The lines were long at the Apple Stores. The servers were taxed as people updated their iOS. This seemed to be another successful launch for Apple, but it still wasn’t the same. Tim Cook is fine, but he’s no Steve Jobs.
That was the intent. Apple didn’t want him to be another Steve Jobs. Tim Cook didn’t want to be another Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs didn’t want Cook to be another Steve Jobs. As we approach the 2-year anniversary of the tech icon’s death, it’s still hard to go through these Apple launch sessions without him.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those Steve Jobs or Apple fanboys who is preparing to hold a candlelight vigil for the man. He was just a man and not a very nice one by some accounts. I’m just a journalist who misses the shared excitement, the synergy between products and humanity.
Apple still has their technological advantages and marketing brilliance intact. Not much has changed there since Jobs dies. However, he brought a connection between the devices he delivered and his sheer will to make them special that seems to pop up with every new release. How would he have handled the Apple Maps debacle? Would Apple have raced Google to get iGlasses out ahead of them? What would he have said about the iPhone TouchID hack?
Would the TouchID been so easily hackable had he been around?
These are pointless questions, of course. Apple is heading in a good direction and Steve Jobs would likely not have made much of a difference better or worse if he had lived a little longer. Still, it’s not possible to cover this industry without wondering “what would Steve have done differently?”
Barring something catastrophic happening to the company or Cook himself, he’ll be the leader at Apple for another decade at least. He will mold the company with his executives and their board the way that they know best – through innovation and buzz. Despite his competence and the success of the company, he still feels more like a steward rather than the leader. It still feels like Steve’s company and everyone is just riding the momentum of the wave that he spent the last half of his life building.
It took a while before Bill Gates was no longer brought up every time Microsoft had a success or failure. It will probably be longer for the Jobs/Apple connection to fade. Nearly two years after his death, the shadow hasn’t subsided. Will it ever?