An interesting phenomenon occurred when Apple's Steve Jobs announced his retirement late Wednesday as company CEO, and it might be most telling of his great accomplishment. Within hours after Jobs' retirement announcement, thousands of stories were posted online by news organizations around the world, taking every angle possible.
Steve Jobs was one of the Internets top search terms Wednesday night, and Thursday that remains the case. But the supply of stories in many ways seems to outstrip the demand. Most consumers around the world remain more interested in the release date of Apple's iPhone. Stories on that subject are still high flying, and many at greater numbers than those about Jobs' retirement.
The reason is simple: The Apple iPhone is indicative of all that made Steve Jobs one of the greatest innovators and capitalists the world has ever known.
It's arguably the single biggest compliment Jobs could get, since finding simple, creative great work solutions for consumers through tech products that are easy to use and highly functional has been his primary ambition for years. So we can say what a great leader Jobs was over and over again, but we might as well sum it all up in the iPhone.
Jobs brought us the Mac computer. He brought is iTunes, and the iPod. He changed the way we download music, and he changed the way we use laptop computers. But Jobs made Apple arguably the most successful and powerful consumer company we have seen before because he made the iPhone a global hit.
People from China to India to the U.S. and most everywhere else just can't seem to get enough of it. While Jobs has struggled with health issues in recent months, most global consumers have been much more concerned with the release date of Apple's iPhone 5.
One can only hope Jobs will still be with us when it comes out, to see his biggest product success yet. Already, though, he undertands what he and Apple have accomplished. Yes, the world is flattening, thanks in large part to the iPhone.
Amost single handily Jobs is credited with the iPhone's success. Sure, designers and tech engineers worked long and hard on the product from Apple's Cupertino, Ca. headquarters. But before Apple launched the iPhone in 2007 Jobs was shown a template for a tablet, and what eventually became the Apple iPad.
Jobs didn't feel consumers were ready for the tablet at that point, however. He understood that they still migrated to mobile phones, and that's where the action was at the time.
So Apple, at Jobs' urging, focused on the iPhone first, delaying the launch of its tablet. All the while, the company made sure its new Mac computers and app programs tied seamlessly together so that once Apple got a customer on one product it almost certainly had them on others in the future.
Also, Jobs applied signature touches to the iPhone, pushing designers to make the smartphone product so user friendly that it didn't feel like a gadget at all. So while the media focuses on Jobs' leadership and attributes, consumers around the world continue to pay Apple's signature leader the biggest compliment of all.
They are more interested in news about the forthcoming iPhone 5 than they are about his retirement. Without a doubt, Jobs relishes that fact accomplishment more than any other.