The debate will no doubt rage for some time about how Apple will fare now Steve Jobs has stepped down as chief executive. Will the group retain its extraordinary leadership in the technology sphere – one that has carried it to the brink of becoming the world’s most valuable listed company?
Few bosses – even founders – have defined their companies with quite the intensity that Mr Jobs brought to the task, nor enjoyed the same success. More than a chief executive, he has been a sort of impresario – the presiding intelligence behind Apple’s growth.
The whole Taylor family operates a wide mix of smartphones, perhaps reflecting differences in our personalities and preferences.
My two younger daughters (in their 20s) each run Google Android handsets (HTC and Samsung); my son, who lives in the UK, loves his BlackBerry Bold because of its mobile e-mail and free BlackBerry Messenger services; and my eldest daughter, a television field producer in San Francisco, uses a BlackBerry for work and an iPhone 4 for everything else “because it’s cool”.
Taiwan’s Asus has been a keen early supporter of Intel’s ‘Ultrabooks’, with chairman Jonney Shih appearing on stage with Sean Maloney, head of Intel China, to make the announcement and show off the first model in May.
The vision was for these thin, responsive notebooks to revolutionise the traditional PC industry, which has come under increasing challenge from smartphones and tablets. Intel’s ambition is for ultrabooks to make up 40 per cent of the consumer notebook PC market by the end of next year.
Yet the reality, Asus’ chief executive Jerry Shen said on Friday, is that a 40 per cent share is “a very aggressive target that would be difficult to meet before 2013”.
Eric Schmidt. Image by Getty.
In 2008, Michael Grade, then chief executive of ITV, branded Google a “parasite”, along with other internet companies that “live off our content”.
Tonight, Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman, will take to the TV industry’s most prestigious platform to give the MacTaggart lecture in Edinburgh.
The Edinburgh International TV Festival’s annual keynote speech has been on steady rotation between the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 for most of its 35-year history, with the recent exception of News Corp Europe chief James Murdoch’s 2009 attack on the BBC.
So the symbolism behind the podium space granted to Google, Facebook and Twitter this year should not be underestimated.