Bloomberg News

Apple’s Cook Lets Deputies Pitch Gadgets in Post-Jobs Era

October 05, 2011

(Updates shares in last paragraph.)

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, at the introduction of the newest iPhone yesterday, left off the “one more thing” cliffhanger that came at the end of product unveilings under his predecessor, Steve Jobs.

Jobs’s absence was palpable throughout the 90-minute introduction of the iPhone 4S yesterday at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.

“This is my first product launch since being named CEO,” Cook said, the only Jobs reference, if veiled, at the entire event. “I’m sure you didn’t know that.”

Jobs was renowned for stirring, meticulously rehearsed pitches, and while he wasn’t usually the only speaker, he typically discussed the most whiz-bang features or new gadgets himself. Cook, after remarks delivered slowly and methodically, let deputies tout Apple’s coolest new wares.

“Steve Jobs is the world’s greatest communicator, there is nobody who comes close, so unfortunately Tim Cook has very big shoes to fill,” said Carmine Gallo, who has written about Apple’s presentations. “Tim Cook decided to share the stage.”

Cook, whose blue button-up shirt and Levi’s contrasted with Jobs’s trademark black mock turtleneck and jeans, hung back as his deputies took the stage. Eddy Cue, who runs iTunes and the App Store, showed off iCloud, a new service that lets users sync music and other media files across devices.

Phil Schiller, senior vice president of product marketing, got the plum job of introducing the iPhone itself. It was he who discussed the iPhone 4S’s faster processor, more advanced camera and antenna system designed to improve call quality.

‘One Thing Out’

Schiller then told the audience, “We left one thing out,” before handing the spotlight to mobile-software chief Scott Forstall to plug Siri, the iPhone’s voice-recognition capabilities.

Yesterday’s wasn’t the first product presentation without Jobs. Then-CEO Jobs missed the 2009 unveiling of the iPhone 3GS because he was out on medical leave -- one of three times he ceded day-to-day operations while combating a rare form of cancer.

“This is the same formula they’ve used when Steve wasn’t able to be there the last three times,” said Tim Bajarin, president of consulting firm Creative Strategies. “People don’t buy Apple’s products because of Steve Jobs. His stage presence may help, but they buy products for what they do for them.”

Still, Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray Cos. who was in attendance, said the event lacked some of the excitement and energy of those in the past.

“There’s no way to replace Steve Jobs -- and there were times during the performance that you felt that,” Munster said.

Apple rose $5.75, or 1.5 percent, to $378.25 at 4 p.m. New York time on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The shares have gained 17 percent this year.

--Editors: Tom Giles, Jillian Ward

To contact the reporters on this story: Adam Satariano in San Francisco at asatariano1@bloomberg.net; Peter Burrows in San Francisco at pburrows@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net


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