs drive. Now you may not like the product of that focus, but that's another issue.

    By contrast, take a company like HP. Everything they produce looks like it was developed by committee in some crappy conference room full of people.
     
  7. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #7
    JObs doesn't invent in the usual sense. He isn't a design engineer, and he's never programmed a product in his life.

    What's he good at is using people who _are_ inventors, designers and programmers, working them hard, picking out the parts that the mass public will most go for, being nit-picky to death over materials... then introducing the resulting product with a well scripted dog and pony show.

    It's a great talent, but not a standalone one. He's a symbiote. Without others, he'd be nothing. Without him, some others might not get pushed into doing some nice things.

    To replace him, what Apple should do is find someone with good taste, and give them absolute final power of decision. That latter part is key.
     
  8. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #8

    Nonsense. Apple will operate just as it does today whether or not Jobs returns. There is far too much talent there with a culture of excellence. Tim Cook probably bears as much responsibility for that as Jobs. You don't change your business model because your CEO retires.
     
  9. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #9
    How will it be good for consumers? It won't. But it won't be bad, either.

    But that doesn't mean that Apple won't continue along the same lines.

    Keys to success:

    Innovation, and strict control of that innovation. Otherwise, they're just another Acer or HP.

    Of course, this might all be moot anyway. SJ might very well return to normal duty in due course and stick around for another 7-10 years.

    That said, I'd rather have 5 years of an Apple a la Steve Jobs and then oblivion, than 20 years of Microsoft and the also-rans.
     
  10. evanrousso thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I think a lot of you are misunderstanding me. I am in no way saying that Apple can't produce products as great as they are now without Steve Jobs. I am saying that most casual Apple users (ie people that don't read macrumors) view Steve Jobs as the face of Apple.

    If Apple were to lose SJ, they would have to make up for the fact that, for at least momentarily, they would be without a charismatic voice behind Apple. To make up for this, they could update their prices/product to stay competitive.
     
  11. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #11
    So in other words, do what they've been doing up until now. Same strategy.
     
  12. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding between what is good for average Apple customer and desire that some people have for Apple to match specs/price on competing personal computer hardware.

    I would also argue that Steve Jobs is also really not the public face of Apple for the majority of Apple's customers. Sure, he is the guy who is pictured demonstrating things in newspaper articles or is the cover of a magazine with a new device, but it is the iPad/iPhone/iPod and the support infrastructure and support behind these devices.

    I really think that there exists a significant number of people who believe that there is value-added into each Apple product. People actually like iTunes. For all of the problems that AppleCare and the Genius Bars might cause some individuals, I think most people find dealing with AppleCare and the Apple Stores a much better experience than their local Best Buy or calling HP or Toshiba customer support.

    To your question specifically about whether if Jobs is done with Apple is it good for consumers?

    Probably not. I could be wrong, but I have always seen Jobs as Consumer in Chief of Apple. For better or worse, it has always been my impression that if a product down the pipeline isn't something that Jobs sees value in as a consumer, it is never released. This is probably good for consumer at-large though.
     
  13. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #13
    Meh. I seriously doubt Jobs has done anything major apart from announce the products in the keynotes in the past few years.

    I think we've probably seen the last of him now. They may drag him out for a few more keynotes in a few years to keep the geek consumer happy, but I think he's pretty much retired and only said it to keep the stocks from taking a major hit.
     
  14. iPhoneCollector macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Steve Jobs is the right man for the job. I hope Tim Cook has the same taste as Jobs
     
  15. Aatos.1 macrumors 6502

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    #15
    It's a perfect time for Jobs to fade out of the Apple frontman position.

    There is no better time for Apple to eliminate "Apple Tax" & learn to stand on their own without the brilliant smoke & mirrors trickery of Jobs.

    Flush with great talent Apple will progress into a better corporate citizen, making every bit as much money as they are now. Far too many mainstream people from every walk of corporate & private life, have had enough of the self serving Apple arrogance.

    If they're going to continue to blend into the fabric of mainstream retail such as Best Buy, Walmart, and their own stores, a more even tempered approach sans the wild claims such as: "It's Magical & Revolutionary" will be welcomed by the masses. Many of my non-tech addict, yet tech aware friends rolled their eyes over the iPad add. Yes they bought one, but not because they loved Apple or it's hate commercials (Mac vs. PC).

    Let's face it. People can see right through that farse. Yes we really like our Macs, but we don't like being viewed in the same light as the Zealots that live & breathe based on Steves every word.
     
  16. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    #16
    No.

    Apple just announced a record quarter. People are buying Apple products in droves, and they don't care if the processors are outdated or that they don't play Blu-ray or whatever else this forum would have you think is important.

    Apple just needs to keep doing what it's doing. Most of their consumers have no idea what Steve Jobs' job is, anyway.
     
  17. Apple OC macrumors 68040

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    #17
    I doubt Apple is a 1 man show ... business will continue as usual :cool:
     
  18. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #18
    Apple made billions upon billions off nearly their entire product lineup.

    Because people can see right through that farce.
     
  19. G4er? macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Apple has slick looking products. It is that feature that helps drive sales. Which is a good thing. Because those same slick looking products are keeping Apple from putting the latest and greatest parts inside.

    The quest to make everything thinner and smaller is keeping Apple from being able to maximize the performance capability of its computers. There are lots of discussions here on heat concerns and problems if Apple tried to cram more powerful processors into tiny little spaces.

    Apple can still have great looking products. Just make things like the mini with a bigger case and that would allow a big performance boost.

    Form is hurting function right now for Apple.
     
  20. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #20
    I agree with the OP. even if Apple is just as awesome, Jobs was a figurehead. Much like people gravitate to christianity because there's a god that you can "see", Jobs is the embodiment of Apple. Without Jobs, Apple loses some of its prestige.
     
  21. evanrousso thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    And that is all that I am saying.

    SJ is the figurehead, the lead singer if you will. SJ is a large part of the Apple brand. Even if SJ had absolutely nothing to do with the processes at Apple and he was only there to make keynote speeches every few months to introduce a new product, the public still views him as the brains behind Apple's success.

    It has also been said that Sj is an arrogant egomaniac, which works in Apple's favor most of the time, but sometimes it doesn't. I believe that with him gone, Apple can continue to innovate while conforming to market demands a little more.
     
  22. Aatos.1 macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Yes I agree with you, the Apple Tax (added mark up, a tactic just like car dealers use) has made huge profits for Apple.

    Let's not forget to give Steve Jobs the credit he deserves for convincing people to pay excessively high prices for those products. That said, Apple's beginning to back off a bit as some of their newer products are priced in the upper end of the competitive range. A first for Apple.

    Steve is one of the best sales people ever. That's all there is to it. Never forget that.
     
  23. iPhoneCollector macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Yes exactly. And if it was i doupt their product had been as awesome as they are now
     
  24. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #24
    There is no "Apple Tax." Apple competes in the same markets as others, makes a superior product, and then charges for it. Dell, HP, Acer and others could never get away with this because there is really nothing behind their names. Derivative, badly designed products can't command high margins.

    There's a reason the Apple ecosystem is closed and controlled. The Apple ecosystem is meant to achieve a specific set of results, according to specific standards, each time - for everyone. There is a clear and tangible value proposition in this model and consumers have simply responded.

    It isn't salesmanship. You can run great ad campaigns and then lose mindshare and confidence with lousy products. Apple products stand on their own once the marketing dust settles.

    Those who evaluate worth purely on a bullet-list of "features" just don't get it. In fact, fewer features, that have been carefully implemented and perfected, will always present a much higher value proposition to the consumer.
     
  25. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #25
    As others have stated, Jobs really never invented anything at apple. He has vision, and ferocious attention to detail. He's given apple a great direction, focus and dedication that they lacked under other CEOs.

    Just look at how well Cook handled Apple when Jobs was away the last time. While Jobs is the face and perhaps the spirit of apple, they have a lot of great engineers and leaders, and that was evident when he was getting his liver transplant.
     

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