Apple Has Tough Path Without Jobs

    A worker cleans the windows of an Apple Inc. store in Hong Kong, China, on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011. Steve Jobs, co-founder and former chief executive officer of Apple Inc., who built the world's most valuable technology company by creating devices that changed how people use electronics and revolutionized the computer, music and mobile-phone industries, died on Oct. 5.

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    Steve Jobs’s passing comes at a crucial moment for Apple and its new CEO, Tim Cook: it is surrounded by ferocious competitors bent on ending its dominance. Google hopes to beat the iPhone with its Android operating system; Netflix wants to become the premier destination for Internet streaming; and Amazon is undercutting the iPad with its inexpensive new tablet, the Kindle Fire. Jobs was able to make investors and consumers believe with his near-religious descriptions of the company’s products, but Cook is a more technical leader. His challenge will be to fight the real or imagined impression that Apple’s products are slipping without Jobs behind them.

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