Steve Jobs Back at Work now what for Apple and Competitors

The apparent mystery of Apple CEO Steve Jobs is now resolved with his return to work after a liver transplant. The Apple head honcho’s return signifies Apple’s return to normalcy, although it has been business as usual for the California-based computer giant who in his absence saw the release of the iphone 3G S, updated laptops and the imminent arrival of the new OS X operating system, Snow Leopard, rolled out in September.

The rumor mill has obviously worked overtime, but there’s no doubt the charismatic Jobs is a key element for the Curpertino giant, who must be relieved to have him back at the helm (albeit on a reduced schedule).

Jobs’s return to the helm secures Apple’s dominance and with the aforementioned Snow Leopard set to change the game for years to come, enhancing and future-proofing the operating system for use with multi-cored Macs. Apple’s considerable profile is set to rise even higher.

In particular persistent rumours abound of an iTunes tweak with video streaming added to the iTunes roster. AppleTV owners will welcome this feature enhancing its usability and an AppleTV upgrade is long overdue.

However, Jobs’s steadying of the ship comes at a time when competition is fierce for Apple. Dell (based in Texas and ranked 25th-largest company in FORTUNE MAGAZINE), the Multinational Technology Corporation develops, manufactures and sells personal computers); Hewlett Packard (HP) – simply the largest technology company worldwide; and the most obvious: rivals and collaborators – Microsoft are snapping at their heels daily.

However, the smartphone market sees Apple playing second fiddle to the Blackberry. To illustrate, the iPhone has a 19.5 percent share of the smartphone market, while (RIM) and its Blackberry range enjoy a 55.3 percent share. Based in Canada (RIM) is best known for developing the popular Blackberry smartphone and had previously worked with Ericsson developing mobile phone technologies. Nevertheless Apple’s products are hot at the moment with a 70 percent MP3 market share and an additional $1.47 billion revenue from its Apple stores.

Furthermore the Apple brand looks set to grab a share of the e-book reader market with on-line books read on the iPhone by a Kindle app released by Amazon (founded in 1994, Amazon is America’s largest on-line retailer famous for its books, but has branched out to include CDs, video games, electronics, computer software,furniture, toys etc.). With the release of Amazon’s Kindle DX (a bigger version of the original Kindle) Amazon has again raised the bar with its book reader; as a result Jobs may surprise us at the next keynote speech.

Apple’s constant upgrading to its iPhone, iPod, and laptops plays it very smart indeed with consumers eagerly anticipating new models, thus ensuring high sales numbers.

Finally, Steve Jobs’s extraordinary vision and experience have ultimately turned Apple from a small company to a major player in the computer market, becoming a media giant to rival (HP), among others, is unquestionably on its substantial, and far-reaching agenda.