Steve Jobs Medical Leave: What’s Next for Apple?

On January 17, Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, announced he would be taking an indeterminable medical leave of absence. Replacing him for the time being would be Timothy Cook, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer.

Steve Jobs Then and Now

This is Jobs’ second leave of medical absence; his first one was for six months in 2009.

While his first absence gave a specific time he would be back at Apple (the end of June), his most recent leave fails to include any fixed return to the company, indicating his health issues could be more serious this time around.

So what does this mean for both the company and Apple customers?

Steve Jobs is not only considered CEO, but undisputed creative visionary for Apple, bringing us products such as the iPod in 2001, the iPhone in 2007, and the iPad in 2010.

Without the annual Keynote address fast approaching, it’s very likely Jobs will not be back in time to reveal the latest Apple technologies, leaving Cook to take the reigns.

When Jobs leaves, so does the ability to introduce new products and therefore obstruct the industry from moving forward.

With no new gadgets to purvey, many consumers (college students, for instance) could possibly look elsewhere for something to satiate their growing tech fix, possibly in Apple competitors Dell and HP.

However, Apple is synonymous with brand loyalty. More often than not, someone with an Apple computer will also have an iPod, an iTunes account, maybe even a iPhone. Why?

Apple creates products that supplement each other, letting the consumer mix and match Apple products to find the perfect fit for his/her lifestyle.

Apple also sympathizes with college students and educators across the country; I know many friends who have bought a Macbook (with a free printer, no less) because of Apple’s annual back-to-school promotion.

So even if Jobs isn’t back for the keynote, even if his leave of absence extends for longer than the last, even if, for some reason, Jobs decides not to return, there will always be those die-hard fans (Dad, I’m looking at you) that will keep coming back for more Apple products.

Steve Jobs, Apple

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