The announcement of Steve Jobs's resignation as Apple CEO sent the tech world into a frenzy on the night of August 24. But more than just techies have responded to the news.
As the world's largest tech company (in terms of market capitalization), Apple ships millions of products to consumers around the world, and Steve Jobs's decision has resonated with many on a personal level--customers and non-customers alike.
Social media analysis firm Crimson Hexagon has examined 37,895 mentions of Steve Jobs across web-based platforms like Twitter and Facebook, as well as unspecified blogs and forums. Of those mentions, 28,847 expressed an opinion about Jobs's decision to step down and Apple's decision to hand CEO duties off to Tim Cook.
Crimson Hexagon discovered that only 10 percent of people expressing an opinion about the shakeup at Apple thought the company would suffer in the future.
"Steve Jobs is Apple. There is no denying that the company will run just fine without him, and that it will continue to pump out quality and revolutionary products, but it just doesn't seem like things will be the same without him. The keynotes and presentations were just as important to the Apple brand as its ads, and that was all Steve Jobs," said one pessimist, according to data provided by Crimson Hexagon.
Twenty percent said they were unsure about Apple's future without Jobs.
While 13 percent said they were saddened by the news, Crimson Hexagon said that these people also "remain positive that Apple will continue in its success." At the same time, 14 percent expressed a sort of optimism by sharing the mindset that "Apple is more than one man."
Outside of Crimson Hexagon's study, opinions have been just as varied about Steve Jobs's resignation and new role as chairman of the Apple board of directors.
"Apple's created an identity for themselves that is well above and beyond Steve Jobs. People don't think of Steve Jobs when they think of Apple, they think of a sexy brand," an information technology employee working in the financial services industry told the AP on August 25. "You could say the same thing about Microsoft. They have outlived Bill Gates."
A former Apple engineer wrote the following in a blog for The Huffington Post: "I knew the day would come when Steve Jobs would retire, and I could have predicted that I would blog about it, but I didn't expect to cry."
A Twitter search for #SteveJobs returned a fire hose of tweets ranging from "How can you replace someone who is so integral to personal computing history?" to "All much of a muchness to me." On the whole, though, negative opinions about the announcement seemed to be few and far between.
Take a look at Crimson Hexagon's graphic of the web's reaction to Steve Jobs's announcement (below). Read on for insight into how Steve Jobs's reduced role at Apple will affect the company, and whether Apple products will still be "cool" with Steve Jobs outside the limelight.