Tech wrap: Apple after Jobs

August 25, 2011

So, Apple can survive without Steve Jobs as CEO after all. At least that’s the message that was sent by Apple investors today. Apple shares, which took a beating in after-hours trade on Wednesday after the company announced Jobs’s departure, stabilized on Thursday and were down about 1 percent. Investors, at least for now, appear convinced that Apple can keep churning out blockbuster products and oversized profits with new CEO Tim Cook in charge.

What will those new hit products be? Wired’s GadgetLab takes a look at some of the patents Apple has sought recently to get a sense for where the company could be heading next. The answer: smart TVs, mobile devices with hybrid LCD/e-ink displays and voice-controlled devices. Of course, Apple fans can also expect updates to many of the company’s existing hit products. The company is expected to release a new version of its popular iPhone this fall, and there have been news reports that the iPad could get a refresh this year as well. As some analysts have remarked, Apple’s product machine seems well intact and should be for the next few years.

Reuters correspondents Poornima Gupta and Peter Henderson take a closer look at the man responsible for transforming Apple into the tech juggernaut that it is today.  “Charismatic, visionary, ruthless, perfectionist, dictator – these are some of the words that people use to describe the larger-than-life figure of Jobs, who may be the biggest dreamer the technology world has ever known, but also a hard-edged businessman and negotiator through and through,” they write in a newsmaker piece.

The resignation of Jobs opens the door for rivals Samsung Electronics and HTC to battle for smartphone supremacy in salesrooms and courtrooms globally, argues Miyoung Kim. “Samsung’s fortunes are most tied to Apple, both as a competitor and supplier of components. The group also has a scale and an ability to react quickly that is rare in the sector,” she writes.

Twitter can add a new milestone to its list of achievements: the word “tweet” has made it into the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Social media term “crowdsourcing”, which is “the practice of obtaining information from a large group of people who contribute online,” also made the cut.

AOL shares rose nearly 9 percent on Thursday as the Internet company — long seen as a merger candidate — confirmed it has an investment banker and a law firm on retainer. According to Adweek, teams from investment banking firm Allen & Co and law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz met AOL executives on Wednesday. Wachtell Lipton lawyer Martin Lipton and Allen & Co banker Nancy Peretsman attended the meeting, Adweek said.

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