Darrell Etherington writes about Apple and start-ups for TechCrunch, the technology blog and Web site. He has covered Apple since 2007.
This fall, Apple chief executive Tim Cook formally apologized for the company’s mistake-filled mobile map application, which became a national joke for its screwy geography. The misstep focused new attention on the legendary company and how it has fared since the death of Steve Jobs in October 2011. Questions abound: Will holiday shoppers fill their carts, virtual and real, with as many Apple products as last year? Is the company’s future as bright as its past? Judging by its stock price of late, investors seem uncertain. Here’s a look at what some are saying in the post-Jobs era and why those perceptions might need some fine-tuning.
1. Without Jobs, Apple doesn’t know how to think outside the box.
Everyone says it: Cook is a staid, sober businessman, while his famous predecessor was a frenetic genius. To some extent, that’s true. Cook has a reputation for not losing his cool; he shows his frustration through a steely, penetrating disappointment (which can be just as terrifying as anger, according to those who have watched both Cook and Jobs in action). But Apple’s current chief executive is far from by-the-book. To think otherwise ignores his greatest strength.