Will Steve Jobs Bring Down the Market?

It is difficult to imagine a world without Steve – he has been the prime driver for three generations of computing: Apple // begat PC and MSDOS; Mac begat Windows; and iPod begat a whole new mobile experience, with iPhones and iPads. This is an unparalleled achievement. Whither technology if Steve really retires, or his illness worsens?

His leave was announced a day before earnings, which suggests Steve’s situation is too serious to wait even a day.

Apple (AAPL) is expected to announce blow-out earnings tomorrow, but AAPL is down 7% in German markets, and the Nasdaq 100 futures are down hard (see next chart from SlopeofHope). Apple has had such a run that stories are beginning to emerge that the stock has no place more to go. The next frontier would be to conquer TV, but Steve has insisted the Apple TV offering is but a hobby – which means his vaunted Steveness has not yet figured out how to conquer the world of Mad Men. Most likely it is his failure to negotiate deals that would enable Apple to offer a $30 cable TV bundle over the Internet within iTunes. It could be this is the time to sell AAPL, not buy the coming dip.

Of course, last time this happened, the stock dipped 10% and then tripled. This time Steve’s condition may be worse.

This drop started before the Steve announcement, which suggests the expected January correction has begun. This event could trigger a series of falls. Investors are best described as jittery.

About Duncan Davidson 228 Articles

Affiliation: NetService Ventures

Duncan is an advisor to NetService Ventures, where he focuses on digital media and the mobile Internet.

Previously he was at four start-ups: Xumii, a mobile social service based on a Social Addressbook; SkyPilot Networks, the performance leader of wireless mesh systems for last-mile access, where he was the founding CEO; Covad Communications (Amex: DVW, $9B market cap at the peak), the leading independent DSL access provider, where he was the founding Chairman; InterTrust Technologies ($9B market cap at the peak), the pioneer in digital rights management technologies, now owned by Sony and Philips, where he was SVP Business Development and the pitchman for the IPO.

Before these ventures, Duncan was a partner at Cambridge Venture Partners, an early-stage venture firm, and managing partner of Gemini McKenna, a joint venture between Regis McKenna's marketing firm and Gemini Consulting, the global management consulting arm of Cap Gemini.

He serves on the board or is an adviser to Aggregate Knowledge (content discovery), Livescribe (digital pen), AllVoices (citizen journalism), Xumii (mobile social addressbook), Verismo (Internet settop box), and Widevine (DRM for IPTV).

Visit: Duncan Davidson's Blogs

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