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Tim Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies, disagrees.

“The issue is great products that people want,” he said. “As long as Apple does that and Tim Cook leads helping Apple create the products people want, the charisma becomes less important.”

Jimmy Hayes, editor of Britain’s iCreate magazine, said, “Whatever happens, there is no doubt that the Apple product roadmap has been put in place so that the Jobs disciples, who have been left to run the show, can continue fulfilling the vision of clearly the most important company leader on the planet.”

Mr. McKenna summed up the Jobs legacy: “I guess the words I like to think about Steve is that he will be forever cool.”