Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs sadly passed away at the age of 56 on Wednesday night after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Jobs, the ultimate salesman and visionary, had a hand in the creation of the iPod, iPhone, iPad, Macintosh computer, along with countless other immeasurable contributions. He made Apple go and despite his resignation of his CEO position in August, his sad death could have an impact on the company he built.
Investors heavily tied the success of Apple to Steve Jobs and his departure creates uncertainty for the technology powerhouse. The star power of Jobs and investor confidence in him helped propel the company to the world's largest market cap valuation, but that some confidence will now drop the company's stock price. "Any cult of personality that surrounds someone of such magnitude, like a (Steve) Jobs, anything that alters would have to have some less than positive impact," Stanley Crouch, chief investment officer for Aegis Capital, told the media.
Jobs helped lead the company to a resurgence in the mid 1990s when he returned back to the company he helped co-found following a 1985 falling out. Jobs built back his reputation through incredible innovation, including introducing iMacs, iPods, iPhones, and the newest addition -- iPads.
That incredible innovation and hands-on approach to the company could led investors to either sell or take a wait and see approach to whether the company can keep up its current hot streak with its products.
"As far as Apple goes, that has been sort of a hit space business," Matt Koppenheffer, an analyst for The Motley Fool, told the IBTimes. "There was a time when the Walkman was where it was at...and then it became iPods. When I think 5-10 years from now, given 10 years ago we had no idea what an iPod was, I wonder what's playing music and it's very tough to say."
"Steve Jobs is very integral in that process of figuring out a hit -- he's the brains behind the creative explosion," he said.
Whether Apple can recreate that hit process without Jobs will ultimately be the key to if it will be able to rebound from the oncoming stock sell-off. Apple diehards appear to put faith in new CEO Tim Cook's capabilities, but he's no Steve Jobs.
After his stunning resignation some analysts expected a major sell-off of Apple stock, but the resignation announcement stated that Jobs would continue to be an integral part of the company. At the time Jobs sickness was widely known so a step away wasn't unexpected and could have already been factored into the stock price.
But the combination of disappointment stemming from Apple's announcement yesterday of only an iPhone 4S -- and not an iPhone 5-- in addition to Jobs untimely death could have a negative impact on Apple's stock.