Larry Ellison thinks we already know what's going to happen to Apple without Steve Jobs

If you listen to the Internet long enough, you'll always be able to find an 'Apple is doomed' story somewhere, and the latest comes courtesy of a television interview with a close friend of Steve Jobs. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, in an interview to be broadcast today on CBS this morning, says how he sees Apple in a post-Steve Jobs time:

We saw — we conducted the experiment. I mean, it’s been done. We saw Apple with Steve Jobs. We saw Apple without Steve Jobs. We saw Apple with Steve Jobs. Now, we’re gonna see Apple without Steve Jobs.

Between each of those sentences – as you can see in the video above – he moves his finger up, and then down, back up and then back down again. So, he's pretty clear; he thinks Apple is doomed, and that history is going to repeat itself all over again.

The Apple we know today is a far cry from the Apple that Steve Jobs was kicked out of the first time, and the Apple he came back to. The Apple of today is Steve Jobs' greatest product. He spent over a decade choosing the right people and imparting his culture. And rather than a sugar water salesman to guide the post-Jobs Apple, we have Jobs hand-picked successor, and one of the greatest operations executives in recent history, Tim Cook, and we have Jobs' partner in design, Jony Ive.

These are competitive times, there's no doubt. But Apple is still making a lot of money, selling a lot of products, and all that without a new hardware release – save some refreshed MacBook Airs – at all in 2013. Be it metrics, or opinions, we've a hell of a long way to go before Apple really is doomed.

We've got hardware announcements coming on September 10. It's an exciting time again, so for now, let's focus on that. Be sure to share your thoughts on the interview in the comments, and don't forget to enter the iMore contest to win a $500 Apple gift certificate. Because; new hardware.

Via: AllThingsD

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Larry Ellison thinks we already know what's going to happen to Apple without Steve Jobs

16 Comments

Like he said - we shall see.

So far we have seen a seemingly cautious Apple, playing safe Apple and that's exactly what Steve Jobs wasn't.

He was a creative visionary and post his era we haven't truly been wowed yet.

If anything we've felt unsure, dis satisfied and on a shaky ground with iPhone 5, iOS6 etc.
Whether it will change with new products, new phone, iOS7 etc. remains to be seen.

If they can produce the next iPhone with a superior build that doesn't need to be wrapped in cotton wool, then that's a step in right direction. What good is the form otherwise.

If they can make core apps, content sharing and information exchange efficient and fun to use then that's a step in right direction.

Going forward, we need that - "It just works so well" feeling that's synonymous with the brand.

If anyone can, Apple can do it.

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Some news for Larry Ellison... Steve Jobs was CEO of Apple, he had great ideas and he was a great presenter... But he did NOT design, engineer, or oversee production of Apple's products!

Those things were done by Jonathan Ive, Bob Mansfield, and Tim Cook, respectively. And do you know what, Larry? Those same people are still at Apple producing innovative new products (sorry to burst your over-inflated bubble ;-))

Just because the CEO of a large tech company says something about another company, doesn't automatically mean it's not a moronic statement.

Remember that in 2007, after the introduction of the first iPhone, Steve Ballmer laughed at it and said that no one will buy the iPhone. I wonder if he is still laughing about the iPhone today, or if he is thinking more about the Zune, Kin, and Surface. ;-))

In fact there are many more instances of high-tech CEOs saying stupid things, than intelligent things... and those things always come back to haunt them later.

I'm shocked (well, not really) that these articles are still coming up. For me, WWDC this year was definitive proof that Apple's in good hands, and that the current team "gets it."

Of course, let's not forget that Steve wasn't on his own all those years - all of the current execs have been there for ages, and even before he passed (and resigned), Tim had been the acting CEO for a while anyhow.

He would like to think doom, and gloom. May be he should look at his own company. Five years ago they made fun of cloud computing. Now they join forces with salesforce for the very thing he made fun of. Here is Oracle with Larry(finger way up) Here is Oracle with Larry(finger down) Here is Oracle with Larry playing catch up( finger half way up)

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Innovation is the key. Continuously innovating.

Apple will be a mainstay for decades to come, and so will the competition, like Microsoft, Google & Samsung.

There are 5 to 6 billion users that will yet embrace these products in the future.

And there will be other Facebook companies yet to appear.

The next frontier is wearable devices with the smarts of a computer.

It's a fun time in technology.

Huge difference in context between Steve's departures from Apple. This second time around he had built more than products, he had built a corporate culture and established trust in his vision from the remaining leadership and employees that will endure.

Of course Apple is not doomed, it has reached a point where nothing can doom it in the short term, like Microsoft, but it is undeniable that Steve Jobs is irrepleaceble. To call Tim Cook the "greatest operations executives in recent history" is a complete exageration, just about any competent executive could have led operations in a company that had a Steve Jobs at the helm.

Only one person per generation have enough vision so he doesn't have to ask what people want, and can come up with products people didn't even knew they wanted, and that person was Steve Jobs, not Cook, and not Ive.

Innovation and growth rates may slow but Apple is not doomed. No other firm is poised to overtake Apple as leader. Not even Samsung which does not innovate much IMHO but competes mainly on price and minor differentiation on feeds and speeds and screen dimensions. IBM sold more PCs than Apple but raced to the bottom in margin and sold to Lenovo. Lenovo is now the Samsung of the PC markets. Both will wind up like. Dell and HP which are hobbled by margin, management and identity problems. Apple is the tortoise to the competing hares.

The first thing you think when you hear this is: "Well, Larry Elison *would* say that wouldn't he."

The man is an egomaniac who believes in the power of one man changing everything and one man ruling all. He also worshiped at the altar of Steve. He has a clear bias towards thinking these kind of thoughts.

Two things; I think we know who on the Apple board is grumbling and Ellison clearly has no faith in Cook.

Not terribly surprising since Ellison and Jobs had a bromance.

As I mentioned before, Cook has to bring some of his own boys in on the board.

I am a new iPhone 5 owner, my first experience with anything Apple. I also am a huge Android fan who loves the ability to flash roms and hack away as I please. Saying that I will tell you I really like the iPhone experience, I didn't think I would enjoy it as much as I do, Rene talked me into giving it a try and yes I will say it, I love it. How can anyone in their right frame of mind think Apple is going down when they are selling more devices now than they ever have. To me it looks just the opposite. I also think there are a few things that could be changed that would bring many more Android followers on board. Apple isn't going anywhere but up IMO.

Steve Jobs was great and he was a man with vision. He was able to look at the products and talk to whoever, Jony Ive, Tim Cook, Phil Schiller, etc. and find out how things were going and share in the whole process. There were times when he was wrong and if you read his autobiography you will see. So it didn't take one man to run Apple. Tim Cook isn't able to share in the full process of the new hardware, software, features, etc. like Steve Jobs would have because he doesn't have the same knowledge. However there is a flip side to it because he is able to use the hardware, software, feature and come from the perspective of a user and add input. The iPad Mini, Mavericks and iOS 7 show that Apple is still going strong. There are brilliant people there and there are brilliant people born in the world every day. The problem will eventually come because the brilliant people who are there will get old and retire, leave or die. So who replaces Tim Cook, who replaces Jony Ive, etc. So the problem is not what is Apple without Steve Jobs the problem is more who is being hired at Apple now? Steve Jobs said that he doesn't deal with B and C level workers. He only wanted A level workers and if that same level is not kept then there will be a gradual slide. It wont be anytime soon and it may not even happen at all. When Steve Jobs was kicked out of Apple he started NeXT so that just goes to show you that he didn't always have the winning formula.

The arrogance on Ellison in this video is immense. Lets take a look around.

Apple have 9+ got product lines:
iPhone: the most complete operating offering selling at market at the moment, second only to android, which is ever so slightly disjointed, windows phone, beautiful GUI but what a waste of space, blackberry selling up.

ipad mini: Leo from twit tv hit the nail on the head when he said its the sweet spot for tablet size.

ipad: some would say and are using it as the replacement for the PC

iPod touch: I know of a few educational institutions who are using these to great effect, great if you don't want need a phone.

Apple TV: eh, I guess where that's going to go...

ios: how simple an os can you get

Icloud: backs up, downloads and streams purchases to every device I want. But could do with improvement.

iTunes and the... wait for it... App Store... Yea sure iTunes needs decoupling, but the App Store is what you think off for going to apps

Mac: has anyone ever seen such a beautifully designed computer

And guess what... They all work together... So what are you on about Elison

The only thing I would say is osx needs to get compatible with everything like windows and office and get with business more, but then again nearly every presenter on is using apple products. but even if apple just keep updating their products eg haswell for Mac Pro they will still be fine. The only thing from a consumer product i know oracle for is java which wait for it, works in the background of some products

Larry could be right and he could be wrong - it's an opinion from someone who loves to let his opinions be known. That said, Larry and Oracle are not exactly in the Catbird Seat at this time. They are sticking to their guns with on premise software in a world that is moving quickly to the cloud. Oracle is selling some products on a SaaS basis, but still uses the same license model that is used for Oracle's other enterprise software. That's not entirely how the SaaS model works for companies like Salesforce or Workday. So, he's in the awkward position of having to defend his cash cows while killing them slowly and raising new ones.

To add insult to injury, he's letting the same Mark Hurd (the guy ran HP to the cliff of ruins only to be spared the actual carnage by getting fired and having Leo Apoteker take the actual plunge) run the Day to Day at Oracle which includes treating a software company like a hardware company and expecting to cut his way to profit. This one trick pony is making life difficult for Larry by making a lot of good people want to head for the doors at a time when they need to be kept. Yet, because he's Larry's friend nobody gets to talk about how he's screwing things up.

So, we'll see if Larry's prediction is true or not just like we'll see how great the stewardship of Oracle is under the Larry-Mark Hurd regieme.

You know some of the smartest and knowledgeable people write and post comments on iMore, and these are quite refreshing. I'm no where close to being an Apple 'expert' but this gloom and doom talk in the news is sickening. What I appreciate about Apple is a commitment to produce quality products and do it their way no matter what the jokers are saying. And like some of you said already Jobs surrounded himself with a great team. He also chose Tim Cook to replace him before his passing. Honestly, popular media are so 'hard up' for any headline grabber these days no matter the source that it is a shame. This CEO may have been Job's friend and maybe his opinion counts for something, but last I check CEOs get it wrong quite a bit and I think this guy is blowing gas through his @$%# IMO.