Oracle CEO Larry Ellison implies Apple is doomed without Steve Jobs

By on August 13, 2013, 12:00 PM

On an episode of CBS This Morning, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has said that "we already know" what the future is going to be like for Apple without Steve Jobs. Ellison said that "we conducted that experiment", in reference to the time Jobs was effectively fired from Apple in the 1980s, predicting history will repeat itself.

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.

Ellison was a good friend of Jobs, and believed that most of Apple's success can be attributed to the ex-CEO and his leadership. The iPod, iPhone and iPad were all extremely successful products conceptualized under the reign of Jobs; Ellison made it clear that without Jobs' leadership, the company's fortunes aren't looking as bright as they once were.

Then-Apple-CEO John Sculley famously fired Steve Jobs from the company he founded in 1985 following a power struggle and period of disappointing sales, which continued until Apple rehired Jobs in 1996. Soon thereafter he retook the position of CEO, and lead Apple to become one of the industry's biggest and most innovative players.

Current CEO Tim Cook has delivered a number of successful products following the death of Jobs, including the iPhone 5, but this year has seen Apple's share prices tumble. Only time will tell if this is history repeating itself, or simply a short down period for the tech behemoth.




User Comments: 26

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dikbozo said:

I have never agreed with Larry Elison about much but on this point, very much so. The clear trail of bits and bobs that has followed Steve Jobs illnesses, which precluded him from being much of a force at Apple, shows the lack of innovation. Apple was almost always about being cool, with Jobs' death never to return.

1 person liked this | Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Current CEO Tim Cook has delivered a number of successful products following the death of Jobs, including the iPhone 5

Ah, but is that really true? It seems more like every product released recently has either been one that was conceptualized and started under Jobs' watch, or a mere refinement of an existing product that was created under Jobs. The iPhone 5 certainly can't be attributed to Cook, it's just another yearly churning update to the iPhone line, nothing groundbreaking or spectacularly innovative. The iPad Mini is the biggest variance from the Jobs influence, in my mind, since Steve was so adamantly against the 7" form factor. Everything else has just seemed to be step & repeat.

wastedkill said:

How did tim cook deliver it? I'm pretty sure I saw on the news that steve jobs had planned quite a bit of products in case he did die which doesn't sound like tim cook did anything except sit in his chair so how did he deliver it?

Did he put on his Delivery hat and delivery it to people's houses?

Khanonate said:

I have never agreed with Larry Elison about much but on this point, very much so. The clear trail of bits and bobs that has followed Steve Jobs illnesses, which precluded him from being much of a force at Apple, shows the lack of innovation. Apple was almost always about being cool, with Jobs' death never to return.

sadly, what you said is true, now we just need father Time to prove it...

wastedkill said:

Apple was slowly dieing without steve jobs then they had him they did amazing so now they don't have him how will history not repeat itself? I don't see anything innovative coming into place I'm pretty sure a tiny smart watch isn't really innovative now is it.

If apple did create some new products that were amazing in theory and in hand then I would call that innovative but right now that doesn't seem to be the case.

1 person liked this | Demigod001 said:

I wont say apple will disappear but they haven't been innovative since the ipad came out. Iterate on everything borrowing features from others and patent suits. In fact that is what they seem to have devolved into a patent litigation company which is playing catch up to everyone else on features and products. All they seem able to do is make things slimmer and flatter pity they have some great products just nothing NEW a bit like Nintendo.

Since Mr Jobs died they have a news problem, their war with android any anyone else who makes something rectangular is what is in the news. Their products and anything new they do (have they done anything new?) is buried under the weight of litigation news. They need to get that settled and give us something new and fun again.

Guest said:

Innovating is a hit miss thing. The Lisa and the Newton were innovative, but went nowhere.

The Ipod, Iphone, and Ipad were successful do to timing as much as innovation.

If you are lucky one out of ten innovated ideas will be successful

Jobs was lucky with his timing and excellent at execution. The one GENIUS thing Jobs did is make sure that just about anything you loaded on your Ipod,Iphone, Ipad, Apple would get a piece of the action.

p51d007 said:

Jobs "was" Apple, almost like a Svengali, to a point. He was able to market things, and create a demand, so that every time he came out with a new product, EVERYONE had to have it.

Now, Cook has to face the "bean counters", which is what will doom Apple.

MilwaukeeMike said:

I don't know if we can say Apple wasn't doomed to slow down anyway. Look at where the smartphone market was at the end of last year...Samsung and Android have caught up and Apple's sales were starting to be restricted by a saturated US market and a Chinese market that couldn't afford their products.

The iPod and iPhone were revolutionary products, and you don't come out with those every 2 years no matter who you are.

Would they be better with Jobs, yeah, of course, but significantly better? I don't know.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Nonsense, all this drama to drawn now the stock market around Apple. Oracle CEO over stating his own facts into this situation. One man can not be the only one being to control such empire like Apple. What Bill Gates should do is Buy Apple and run that Business then. Since back in the day both Bill and Steve were the foundering men of what we all have today.

Both Apple and Microsoft have different CEO running their companies different that it was back in the days when they were first started. Just customers have go learn a new leader is behind the wheel.

So far the Grade for both is the the same as it was under the prior CEO's but this is how corp companies run. If you don't like the current CEO get him or her our and replace him or her with someone who can do a better job!

Nobina Nobina said:

Apple is mostly going down because of Android, even if Jobs was alive, they wouldn't be as good as they were.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Apple should clone another Steve Jobs in its labs, from the DNA remains. We know they can

Guest said:

I find it funny that everyone points out about lack of innovation in the apple camp. You can't expect a company to innovate at its peak rate all the time... especially in the design/manufacture of goods, they got 3 big hit products between 2001 & 2010 that changed the landscape of technology as we know it today. What has google done in that span? They dominated and erased competition in the field of internet advertising. They created a smartphone OS for the masses, though they foresaw this with their purchase of Android, Inc. in 2005 but it wasn't until 2008 that the first android handset came out (15 months after the first iphone).

Will apple slow down? Definitely. Will they disappear or become insignificant? Definitely not. I think as the landscape evolves so will the companies involved in it as you can't always be on top. Next up: Google Glass... but what's next after that?

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

What has google done in that span? They dominated and erased competition in the field of internet advertising. They created a smartphone OS for the masses, though they foresaw this with their purchase of Android, Inc. in 2005 but it wasn't until 2008 that the first android handset came out (15 months after the first iphone).

Don't try to compare Apple to Google, if you knew anything about Google you would know Google does a heck of a lot more than just make crappy portable devices for teenagers. I'd start quoting things they've done since 2001 but this isn't the place. I'll just direct you to Google's Wiki and you can educate yourself.

Guest said:

"crappy portable devices for teenagers"

Have a chip on your shoulder? Categorizing consumers as such doesn't make you sound smart.

I don't need to educate myself on the google. I was only referring to google's impact with providing an open mobile OS for the masses.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Have a chip on your shoulder? Categorizing consumers as such doesn't make you sound smart.

I don't need to educate myself on the google. I was only referring to google's impact with providing an open mobile OS for the masses.

Okay so again your comparing an Open source OS to the closed system that is Apple OS and your for the Apple way? I don't see how anyone could be against an open source OS for the masses so whats your point. And yes all smart phones end up in the hands of teenagers, or people who haven't grown up from the teenager mentality.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Current CEO Tim Cook has delivered a number of successful products following the death of Jobs, including the iPhone 5, but this year has seen Apple's share prices tumble.

Not revolutionary. It was just a minor incremental improvement really. I mean 4G and a bigger screen? Every smartphone manufacturer in existence can and has done that successfully. iOS is their advantage over Android yet there isn't really great innovation there.

What are the figures on Siri? Is that considered a success?

PCNP543 PCNP543 said:

What has google done in that span?

My god, you really don't follow any news if you think all Google has done in the span of time in question is build out their advertising business and buy Android. Look, I'm absolutely not a Google zealot, but few companies have ever existed who were (or are) as innovative as them.

Apple has come out with exactly one product since 2007. One. The iPhone. The iPad is nothing more than an enlarged iPhone. They've just repackaged the exact same device in numerous form factors - the iPhone, the iPod Touch, the iPad and the iPad mini. The OS has barely changed in 6 years.

I don't want Apple to go under, I think competition is great, but they've been seriously resting on their laurels. Google has self-driving cars, Google Glass, they're wiring cities with fiber based internet connections.

Apple really needs to drop all these frivolous and distracting law suits and get back to building great products. The longer they fail to do so, the more cemented it will be in people's minds that they can't - that they're simply out of ideas and their only option is to slow down the advancement of the competition.

It's been a tragically short sighted strategy because while they may fractionally slow down mobile phone and tablet competitors, the market WILL become saturated, and other companies WILL develop something new - something which Apple holds no patents or copyrights on, and therefore nothing to use in a legal defense. They'll be left, literally, in the dust - still repackaging the iPhone in ever incrementally different shapes and sizes.

I've overheard more conversations lately of people claiming exactly that - recommending Android phones over iPhones and stating quite bluntly that all Apple does is rehash the same product over and over. They're well on their way to loosing the cool factor that has for so long been an enormous driver of their appeal.

I'm not saying they're in imminent danger, but they're certainly in a more general danger if they don't demonstrate that they can come up with something, *anything*, truly new.

Guest said:

"And yes all smart phones end up in the hands of teenagers, or people who haven't grown up from the teenager mentality."

Awww, just because we need our emails on the go for work, it must mean we are all teenagers. Sorry, you going to check your email with your Nokia 5590?

"My god, you really don't follow any news if you think all Google has done in the span of time in question is build out their advertising business and buy Android. Look, I'm absolutely not a Google zealot, but few companies have ever existed who were (or are) as innovative as them."

Au contraire, I think Google is innovative as it gets. They will probably own the world.

mailpup mailpup said:

Au contraire, I think Google is innovative as it gets. They will probably own the world.
Unless it loses its way like so many other big companies have.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Hard for apple to continually innovate. Google may have caught up in smartphone numbers but their AppStore isn't as profitable for developers. There were advantages to having a closed ecosystem. Apple without jobs? Don't know, he had an epic ego. Difficult to replace that. Don't see "think different" posters with Martin Luther King, John Lennon, Albert Einstein and Tim Cook do you. Apple training centre had one with Jobs though.

dennis777 dennis777 said:

Its like their is no more magic when apple presents its new gadgets compare when Jobs was around.

"they are not doing it right"

bugejakurt said:

I disagree with Larry Ellison..

Guest said:

"Unless it loses its way like so many other big companies have."

I agree but Google is much more diversified than Apple who is mainly in the consumer electronics realm. The only other thing that might be stopping google is government entities stopping any future mergers/acquisitions for antitrust reasons. The other thing that will hurt them in the future (and all the other big tech companies) is when governments will close any tax loopholes.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

I also disagree with Ellison. Apple almost went out of business several times with Steve Jobs as CEO. It wasn't until the iphone/ipad/ipod they found success again. And those products were not new or innovative, they took what was already available and made it so your average dumb@ss could use it.

Now don't let me come across like a sour Apple (hehehe) I have an iPad 2 at the house, but lets be real here.

If you want to learn something, watch the entire interview (its atleast an hour) with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs talking about Windows and Mac, software/hardware and the business they did. You might just learn something.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

I disagree with Larry Ellison..

Apple is getting absolutely trounced on phones and tablets. What are they doing to address the problem?

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