Here is what I think will happen to Apple without Steve Jobs. This is, of course, just pure speculation on my part. In my opinion, I think Apple's greatest days are over unless another genius like Steve Jobs takes over. I don't know much about Tim Cook, the new CEO. All I can say is that it is hard to replace a genuine innovator of Jobs' calibre at the helm.
Here are some companies that are struggling to produce innovative and lifestyle-changing products, but never they have never hit the same level of success that Jobs has managed to achieve. Bill Gates was never the great innovator he claimed to be. As CEO, he failed to make the tablet PC a success, despite working on it for 15 years before the iPad was announced launched.
Motorola invented the mobile phone, but failed to reap the benefits of worldwide dominance in mobile phones. Its CEO failed to move in the right direction of technological progress, spending billions instead on developing the Iridium network which became an absolute white elephant.
More recently, HP spent US$1.5bil to purchase the PalmOS, hoping to gain a head start in its own tablet PC. One year later, this was completely written off.
How about Nokia, which hired its present CEO from Microsoft and ended up adopting Phone 7 for its mobile phone future? A team of conscientious senior managers tried to make a stand against that decision but eventually relented. It is now clear that Nokia has made a huge blunder, as the Phone 7 is all but completely ignored by the market.
From the above examples, it is clear that CEO's are key to making the right technological decisions, especially when we are talking about high tech companies. Their influence cannot be underestimated. Unless Tim Cook is another genius like Steve Jobs, I can only say that Apple has already reached its pinnacle of innovative prowess.