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The sedate reaction represents a vote of confidence in the management team that Jobs assembled to carry out his vision. In his final years, Jobs increasingly shared the stage with his lieutenants in a move that telegraphed Apple wasn’t just a one-man show.

Jobs also had ensured an orderly transition by resigning as CEO six weeks ago and turning over the job to his protege, Tim Cook.

As soon as he took the job, Cook vowed to maintain “a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world.” He will have plenty of help from Jobs-groomed executives dubbed a management “dream team” by some analysts.

The other key players include marketing guru Phil Schiller, design chief Jonathan Ive, software mastermind Scott Forstall and the head of finance, Peter Oppenheimer. Nearly all the key Apple executives have been at the company for years, many of them joining around the time of Jobs‘ 1997 return.

It’s widely believed that Apple’s plans for the next two or three years already had been largely worked out before Jobs died.

It’s a given that a third-generation iPad will be released next year, but most analysts believe the logical next step will be for Apple to introduce a large-screen television that runs on the same operating system as its computer tablet, phone and touch-screen iPod.

The only question seems to be whether the still-hypothetical iTV will hit the market next year or 2013.

Steve’s style and his vision will live on, and it could soon permeate the living room,” predicted Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu.

After Walt Disney died in December 1966, the company seemed to be in good shape. Within a few months, Disneyland opened another popular attraction _ the Pirates of the Caribbean _ and released a hit movie, “The Jungle Book.”

But Walt Disney had approved and was involved in both projects before he died.

After the pipeline went dry, Walt Disney Co. went through a long creative malaise that lasted until it hired Michael Eisner in 1984 to engineer what proved to be a successful turnaround.

Forrester Research CEO George Colony is worried that Apple will eventually lose its way, causing historians to look back on Jobs‘ tenure as a golden age of technology.

“I hope that I am wrong,” Colony wrote in a Thursday blog post. “My hope is that Steve inspires all of us in the technology business to stop creating confusing, poorly-designed, slow, complex, ugly, maddening products that weigh down rather than lift up the work and souls of people.”