The news came out after-hours last night that Steve Jobs is stepping down as CEO of Apple effective immediately. This was the day that I think most shareholders have dreaded for quite some time. I don’t think that there will be any noticeable change in the near-term. Products are already being developed, and the company seems to have a roadmap in place for the next few years that, if history is any indication, will leave competitors struggling to keep up. Out past that, I think that it may be more uncertain. Steve Jobs has a great talent. He has been able to see into the future and create beautiful products that people want. The question of if that will continue is what will be answered but not for a few years. Fundamentally, Steve Jobs has taken the old computer retailer and created a new company that packages technology in a simple, elegant, easy and intuitive package for people to use. Basically, it trades on the power of ideas. Anyone can sell computers, but selling ideas is harder, and almost impossible to copy. A company can sell ideas forever, long after computers have become obsolete. Whether it can continue to innovate after the main wellspring has gone is the question.
Shares are down $7 (1.86%) at the opening of the market to $369