Will Apple Survive without Steve Jobs? Apple’s Laughing Straight to the Bank…

Just a few days ago, we quietly watched as the first anniversary of the death of Steve Jobs passed by.  As an Apple insider and alum, I always have an ear to the ground for what’s going on in their world.  The big question of whether Apple would continue its meteoric rise (the greatest turn around in history) seems to be answered.

The past few months, for Apple, have been almost as eventful as the company’s first big success back in the late 70’s – early 80’s. With a landmark legal victory over Samsung for copyright infringement, the company not only gets awarded $1.05 billion in damages (which Samsung is appealing, of course), but they will also exclusive rights over certain design and software ideas on which they own patents.

While some have slammed Apple’s case as being too broad or overzealous, the decision will surely shape the mobile software and hardware markets from this point on. For the consumer it means two things: First, Apple’s patented designs and features will most likely be cross-licensed for quite a pretty penny to competing developers and manufacturers. Second, this means that in order to competitively price their technology, companies will have to become innovative once again, rather than copy an already successful formula. So you’ll either see iPhone and iOS-esque features on high-end electronics, or innovative new designs may become the way of the future. That chapter has yet to be written.

With so much focus and attention on these two battling giants, what better time for Amazon to announce its new reader / tablet offering, the Kindle Fire. Strategically placed in the same realm as the competing iPad, Nexus, and Galaxy tablets, the Kindle Fire looks to open the floodgates of revenue for its content delivery platform. The three-way race between Apple, Amazon, and Google’s media stores appears well separated for now, but the competition is certainly heating up as the markets and technology change so rapidly. And the solid winner in ALL of this is the pro-sumer.

One would think that the competitive innovation to come from the lawsuit against Samsung, along with the introduction of the rival Kindle Fire would be cause for concern at the Apple HQ here in Cupertino, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

On September 12th, Apple announced the iPhone 5 in grandiose Apple fashion, after the project had been shrouded in secrecy for almost a year. (An issue I cover at length in my recent bestseller, “The Magic and Moxie of Apple – An Insider’s View”.)  Thinner, lighter, faster, and overall cooler than its predecessor, the iPhone 4s; the iPhone 5 also boasts a number of new features, such as a new charging interface and new operating system (iOS 6).

Consumers are certainly on board for the new and improved iPhone, as evidenced by the 2 million+ pre-orders within the first 24 hours of its announcement. As a result, the cost of Apple’s stock has risen to over $700 for the first time in company history.

So while rival tech giants are out there trying to copy Apple products or create competitive alternatives in hopes of dethroning them, Apple is simply laughing it’s way straight to the bank.

Kelli Richards, President and CEO
The All Access Group