Aug 24, 2011

Why Steve Jobs Chose the Perfect Time to Resign

The only thing surprising about Steve Jobs's resignation—which Apple had telegraphedseveral times already—was the timing. Why now? Because of health concerns, maybe. Or maybe because now, right now, is the perfect time for the company to transition.

Apple has literally never been stronger. A month ago they reported record quarterly earnings in a period with no significant product releases, no back to school or holiday boost, all amid what turned out to be a grotesquely challenging three months for competitors like Dell and HP. They were, for a brief period, the most valuable company in the world. Incredible.

And a month from now? They'll be releasing their next iPhone on America's three major carriers. And very possibly something altogether new: an affordable iPhone, a handset for the masses. If that device does emerge, Apple will have transitioned from yuppie luxury to unprecedented populist value.

So that's where Apple sits now, cratered between two mountainous achievements. If they'd waited any longer, the iPhone 5 announcement would've been fully shrouded in memories of Jobs; with a month's distance, new CEO Tim Cook has a chance to stand on his own. He can bask in the reflected glory of the iPhone instead of languishing in Jobs's shadow. The company will feel like it's in good hands. Because it is.

What's easy to forget is that companies have long, long product cycles. The iPhone 5's been done for months; ditto, likely, iPad 3. And iPhone 6 plans are well underway. They'll all have a touch of Jobs in them. Even products with a longer horizon, future generations of MacBooks with sick-skinny bodies and flash storage and no optical disc, AppleTVs teeming with apps, will have Jobs's imprimatur. Especially since, uh, guys? He's staying on as Chairman of the Board. He's involved.

So yes, there is a chance that Steve Jobs is resigning now because his medical situation has become so severe that he has no other choice. Because this feels calculated, in the best possible way, to happen at the best possible time. Now.


Sylar said...

nice post :D

ZIane said...

I hope this new guy will do a very good Jobs. Now he's the leader of apple's revolution. I like your post I'm following you

ThingsYouWant said...

I didn't think as much as you did into his resignation!! It really all does make since from your point of view!!

MUFCfollowers said...

Finally slowing down eh? He shouldn't be working full time now anyway, if that was my partner I'd think they were obsessed!

nowaysj said...

I don't know about the ghetto iphone. Apple products have always been a horrible value. The only thing they've had going form them for a loooong time is their ability to convey status on purchasers. With that gone... well the whole high end could disappear.

BDTC said...

The only thing I dislike about Apple is that everything they put out is really a fashion device. Like Macbooks for instance, they are inferior to laptops of the same value, but you're paying for the name.

Also, about that cheap iPhone, I doubt I'd ever get one. I always hate when I buy something only for the sequel to be announced shortly after...Makes me feel like an idiot for paying full price for something that'll be trumped easily

Red13 said...

I am a fan of Apple..but they truly are so expensive!...but I'm def still getting an iphone next week!

hoaks2 said...

Makes sense to me.