Strange things are happening at the top of the tech world. Steve Jobs takes another leave of absence from Apple, and Google’s Eric Schmidt steps aside for Larry Page as CEO is bound to make ripples in the tech industry. However, what does this all mean for the mobile and tablet space?
Apple’s already had a history without Steve Jobs, and while the company has a mixed history without Jobs at the helm, one thing is certain. The vision and innovation that’s synonymous with Apple noticeably slowed.
Let’s not forget that the last time Jobs took a leave from the company was the same year that Apple was developing the iPhone 4, which had its significant engineering flaws. While Jobs’ successor Tim Cook may be a brilliant businessman and a capable administrator, Apple’s past history with him at the helm simply doesn’t instill confidence within me over the company’s future, especially in its new product lineups such as the iPad.
Google, on the other hand, is facing an interesting future too. There is little doubt that Eric Schmidt led the company in its most successful growth years from both market cap and revenue perspectives. However, the company has also seen its massive blunders, especially in its attempts in social media [Google Buzz], product launches [Google TV, Chrome OS vs. Android], privacy [Google Streetview data collection], and international affairs [Google's China situation]. The way I see it, Google essentially lost its soul – its easy-going, fun, do-no-evil approach to the world. Instead, Schmidt expanded the influence of the company into as many facets of life as possible, leading to doubts over its true intentions.
With Larry Page taking over day-to-day operations of the company in April, Google may return to its roots. Page, of course, was vocally adamant against Google’s decision to remain in China, and if rumours are to be believed, the co-founders don’t always agree with Schmidt over many business decisions. With Page at the helm, and Sergei Brin running ‘special teams’, we may see the company focusing again on innovative product development [and different approaches to tablets, etc.] and re-instilling confidence in Google’s dominance in the tech space.
While it’s far too early to measure the overall impact of this past week’s announcements, I believe that this could be another turning point for both of these companies. I certainly wish Steve Jobs the best in his leave of absence. However, it is undeniable that Jobs’ influence on his company propelled Apple to where it is today, and I am simply unsure how his absence will hurt the company we love so much.
What do you think about Google and Apple’s potential role reversal in the tech space? Could Cook and Apple’s senior management be able to indefinitely carry Jobs’ vision? Let us know in the comments below.
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