As macabre as it might seem, Jobs’ death Wednesday will only add to the Apple mystique — and profit. The iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac will, no doubt, get a sales boost as consumers pay the ultimate tribute to one of America’s creative geniuses.
That could be especially true for the latest iPhone, scheduled to go on sale Oct. 14. The lines were going to be long anyway, but now there are bound to be even more people clambering for the iPhone 4S — the last device to be unveiled while Jobs was alive.
“Steve Jobs was a rock star, someone on the scale of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison,” said Steven Osinski, a marketing professor at San Diego State University. “I think it’s very likely there is going to be an upsurge in Apple’s sales for a while.”
“These products have significant emotional value, they have sentimental value, they’re connected, if you will, to the bloodstream of the person who’s likely to be the purchaser,” Bernacchi said. “There’s a certain nostalgic value attached to that.
It can’t hurt that many of Apple’s 357 stores already have turned into shrines, attracting people who want to mourn together. It’s not hard to imagine some of them wandering into the stores and buying an iPad or Mac.
A memorial of flowers lined the sidewalk and handwritten notes were plastered on the window. One note read: “You made the world a better place.” Another proclaimed “hungry and foolish 4 ever,” a nod to one of Jobs’ favourite sayings.
Javier Martinez, a medical doctor vacationing from Spain, passed by and snapped pictures of the scene with his iPhone 4. Although he has no immediate plans to buy the new version, he is committed to continue buying the products that are a testament to Jobs’ genius.
The sedate reaction represents a vote of confidence in the management team that Jobs assembled to carry out his vision. In his final years, Jobs increasingly shared the stage with his lieutenants in a move that telegraphed Apple wasn’t just a one-man show.
As soon as he took the job, Cook vowed to maintain “a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world.” He will have plenty of help from Jobs-groomed executives dubbed a management “dream team” by some analysts.
The other key players include marketing guru Phil Schiller, design chief Jonathan Ive, software mastermind Scott Forstall and the head of finance, Peter Oppenheimer. Nearly all the key Apple executives have been at the company for years, many of them joining around the time of Jobs’ 1997 return.
It’s a given that a third-generation iPad will be released next year, but most analysts believe the logical next step will be for Apple to introduce a large-screen television that runs on the same operating system as its computer tablet, phone and touch-screen iPod.
After Walt Disney died in December 1966, the company seemed to be in good shape. Within a few months, Disneyland opened another popular attraction — the Pirates of the Caribbean — and released a hit movie, “The Jungle Book.”
“I hope that I am wrong,” Colony wrote in a Thursday blog post. “My hope is that Steve inspires all of us in the technology business to stop creating confusing, poorly-designed, slow, complex, ugly, maddening products that weigh down rather than lift up the work and souls of people.”
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