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Why Steve Jobs Won't Return to Apple

Jan 18, 2011, 16:05 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Farhad Manjoo)

"I've got a feeling that Steve Jobs isn't going to return to Apple. I don't have any inside information on the medical leave that he announced on Monday morning. Just consider my thoughts to be educated speculation based on watching the company for years.

"Here's my theory: Since returning to Apple in 1996, Jobs has pushed the company to achieve one of his long-held goals—to turn computers into mainstream appliances as ubiquitous and easy-to-use as televisions, toasters, and food processors. He has been stunningly successful in achieving that vision. And now he's probably done. The tech world, today, looks more or less exactly like what Steve Jobs has always said the tech world should look like, and Apple is one of the most valuable companies in that universe. What more is there left for Jobs to do?

"With the launch of the iPhone in 2007, Apple showed that you could build a powerful mobile computer without baking in the myriad hassles that we'd all grown to accept in computers—the pain of installing software, protecting it against malware, remembering where you stored certain files, and losing everything when you forgot to back it up. In 2010, the company proved that the same concept could work in a tablet, a form factor that had long eluded the rest of the industry."

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