By Greg Mills
The press is so full of Steve Jobs stories little other news rates the interest level for a lot people who aren't even Apple fans. The cult-like following is well documented and goes from the respectful to near worship.
I think Steve Jobs will go down in history as an inventor and visionary of equal stature as Thomas Edison or Ben Franklin. Jobs is named in 273 patents already issued by the US Patent Office. A lot more patents are certainly pending. Countless design decisions Job has made that didn't get a patent are also fundamental to Apple's successful product line.
The stock market plays on anticipation of market effects that are predictable or sometimes not as predictable with vast swings in company valuation. An orderly transition of power within Apple and the familiar face of Tim Cook should settle things down within a few days. The quarterly report due today may soothe the nerves of many who have seen modest investments in Apple soar in a lousy economy. Due to sound fundamentals in Apple's business of selling a number of the hottest tech products out there, it is hard to anticipate any gigantic sudden downturn in Apple valuation, other than in reactionary stock prices.
Ironically, what Apple didn't pursue in recent years added to success by not diluting the focus of the company. Jobs has likely killed more promising projects than most companies ever launch. Some companies launch a lot of products and let the market figure out what they want to push and what they want to kill. At Apple, Jobs' instincts are what the company ran with. Certainly research was/is done, but research can lead a company down the wrong path as well.
On a personal level, as a Christian, I will pray that God heals Jobs and gives him more time with us. As a dyslexic person, computers and spell check software have made me semi-literate. My editor can attest to my inability to notice misspelled words, some days. My ability to communicate and do graphics related work on the computer is certainly due to the life work of Jobs in placing ever more powerful computers in my hands. For that, I will be grateful and respectful of what he has done.
We can hope and pray that Jobs will bounce back and be with us for a lot longer, but we can also hope that Cook has the starch in him to manage Apple as crisply as Jobs does.
The Verizon iPhone is also in the news with stories about the likely short life span of the just released phone. The normal cycle for iPhones is based upon a yearly release of a new iPhone in late spring, and that is only a few months away. iPhones have gotten better, the new features are more impressive with each release, but, unfortunately, the contract cycle is much longer.
I still have the third generation iPhone and have passed on upgrading to iPhone 4. I will wait until summer and then upgrade to iPhone 5, when it comes out. I will also consider the alternative cell phone companies' plans when the time comes to upgrade. There is little AT&T has done to endear me to them, other than have a monopoly on iPhone and allowing me to enjoy all those dropped calls. Pressure on AT&T's network may alleviate if enough people jump ship and AT&T catches up with it's network backbone demand.
Rumors that T-Mobile and even the ugly duckling Sprint might also get iPhone are interesting. If the situation in other countries is any indication, once exclusivity is over in a market, Apple makes iPhone available to additional companies rather quickly. Apple's deal with Verizon gives them the right to market iPhone freely and they just might do that.
With both flavors of cell phone network iPhones in their inventory, Apple might just go for the volume and beat Android down. The Google Android phones thrive only within companies that don't carry iPhones. The mix of Android vs iPhones in companies that have both are always slanted towards iPhone. When Android is the "only show in town," it sells to people who might otherwise have gotten an iPhone if available.
Thats's Greg's Bite for today.
(Greg Mills, is a Faux Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. He's working on a solar energy startup, www.CottageIndustrySolar.com using a patent pending process of turning waste dual pane glass into thermal solar panels used to heat water. Greg writes for intellectual web sites and Mac related issues. See Greg's art web site at www.gregmills.info ; His email is email@example.com )