Apple's Australian resellers are unmoved by Steve Jobs’ departure from Apple, confident in the performance of new chief executive Tim Cook.
While Jobs was hailed a guru, company saviour and game changer, Apple's channel believes the company will continue to innovate under the new management.
The man credited with changing the face of computing several times over the last four decades resigned on August 25, after struggling with a rare form of pancreatic cancer since 2003. In a letter to the board, Jobs admitted he could no longer meet his duties and endorsed chief operating officer Tim Cook as his successor. He stays on as chairman and director.
Danny Moore, chief executive of Apple distributor Express Online said he has full confidence in Cook’s ability to carry on Jobs’ legacy.
“Tim Cook has been sitting there and the company has been very well managed for a long time. “Everyone is crediting Jobs and no doubt he changed the way we work with technology, but it’s a large organisation with very bright people. They have so much in the pipeline and their momentum is fantastic,” Moore said.
Cook has been with the company for more than a decade and acting CEO since Jobs went on extended sick leave in January.
The financial market was surprised by the announcement and Apple shares took at dive as an immediate result but later recovered.
JB Hi-Fi chief executive Terry Smart said he did not anticipate any concerns from a retailer’s perspective.
“It’s an interesting development, but they are not going to slow down or stop innovating.
“These events happen from time to time and anyway, because the product development pipeline is many years ahead, I’m not expecting any changes,” Smart said.
He said there had been no noticeable reaction from consumers on the shop floor.
Danny Gorog, former manager of the Apple business division of Kiandra IT, said Jobs’ resignation was sad but it be would naïve to think the company was built by just one man.
“Tim Cook is an Apple veteran and some say he is the reason the company is super profitable and will continue to be because of the work he’s done to the supply chain. He has a fantastic team in place and they will continue to build great products,” Gorog who recently founded Outware Mobile, an iPhone app developer, said.
Nothing to fear
Steven Noble, senior market analyst at Forester Research, said resellers had nothing to fear and did not need to change their sales approach. Consumers would not think less of Apple or its products.
“I don’t think people buy Apple products because of Jobs. They buy [them] because they like the value proposition and the integration with the other channels, like iTunes,” Noble said adding such tactics were likely to continue under Cook.
“The messaging has never been about Jobs, anyway. There’s never been a poster of Jobs in store. It’s all about the products and will continue to be,” he said.
Jobs and his college mate Steve Wozniak launched their first Apple computer in 1976. The following year, mass production of the Apple II changed personal computing forever.
Jobs was pushed out of the company in a power struggle in 1985, returning in 1997 to save it from financial ruin.
In 1998 he revamped the Macintosh range with the iMac PC, then made mobile computing fashionable with the iBook a year later.
Since then, resellers have not been short of game-changing products to showcase: the iPod was launched in 2001, iTunes in 2003, the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad last year.
Apple is now larger than Microsoft in market capitalisation, having been helped by the rival’s $US150 million investment in the company back in 1997.
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Issue: 315 | May 2013
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