Apple Inc.’s Challenges Without Steve Jobs

Problem Background

Apple is well-known for its hardware, software, and service breakthroughs. Apple increased from 8,000 employees and $7 billion in revenue in 1997, when Steve Jobs returned, to 137,000 employees and $260 billion in revenue in 2019 due to their contributions (Podolny & Hansen, 2020). Diversification and innovation fostered by Steve Jobs’ exemplary leadership are two primary elements that have enabled Apple to remain a market leader. However, the case study revealed that the company’s sales and innovative enthusiasm have dwindled in recent years, with only two new items introduced since Steve Jobs’ death. Tim Cook, its new head, has been deemed unambitious. It is vital to remember that it is challenging for a company whose entire vision is intertwined with its leader to continue on the same road once the leader has left. Therefore, the primary challenge is whether Apple could continue its design and creativity for decades without Steve Jobs.

Research and Analysis

Many commentators feel that Apple would struggle to retain its innovative and critical thinking capabilities without Steve Jobs. This is due to the fact that Steve Jobs was associated with Apple’s initiatives and had the fundamental responsibility for assuring the company’s advancement (Yoffie & Cusumano, 2021). However, this has not been the case in recent years. One may ask whether Apple has a defined innovation strategy following Jobs. As a result, the new CEO, Tim Cook, thinks that the firm will continue to develop and build successful products in Steve Jobs’ absence. In this regard, Apple’s innovation and product secrecy have contributed to its image. This demonstrates that consistent and distinctive product innovation has enabled Apple to become the most profitable corporation with the most devoted customer base. Therefore, they should improve it by embracing design thinking. This design thinking is a solution-oriented method for achieving innovation that places the customer at the center of the development process (Elsbach & Stigliani, 2018). As a result, it will integrate people’s demands, unearth the full potential of technology and measure the criteria for commercial success.

In considering the design thinking initiative, Apple must meet its business environment requirements for the innovation and design process to succeed. In this sense, Apple works in an environment characterized by frequent and rapid technological development. In addition, competition has intensified as a result of venture capital, which finances new entries. This necessitates that Apple creates items that appeal to the target demographic. Some industry experts remarked that the rapid emergence of many models led to corporate complexity and customer misunderstanding. Like its unique products, Apple built distinctive retail shops in a competitive business climate. Apple stores are located in premium shopping malls and other buildings with distinctive architectural characteristics. At this time, HP and other rivals did not prefer retail storefronts. This is because they embraced direct sales and distribution strategies while Apple established its retail stores. This demonstrated an intense concentration on product and service delivery to consumers. Apple’s business climate needed a distinct development strategy in design thinking framework, invention, and execution of a plan.

Apple Strategic Recommendations

Maintaining Innovation

Apple has to keep its design thinking and product innovation going if it wants to maintain its position as a competitive player in the ever-evolving market for technology. Apple has to acknowledge that new and different expectations have arisen due to the development of technology, the shifting tastes of customers, and demographic changes. As a result, innovation and design thinking must be included in every aspect of the company’s products and processes.

Apple after Jobs

After Steve Jobs, the corporation’s innovative capabilities altered. According to Kao (2018), many analysts doubted whether Apple would maintain its design philosophy and innovative practices without Steve Jobs. Jobs adequately prepared Apple. Thence, to be sustainable, Apple will depend on its financial strength for years to build new goods. Job designed Apple to run in specific ways that the future CEO may not be able to replicate. Apple’s inventive capabilities will keep developing, but they will not reach Steve Jobs’ level. Thus, Apple’s most significant task is to reinvent itself without Steve Jobs. Apple’s longevity is not guaranteed by its current existence alone. Accordingly, the new CEO must continually update the company’s goods, services, and product development strategies.

Operational Secrecy

Steve Jobs enforced absolute secrecy about Apple’s subsequent goods. Thus, the corporation established a high standard and raised rivals’ criteria (Yoffie & Cusumano, 2021). In the fast-paced technological sector, the aspect of surprise is crucial. Hence, Apple has to utilize it to establish a powerful reputation. Thus, the organization must continue to safeguard its product, data, and design concepts. Apple must instill a spirit of confidentiality inside its corporate culture. To establish the identity, the new CEO, Tim Cook, must prioritize emphasis on detail, a culture of confidentiality, and criticism. This will ensure the safeguard of a competitive edge that rivals may exploit.

The CEO Has Ingenuity

Steve Jobs provided the incredibly excellent leadership that technology firms need. For example, Jobs devised Apple’s long-term strategy that offered immense success. The new CEO, Tim Cook, is responsible for developing innovation initiatives and ensuring their implementation. Cook must be able to rethink outdated items and adjust them to the market. Considering customers have the propensity to purchase new items based on their complexity, he must understand that the technology business presents certain problems. If, for example, a rival develops a new device with advanced capabilities, Apple’s prospects may soon decline. For example, the new Samsung fold has given Apple an extreme challenge to rethink further (Petro, 2022). Hence, Apple must thus find competent governance to define its design thinking and innovation in order to achieve success.

Evaluation of Success of the Recommendation

Following the recommendations, Apple can evaluate if the organization is progressing henceforth by monitoring the sales revenue. As such, a company’s revenue can account for all the money it generates, including sales. The net profits are the primary statistic contrasted against sales revenue so that the analyst can identify the proportion of sales revenue being turned into profits. This allows the critics to make a comprehensive analysis of the suggested remedies. This proportion of net profit is often monitored using a trend line to identify any significant shifts in performance that may have occurred.

Direct Results

Following the implementation of the metric of measuring success, the recommendation will be deemed successful. This is because investors will prefer to follow sales revenue on a trend line, particularly the percentage rate of growth, to see if there is any indication of changes in the growth rate. For example, Amazon usually uses sales revenue to measure the output of new innovations. Amazon organization has to determine whether or not there has been a shift in the growth rate. A slowdown in growth might prompt stockholders to liquidate their holdings in the company.


Elsbach, K. D., & Stigliani, I. (2018). Design thinking and organizational culture: A review and framework for future research. Journal of Management, 44(6), 2274-2306. Web.

Kao, R. (2018). Disruptive leadership: Apple and the technology of caring deeply—Nine keys to organizational excellence and global impact. Productivity Press.

Petro, G. (2022). At its core, Apple is no longer innovative. Forbes. Web.

Podolny, J. M., & Hansen, M. T. (2020). How Apple is organized for innovation. Harvard Business Review. Web.

Yoffie, D. B., & Cusumano, M. A. (2021). Strategy rules: Five timeless lessons from bill gates, Andy grove, and Steve jobs. An Imperial of HarperCollinPublishers.‌

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