Thursday, August 25, 2011
BY DAVID POGUE
|Photo Courtesy Ben Stanfield|
As you can imagine, this news is rocking the world — and not just the tech world. Mr. Jobs, after all, has almost single-handedly reshaped a stunning range of industries: music, TV, movies, software, cellphones, and cloud computing. The products he’s shepherded into existence with single-minded vision read like a Top 10 list, or a Top 50 list, of the world’s most successful inventions: Macintosh. iPod. iPhone. iTunes. iMovie. iPad.
He’s done pretty well for Apple stockholders, too. Ten years ago Apple’s stock was at $9 a share; today, it’s $376. Apple is neck-and-neck with Exxon Mobil for the title of world’s most valuable company.
Most of the reactions online today read like obituaries — for Steve Jobs, if not for Apple.
Is that appropriate? Well, only Mr. Jobs’s inner circle knows how sick he actually is. (He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004, had a liver transplant in 2009 and has had health troubles ever since.) But nobody, not even Mr. Jobs, can say for sure whether Apple can still be Apple without him at the helm.
There are three reasons that it might — and one big reason that it might not.