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1Why Apple Still Needs Steve Jobs

1. He Thinks About DesignIf one were to look around the technology industry at all the products companies launch each year, they would find few with inspired designs. The vast majority of products feature the same, dull look and feel that consumers have come to expect. Apple is different. Steve Jobs understands the value of design and brings a unique look to all the company’s products.

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2. He’s BelovedAs any corporate executive will point out, having a CEO that is beloved by fans and investors is central to the success of any major company. Luckily for Apple, it has an executive at the top that is nearly universally beloved by the company’s fans and investors. Depending on who were to take over for Jobs, that might not be the case.

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3. He Understands SoftwareThough Steve Jobs is often praised for his hardware design, he should be given equal kudos for his understanding of software. He knows how software should work, he knows what will make it intuitive, and he capitalizes on that with iOS and Mac OS X. There are few in the business that “get” software the way Jobs does, and that has proven integral to Apple’s success over the years.

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4. He’ll Take ChancesToo often, companies in the technology industry aren’t willing to take chances. They simply sit back and keep doing the same thing they’ve done over the years. Microsoft arguably suffers from that more than any other company in the business. Steve Jobs, however, is willing to take chances with products. Without Jobs in charge, Apple likely wouldn’t be as big of a risk-taker as it is now, and it could cause serious trouble for its future performance.

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5. Investors Trust HimAs noted in a previous slide, it’s important for a CEO to be beloved by shareholders. But it goes beyond love. Investors also need to know that they can trust their hard-earned cash with the company’s executive. And in Apple’s case, they can with Steve Jobs. Few companies have that luxury, and without Steve Jobs, it might be hard for Apple to rebuild that trust.

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6. He Hasn’t Forgotten About ComputersWhen one looks at Apple’s financial statements, they will find that the iPhone and iPad are becoming an even greater portion of Apple’s overall revenue and profits. And many CEOs would focus their efforts there for that reason. But Jobs is different. He is focusing on his mobile devices, but he also hasn’t lost sight of computers. And his company’s revenue and profits are even higher because of that.

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7. He Keeps Microsoft DownMicrosoft and Apple have been direct competitors for decades. And if market share is the only metric to judge the companies, it would appear Bill Gates’ firm has won that battle. But market share isn’t the only metric. Aside from the desktop operating system market, it’s hard to find a single place where Microsoft is beating Apple, including in the mobile market and in entertainment opportunities for consumers. And Apple has Steve Jobs to thank for that.

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8. He Can Handle GoogleIf there were any other CEO running Apple right now, it would be tough to say how the company would hold up against Google. The search giant has proven to be a major thorn in Apple’s side, and it continues to perform well via Android and other services. Steve Jobs has proven that he can handle Google and continue to post huge profits in its face. But could any other CEO? It’s tough to say.

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9. The iPhone Needs to Stay A Step AheadApple needs Steve Jobs for one major reason: the iPhone. Apple’s smartphone is arguably its most important product right now. Jobs has done a fine job of delivering improvements that consumers and even business customers can get excited about. But as every other smartphone maker has shown, hitting the right button every year is extremely difficult, and some wonder if Jobs is the only person that can get the job done.

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10. The iPad Needs HimRight now, Apple’s iPad is performing extremely well at retail. Consumers and enterprise customers are warming to the idea of adopting it, the device’s market share is skyrocketing, and there is no sign of things slowing down. But Apple also hasn’t faced stiff competition in the tablet market. Over the next several months, it will, courtesy of Samsung, HP, and others. Apple needs Jobs to lead it through that competitive environment.