Apple shares fall as Jobs quits

 

From iPhone to iCloud, Steve Jobs has launched many innovative technology products

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Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has resigned as chief executive of the technology giant and will be replaced by chief operating officer Tim Cook.

Mr Jobs, who underwent a liver transplant following pancreatic cancer, said he could no longer meet his chief executive's duties and expectations.

The Silicon Valley legend will become chairman of the firm.

The 56-year-old has been on medical leave for an undisclosed condition since 17 January.

In a short letter to the board of Apple, Mr Jobs wrote: "I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's chief executive, I would be the first to let you know.

"Unfortunately, that day has come. I hereby resign as chief executive of Apple.

"I believe Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

Consumers react to Steve Jobs' resignation

"I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you."

Apple board member Art Levinson paid tribute to Mr Jobs' contribution to the company: "Steve's extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world's most innovative and valuable technology company."

'Hugely successful'

Apple shares have fallen 4.1% in the secondary listing in Frankfurt, having dropped more than 5% in after-market trading on New York's Nasdaq.

Analysts said the resignation was not unexpected, and would have little impact on the day-to-day running of the company.

"Steve is [still] going to be able to provide the input he would do as a chief executive," said Colin Gillis at BGC Financial.

"But Tim has been de facto chief executive for some time and the company has been hugely successful. The vision and the roadmap is intact."

This is a sad day for Apple and for the whole technology industry, as its most charismatic and successful leader of recent years brings down the curtain on an extraordinary career.

Steve Jobs addressed his brief letter of resignation not just to his company's board but to the Apple community - and millions worldwide will feel he was talking to them.

Forceful bosses whose personalities shape everything about their businesses are going out of fashion these days, for good reason many would say.

But Steve Jobs is a rare example of a chief executive who is synonymous with his company, a perfectionist who obsesses over every detail and has been the public face of just about every major product launch in the past decade.

It's difficult to imagine Apple without him - but he's leaving having revived what was an ailing business when he returned in the late 1990s, and turned it into the world's wealthiest company and one which has done more than any other in recent years to shape consumer technology.

Nor will customers see any real difference, analysts said.

"At the end of the day, consumers don't buy products from Apple because they're from Steve Jobs, they buy them because they meet their needs and they're good products, and they'll continue to do that," Michael Gartenberg from Gartner told the BBC.

The company has some big products on the horizon such as the iPhone 5 and the iPad 3.

But while Apple shares slid, shares in two of Apple's main Asian rivals gained. Taiwan-based phone maker HTC rose 4.1%, while South Korea's Samsung Electronics gained 3.2%.

The firms compete with Apple in the smartphone and tablet-PC sector, and have been involved in legal battles with Apple over patent rights.

The boss of another rival in the phone market paid tribute to Mr Jobs' work.

"Steve Jobs is a visionary in the computing industry," said Stephen Elop, chief executive of Nokia.

"We look forward to both Steve and his team having a positive impact on our industry for many years to come."

Apple II, '77 Macintosh, '84 Newton, '87 iMac, '98 iPod, '01 iPhone, '07 iPad, '10 Map: Tripoli

Apple II

Although this was not Apple's first home computer, the Apple II was the company's breakthrough product. Its MOS 6502 processor ran at 1MHZ and was supported by a maximum 48K RAM. Original retail price: $1298 (£780).

MACINTOSH

At a time when PCs were using text-based command line interfaces, Apple pioneered the use of moveable windows. The Macintosh's single integrated processor and monitor design is still used in the iMac line of computers.

NEWTON

Produced during Steve Jobs' period of absence from the company. The Newton organiser is now recognised as having paved the way for the iPhone. Slightly ahead of its time, the Newton was not hugely popular.

iMac

Steve Jobs marked his return to Apple with the iMac line of computers. Remembered more for their radical looks than technical specs, the iMac's multi-coloured shells were created by British designer Jonathan Ive.

iPod

MP3 players had been around for a couple of years. Apple simply refined their design with a compact, elegant and now iconic while package. The first model only had a 5GB hard drive - enough for 1,000 songs, according to Apple.

iPhone

Apple's entry into the mobile market had been long anticipated. Again, the company took existing technologies - such as the touch screen - refined them and added a touch of design flair. It sent shockwaves through the industry, still being felt today.

iPad

Steve Jobs revealed that development on the iPad started before work on the iPhone. It sparked a deluge of tablet products from almost every computer and mobile maker. But the iPad remains the top seller with around 60% market share.
Revolutionary products

Mr Jobs is widely seen as the creative force that has driven Apple to become one of the world's biggest companies.

Thanks to innovative and hugely popular products such as the iPod, the iPhone and more recently the iPad, Apple has become one of the most sought after brands in the world.

Start Quote

It is what happens two years down the line - predicting the next big thing and going for it - which is where Steve Jobs will be missed.”

End Quote Alastair Leithead BBC News, California

In the three months to the end of June, the company made a profit of $7.3bn on revenues of $28.6bn. It sold more than 20 million iPhones in the period and 9.25 million iPads.

The company recently became the most valuable US firm after its market capitalisation overtook that of oil company Exxon Mobil.

Mr Jobs co-founded Apple in the 1970s with Steve Wozniak, and its Macintosh computers became hugely popular in the 1980s.

In 1985, Mr Jobs left the company after falling out with colleagues, only to return in 1997 and begin Apple's transformation by launching the colourful iMac computer.

The iPod, which revolutionised the personal music-player market and spawned myriad copycat devices, was launched in 2002 and laid the foundations for the company's success over the past decade.

Next came the iPhone, which similarly revolutionised the smartphone market, while the iPad confounded some initial scepticism to prove hugely popular.

Many versions of these products have been launched while Mr Jobs has been on medical leave, and new versions that have been planned for months will not be affected by his departure, analysts said.

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 183.

    After Jobs left Apple the first time he created NeXTStep in 1989, which was hugely innovative, and indeed the computer that Tim Burner's Lee chose to build the first web server and browser.

    When NeXT folded it was a huge disappointment so the rise of Apple products has been a joy to watch, and to use.

    Good health Steve, thanks for making my working life easier.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 160.

    I had never been an Apple user...until the iPod came out! That led to the iPhone and I'm now on my third. I still use a PC but will seriously consider iPad if and when it can replace my PC. I consider Apple equipment expensive and strongly resent Apple's vice-like grip on their brand but recognise their vision and innovation.

  • rate this
    +26

    Comment number 121.

    I've never succumbed to the allure of Apple products (because most carry a nasty lock-in factor in the background) but I freely acknowledge Steve's incredible contributions to the progress & popularity of advanced consumer technology. Let's hope standing aside from Apple lets him concentrate his energies on fighting his health problems, and give him some quality time for himself.

  • rate this
    +41

    Comment number 79.

    Many years ago my 6-year-old son lost the hat from his Woody Toy Story doll. He wrote a letter to "Mr. Steve Jobs, Head of Pixar & Apple, USA. To my absolute amazement Mr Jobs replied!! sending a new Woody hat and 2 sighed framed Toy Story cells.
    I have been using Macs since 1993 and seen many changes, this is sad but Apple will live on.

  • rate this
    +22

    Comment number 48.

    I want to thank Steve for giving my life colour , invention and a whole range of daily enjoyment. As a person who also has ill health that has caused me to only work part time, I understand and appreciate that " the day has finally come". I truely hope and pray that Steve will have time ahead to enjoy life.

    Thank you Mr Jobs

 

Comments 5 of 9

 

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