Since stepping down as CEO on Aug. 24 for medical reasons, Apple founder Steve Jobs has not made any other public appearances. Nobody knew if Jobs will resurface at Apple's big event, and if he did, what condition he would be in.

Unfortunately, the iconic Apple head was nowhere to be seen when CEO Tim Cook took the stage Tuesday.

Many wondered how the question is how Cook would stack up against Jobs, who traditionally curated Apple's big product launches. Cook needed to prove he is not a Jobs clone, but a Jobs successor.

Cook passed his first test, and Apple survived a Job-less product announcement.

Back in 1985, Apple flailed without Jobs after the company's board of directors ousted him. When Jobs returned in 1997, Apple was near bankruptcy. Fourteen years and several revamps to Apple's consumer product line-up later (see: iPod), Apple is now the most valuable publicly traded company, valued above $372 billion.

While Jobs was recovering from surgery to treat pancreatic cancer in 2004, Cook served as Apple's interim CEO. He stepped in again in 2009, when Jobs had a liver transplant, and again last January, when Apple's board approved Jobs' third medical leave of absence.

Although Cook was officially named CEO in August, he has played a big role in Apple's successes over the past decade.

At Apple, Cook was initially responsible for the company's worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of its supply chain, support, service, and sales activities in all markets. He helped cut inventory levels and streamline its supply chain by helping pull Cook out of manufacturing, which dramatically boosted the company's profit margins. Cook also headed Apple's Mac division, helping to build strong seller and supplier relationships. In 2007, Cook was promoted to COO.

At Apple's media event, the company rolled out upgraded iPod Nanos, a line-up of three iPod Touches, and a new iPhone 4S. Despite the vast amount of rumors, Apple did not unveil an iPhone 5. The new iPhone will come with iOS 5, an upgraded camera, and a voice-activated assistant called Siri.