“Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs — and so far, that hasn’t been a problem for Apple Inc.,” Andrea Chang and Jessica Guynn report for The Los Angeles Times. “It has become the world’s most valuable company, adding about $265 billion in value since Cook became chief executive 13 months ago. Shares have soared 76% and profits continue to rise. Investors feel valued with Cook lending them an ear and handing them a dividend. But all that may not be enough.”

“With Apple poised to announce the long-awaited iPhone 5 on Wednesday and reap heavy sales from it, analysts and software developers are looking beyond the product launch to whether Cook can set his own course at the company after the death of its co-founder,” Chang and Guynn report. “‘I think we are definitely still riding Steve Jobs’ stewardship,’ said Matt Brezina, chief executive of mobile start-up Sincerely Inc. ‘Tim needs to define what kind of leader he is externally. As a developer on their platform, I’m not quite sure what kind of leader he is yet.'”

Chang and Guynn report, “Much of Apple’s success can still be traced back to Jobs. So far, Cook has delivered only incremental product improvements with the Siri-equipped iPhone 4S and an iPad tablet with better screen resolution — not the showstopper that Apple will eventually need in a fast-paced, hits-driven business. Both the iPhone and the iPad are credited to Jobs… “The $64,000 question is: Does Tim have the ability to lead the organization to another major breakthrough in a new product category?” said Pete Solvik, managing director of venture capital firm Sigma and a former Apple employee. ‘I have little doubt he is going to have continued success with revisions of the current products. Everybody hopes that he has the ability to sustain the business with a new hit too.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: According to various sources, we’ve heard that Jobs had input into iPhone 5’s design and feature set. How much input is not known. The “iPhone 6” will be attributable to the leadership of Tim Cook alone. Plus, we all know that, if there is an “Apple iTV,” it was Jobs who “cracked it,” not Cook, so that product won’t fully count for Cook, either. We’re some time from being able to judge Cook as more than an extremely competent caretaker CEO. Even if Cook is “just” that – and, again, nobody knows, yet – then he’s exactly what Apple needs until the next visionary CEO arrives.

Let’s give Mr. Cook some time to execute.