Trigger-happy investors have historically been prone to trading on Apple whenever news about its head honcho, Steve Jobs, arose. But in the wake of his death yesterday, shares of Apple have only risen 1.5 percent as of 7:30 a.m. today, only dropping 0.12 percent at their lowest level from the company’s opening price.
Apple, the most valuable technology company in the world, is back to vying with Exxon-Mobil to claim the title of most valuable company overall, although it’s value fell on Tuesday when the company unveiled an incremental upgrade to its iPhone smartphone lineup instead of a much-anticipated major upgrade.
Apple is also noticeably absent from the options market, where a move like this would typically send traders into a frenzy of speculation over what direction the company will go in. Only two significant put orders (a bet that the company’s share price will fall) crossed the Chicago Board Options Exchange as of 7 a.m. Thursday — each for fewer than 700 shares and at a modest strike price. At the same time, a much larger call order has already crossed the wire at a strike price of $385.
“This is business as usual for Apple, it would be a mistake to count them out,” Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg told VentureBeat. “Yes, the tech world has lost a significant icon and a visionary, but Apple is more than just one person — Jobs built something truly special that was much greater than himself.”
Jobs was known as a visionary, creating products that he knew people would be fighting tooth and nail to get their hands on. They were products you didn’t even know you needed: the tablet market was basically non-existent before the introduction of the iPad, and the iPhone is now one of the most popular smartphones in the world and is an industry standard. Jobs arguably jump-started the smartphone revolution with the iPhone and its associated App Store. “It’s a phone, it’s an iPod, and it’s an Internet communicator — are you getting it yet?” he said on stage when he unveiled the iPhone.
His track record is undeniable. As VentureBeat’s Dylan Tweney wrote yesterday, “The Macintosh was the first commercially successful computer to use a graphical user interface and a mouse, a decade after the technologies had debuted at Xerox PARC and SRI. The iPhone threw out the book on how to make a smartphone and reoriented an entire industry around touchscreens and apps, well after touchscreens first appeared in PDAs like the PalmPilot. The iPad succeeded in making a popular tablet computer after Windows-based computer manufacturers had tried to do so for nearly a decade.”
Apple regularly smashes expectations for its quarterly performance and its press events are almost Hollywood-esque, with live reporting and glamour. In Silicon Valley, working for Apple — like Google, Twitter and others — is worn as a badge of honor, like attending an Ivy League school.
“There are few people who could build something so successful and so magical and do more than (Jobs,)” Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian told me. “It’s humbling as an entrepreneur, more than anything else, to see what he’s done.”