An icon and legend indeed in the field of computers and electronic gadgets.
Apple will decline or stagnant when he is gone.
Because Steve Jobs is her product visionary leader and innovator.
just look at the volatility....
Steve Jobs @ meeting with Obama & other CEO's last week
Apple will never have what it has today without Steve. There was a period of time when Apple was very quiet, with it's old Macintosh. Untill around the year 2000-2001 when Apple launches its first iPod with the help of Steve presenting. It turned to be very succesful till now. Next is the iBook and iMac where the Tiger OS came in, and it was so user friendly that till now the Leopard OS is so popular. In 2007-2008, the iPod Touch and iPhone came out and it hits the rest of the competitors like Nokia and Sony Ericsson.
All thanks to Steve, no matter how good or perfect the engineering team is, I'm sure without the help of Steve in its presentation, Apple will never be that successful today.
Think fast, aim for the best !
In 1997 when Steve Jobs returned, US$150 million was not a huge wad of cash to Apple, which had $5 billion in the bank and no long term debt. Microsoft's promise to continue MS Office products was more important to the industry using Macs than the pocket change. Apple's stock price was up from a lot of about US$13.50 per share in 1995.
Microsoft made more profit on each Mac product than on the same product for Windows. They wanted that revenue stream to continue. They could also try new things on Macs before doing the same thing on a larger scale on Windows.
Back around 1986, Steve Jobs left the company after he, Steve Wozniak, and the board hired John Sculley from PepsiCo to work the company financially. Steve Jobs and John Sculley did not agree and Steve Jobs went on to found NeXT, Inc., a company manufacturing and selling UNIX-based computers.
John Sculley helped Apple financially and killed off innovation, except for the Newton Messenger. After he was removed, Michael Spindler drove things into the ground. They finally got Gil Amelio, who turned around National Semiconductor to run the company and Ellen Hancock to re-work the technical side. They bought NeXT, Inc. and Steve Jobs.
They put Mac OS and NeXTStep together and Steve Jobs introduced the iMac in 1998, which had already been in planning before he arrived. Mac OS X arrived in 2000 as a public beta.
Err... Having a huge reserve in bank does not automatically means stability to the company. Businesses are about strategic planing and looking ahead of its long term prospect. At the time, Apple was dying, it may have huge reserve, but that mean dying slowly.
At that time, Apple had lost the desktop war against Windows+Intel platform. Their market share is shrinking and shrinking. There were even possibilities of Apple may put itself up on sales. It was a company where it lack of vision for itself. In any business sense, such company is a sinking ship.
Until Steve Jobs returned...
When Steve Jobs returned, one of the earlier thing he did is publicly admit, The Battle For The Desktop Is Over. And We Lost. - Steve Jobs
He is smart lah, willing to admit to the reality, so instead of continue to do desktop business only, he started branching out to other areas, where he knows the potential grow are in other segments in the market.
I still remember reading some comments from Apple user's forum or group, how unhappy and dishearten by the fact he admitted this and signal a change of company's direction. However, history has proven him to be right.