Some people are still in denial. They think that Steve Jobs retiring as Apple’s CEO won’t change Apple much. I beg to differ. I think it changes everything. Further, I think it changes far, far more than just Apple’s role in the world.
You don’t replace a Steve Jobs easily. Actually, you can’t replace him at all. Love him or hate him, he’s a genius and you can’t just go out on the street and hire genius. So, in the short run, Apple will be fine. They’ll still dominate smartphones and tablets. Two, three years down the road, it will be a different story.
As I said, though, Jobs moving out of the spotlight will affect far more than Apple. Here are my quick thoughts on what his departure will mean for the other technology players.