If you needed a reminder of just how important Steve Jobs is to Apple, it came when Apple's share price spiked noticeably within minutes of the Apple boss taking to the stage to launch the iPad 2.
Jobs has been on medical leave, and after that brief public appearance has returned to the sidelines, leaving the day-to-day business of running the world's most successful tech company to others. But fellow Apple founder Steve Wozniak says we shouldn't worry – Apple can function “pretty well” without him.
Wozniak started Apple Computer Inc with Jobs in the latter's California garage – a far cry from the sprawling HQ the company now occupies in Cupertino. A large part of that success is down to Apple's shift in strategy towards mobile devices, which began with the iPod but really took off with the iPhone's launch in 2007 and the iPad's introduction last year.
Jobs' leadership is credited for much of Apple's success, and despite the Apple CEO having been sidelined with a mystery ailment since January, Wozniak says Apple is still moving forward as normal, and Jobs is as much of a presence in that momentum as is possible under the circumstances.
Speaking in Singapore through the week, Wozniak said he had last spoken with Jobs a couple of months ago, but that Apple was dealing with his absence well. “Steve Jobs is only on partial leave. Even if he were to be on total leave, we have examined it.”
“Apple will go on pretty well even if he is not there directly.”