Unlike late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Tim Cook isn’t what you would call a “mad scientist” or “mad genius.” That isn’t saying he is less of a CEO than Jobs was, but there is no denying that Cook has attracted quite a number of doubting Thomases from the technology and consumer electronics world. These critics have mostly pointed to last fiscal quarter’s poor performance from Apple, as well as underwhelming product launches. And the detractors still continue their castigation of Cook, even as he had helped Apple shares rise by more than 70 percent and guided the Cupertino, Calif. company to $620 million market capitalization, thus making Apple the highest-valued corporation in America. Can today’s iPhone 5 launch silence the critics?
At the present, analysts are no longer as concerned as they were about the possible features and specifications of the iPhone 5 and what would in it be for Apple and its customer base. They are now more interested in how Cook plans to lead Apple to greater things, possibly greater than what Jobs had achieved since the genesis of Apple. Developers are also concerned about Cook’s capabilities as a leader. According to Sincerely Inc. CEO Matt Brezina, “Tim needs to define what kind of leader he is externally. As a developer on their platform, I’m not quite sure what kind of leader he is yet.” Brezina also suggested that Cook may be riding the coattails of Jobs in terms of Apple’s success in the consumer electronics marketplace.
And this would bring us back to the iPhone 5, which almost everyone is hoping would be a significant improvement over the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 4S and third-generation Retina Display iPad 3 were, for most observers, slight upgrades over their predecessor. Most analysts believe this is not what Apple needs to ward off the threats of competing manufacturers, such as Google, whose Android platform is by far the most popular operating system in the market.
If the iPhone 5 is a huge upgrade over the iPhone 4S and if it sells as briskly as expected, that just might be enough to vindicate Cook. But it’s too early to tell as of now.