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What does Steve Jobs' retirement mean for Apple?

Steve Jobs has retired because of medical reasons. Steve Jobs is a revered figure in the technology world even by those who are anti-Apple (aka Android and Microsoft fan-people). Everyone wants to know >> what does this mean for Apple? So here is our opinion:

  • Apple’s upcoming products >> iPhone 5 followed by iPad 3 will ROCK the world. With or without Steve Jobs, there are millions of people worldwide waiting for these. You could put a thick cardboard brick and put the iPhone 5 logo on it and it will sell. Such is the power of the iPhone (and the Apple brand). Apple will be TOTALLY FINE at least through the end of 2012.
  • If you are an Apple investor, you have nothing to worry about. As of this writing, Apple stock is trading at around $380 with a PE of around 15. At this price, we actually think Apple is UNDERVALUED. Remember, Apple has barely made a dent in the smartphone market outside the USA. Barring unforeseen circumstances (e.g. disasters, product recalls, etc.), we fully expect Apple shares to go up a good 20% in the next year (we should insert some legal jargon here, but we are clearly merely making a prediction based on ZERO insider information).
  • Long-term, Apple may have a few issues. After a good run in 2012, it has the potential to stagnate (just like Microsoft); after all, Android is formidable, and Microsoft is licking its chops; and don’t count RIM or Nokia out just yet, there may be some hidden lives in these companies.
  • So what do we know about Tim Cook (the new Apple CEO)? Mr. Cook is an operations guy, he hardly has the reputation of being a visionary. We all know what has happened at Microsoft with the departure of Bill Gates (Steve Balmer is no Bill Gates). Apple will actually depend heavily on a guy by the name of Jonathan Ive. Will Mr. Cook and Mr. Ive have the same synergy as Mr. Jobs had with Mr. Ive? That is the multi-billion dollar question. Steve Jobs made a commitment to design. We are unsure if Tim Cook will compromise design to squeeze in functionality. Apple’s future depends on it!
  • If you are an Apple fan-boy/girl, you have nothing to worry about for the next 2-3 years. The iPhone and iPad legacy will live on for a while. The big question is “what’s next?” (no pun intended). Apple TV doesn’t quite have the legs that Apple had hoped for.
  • If you are an Android or Microsoft fan-boy/girl, you are probably secretly gloating (come on, don’t deny it). After all, Jobs is widely considered the soul of Apple.

So we wait and see what happens to Apple, but we definitely wish Mr. Jobs the best, and thank him for making smartphones mainstream.


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