Apple Without Steve Jobs Will Do Just Fine: 10 Reasons Why

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Apple Without Steve Jobs Will Do Just Fine: 10 Reasons Why

by Clint Boulton

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Incredible Earnings

Wall Street analysts had been expecting a profit of $5.40 a share and revenue of $24.4 billion. Apple Jan. 18 for the fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 25 of $6 billion, or 6.43 cents a share. That's up 78 percent from a year-ago net profit of $3.4 billion, or $3.67 a share. It gets better: Apple's revenue rose 71 percent to $26.7 billion. These numbers are staggering and should buoy Apple for the next few months as it revs its current product pipeline for upgrades.

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Spiking iPhone Sales

Apple sold 16.24 million iPhones in the quarter, an 86 percent growth over the year-ago quarter. Without even looking ahead to the iPhone 5 this summer, the iPhone 4 is coming to Verizon Wireless Feb. 10. Is it a stretch to think that Apple could sell between 25 million and 30 million iPhones in 2011 combined via Verizon and AT&T? We think not.

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Surging iPad Sales

Apple sold 7.33 million iPads during the quarter, up 75 percent from the 4.19 million sold in the last quarter. This is great growth for a market Apple is leading. Stay tuned for the iPad 2 this spring with dual cameras for FaceTime chat.

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iPod Sales Slow, but Remain Massive

OK, so this music player seems a little dated, going back 10 years. But the iPod Nano is a tiny music-bearing delight, and while iPod unit sales experienced a 7 percent decline for the holiday quarter, Apple still sold 19.45 million iPods. The sales decline could be reversed once Apple unveils its cloud streaming service this year.

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Macs: Apple's Mainstay

The Apple mainstay, at least before the iPhone landed in 2007, the Mac is still performing well for Apple, which sold 13 million Macs during the quarter. That's a 23 percent unit increase over the year-ago period.

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Tim Cook

Again, Cook has helped shepherd Apple when Jobs was on medical leave before, and as the COO. Cook runs the company's worldwide sales and operations and kept the development of products like the iPhone 4 and the iPad on point. We just saw the lush fruit those efforts produced in the latest earnings. Cook's leadership and ability to execute are above reproach.

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Scott Forstall

Forstall, the lesser known senior vice president of iPhone Software, oversees the crown jewel of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch: iOS. Cook may have ultimately been responsible for how the iPad and iPhone fared in 2010, but it's Forstall's engineering guidance that drives the iOS platform.

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Jonathan Ive

Where Forstall is the iPhone software whiz, Ive is Apple's senior vice president for industrial design, which is to say he works closely with Jobs to nail the look and feel of smash-hit products such as the Macbook Air, iPhone and iPad. It takes someone as obsessed with such details as Jobs to do this for Apple and that's no mean feat.

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Phil Schiller

Schiller, Apple's chief marketing officer, takes over for Jobs at major product launches, which requires a showman's flare for wowing crowds. Schiller introduced the iPhone 3GS in 2009 and new MacBook Pro laptops. Interestingly, it was actually Cook who presided over the iPhone 4 launch with Verizon Wireless Jan. 11.

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Jobs Legacy

Jobs himself is still the CEO. That his employees know he maintains the top title despite his absence should maintain morale, unlike when Cook took over the CEO title in Jobs' 2009 absence. As long as Jobs keeps his title, people will maintain some hope that Jobs is in control—even if he's not. Kaufman Bros analyst Shaw Wu told Reuters: Jobs' role is "important, but at the same time, as the company continues to execute, it becomes more secondary. The way Steve thinks, his methodology, his sense of style: frankly, a lot of it has been ingrained into the Apple culture."

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