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Apple after Steve Jobs

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the event introducing the new iPhone at the company's headquarters Oct. 4, 2011 in Cupertino, Calif

Kai Ryssdal: Tim Cook's officially been the CEO at Apple for a month or so now. But really, today's Day One of the Tim Cook era.

Steve Jobs left behind a company in great shape. Plenty of cash, and lots in the product pipeline. Lots of challenges, too.

Marketplace's Steve Henn lays out some of the biggest.


Steve Henn: Close your eyes for a second and imagine you have Tim Cook's job.

Shawna Slack: This is not an easy job.

Shawna Slack founded Genesis Advisers, a consulting firm that specializes in CEO transitions.

Slack: It is a really tough act to follow.

Cook has lots of advantages, but no matter what he does, the comparisons are going to be brutal.

Brian Blair is an analyst at Wedge Partners. He says what Cook and other Apple executives need to do now is focus on what they can control: the business.

Brian Blair: The biggest challenge for them is going be continuing to grow the two key product lines -- iPhone and iPad -- right now.

Although Apple looms large in the public's mind, its market share is still relatively small. Sure, the iPad is the most popular tablet on the market, but it's a small market. And the competition is coming. The iPhone accounts for just 5 percent of the global cell phone market.

But Blair says the company's making moves to change that.

Blair: They are finally attacking every single price point.

No one has really written much about this, but starting this month, you'll be able to get an iPhone 3Gs in the U.S. for free, with a contract. And he says Jobs didn't just build great products -- he built a great team.

Blair: I think that's what's important, is that each one of these guys is expert in their areas.

Henn: And you think they'll stay?

Blair: I think they will stay. I do.

Shawna Slack say ensuring that is Tim Cook's first test.

Slack: As a CEO and as the CEO of Apple, that is always your challenge. Your challenge is to create a compelling vision. It is to sell it to the market, to sell it to employees and to sell it to customers.

Starting now.

In Silicon Valley, I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.

About the author

Steve Henn was Marketplace’s technology and innovation reporter for the entire portfolio of Marketplace programs until December 2011.
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