Many sites and authors (among them Matt Hartley at Lockergnome, full article at http://www.lockergnome.com/it/2011/01/17/is-steve-jobs-critical-to-apple/, Joe Wilcox at Beta news, full article at http://www.betanews.com/joewilcox/article/Apples-future-without-Steve-Jobs-wont-be-as-bright/1295327829 and at http://www.betanews.com/joewilcox/article/What-future-does-Apple-have-without-Steve-Jobs/1295286850 and at http://www.betanews.com/joewilcox/article/Steve-Jobs-takes-another-medical-leave-from-Apple/1295278306, Juan Carlos Perez at Computer world, full article at http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9205362/With_Apple_s_Jobs_on_leave_many_questions_and_few_answers, Peter Sayer at Computer world, full article at http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9205342/Update_Apple_CEO_Steve_Jobs_to_take_medical_leave_of_absence, Chris Foresman at Ars Techinca, full article at http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/01/apple-ceo-steve-jobs-back-on-medical-leave.ars, Matthew Humphries at Geek.com, full article at http://www.geek.com/articles/apple/steve-jobs-goes-on-medical-leave-of-absence-20110117/, Mike Halsey at ghack.com, full article at http://www.ghacks.net/2011/01/17/steve-jobs-to-take-leave-of-absence-from-apple-for-health-reasons/) covered the anouncement of Steve Jobs leave for absence due to medical problems. Most of them also told that Steve Jobs is strictly related to Apple future in terms of positive impact. On top of this Apple shares declined after the announcement has been made.
In my opinion, Steve Jobs is very important for Apple because of charisma, innovation, leadership and vision. But times are different now form those when Steve came back and reseurrected Apple from ashes.
Apple is now a company with a stronger brand, that goes over the geeks and is more linked to marketing.
Apple is a strong company with cutting edge technologies and more patents that can turn in billion dollars ideas.
Apple has now an industrial approach for going live.
Apple has also grown or acquired lot of professionals and managers that can continue the business.
Apple also has a marketing and commercial model for applications selling that is something that is a step beyond also for new coming devices.
I don’t work for Apple (in fact I work for another very big company that is a competitor for part of Apple business), but I think the Cupertino company is stronger than ever.
With Steve at the helm also has the plus of a Guru, but without can continue the business without problems.
This post as a comment also at http://www.betanews.com/joewilcox/article/Apples-future-without-Steve-Jobs-wont-be-as-bright/1295327829, at http://www.betanews.com/joewilcox/article/What-future-does-Apple-have-without-Steve-Jobs/1295286850, http://www.betanews.com/joewilcox/article/Steve-Jobs-takes-another-medical-leave-from-Apple/1295278306, http://www.computerworld.com/comments/node/9205362#comment-716336, http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/01/apple-ceo-steve-jobs-back-on-medical-leave.ars?comments=1&p=21225850#comment-21225850, http://www.geek.com/articles/apple/steve-jobs-goes-on-medical-leave-of-absence-20110117/comment-page-1/#comment-3975084, http://www.ghacks.net/2011/01/17/steve-jobs-to-take-leave-of-absence-from-apple-for-health-reasons/#comment-1295892 and at http://www.lockergnome.com/it/2011/01/17/is-steve-jobs-critical-to-apple/comment-page-1/#comment-250537