Ina Fried

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Tim Cook Follows Steve Jobs’s Footsteps Closely in Big Stage Debut

It may have been a new actor on Apple’s stage on Tuesday, but the script was familiar.

Start with some momentum statistics, show off the new software, end with a look at the new hardware and then give product specifics.

But, even as CEO Tim Cook stuck with a familiar pattern, the absence of Steve Jobs was palpable at Tuesday’s event. It’s not that Cook is not an able stage presence, which he is. But only Steve Jobs is Steve Jobs.

It also didn’t help that the iPhone Cook had to introduce looks so much like the iPhone 4 that preceded it. Cook continued the recent trend of having other Apple executives share more of the announcements and demos, enlisting Phil Schiller, Eddy Cue and Scott Forstall to share in the duties, with Schiller doing most of the iPhone 4S introduction and Forstall showing Siri, probably the biggest new thing of the day.

Though he kept the event squarely focused on Apple’s products, Cook did begin Tuesday’s event with a few personal remarks. Cook called his time at Apple the privilege of a lifetime and declared his love for the company he now leads, following Jobs’s health-related resignation earlier this year. And for what it’s worth, his performance since taking over as CEO hasn’t seemed to rattle investors significantly. On Aug. 24, when Jobs announced his resignation, Apple stock closed at $376.18; today it closed at $372.50.

Interestingly, Cook didn’t specifically reference Jobs, either to note how he was doing, send regards or update the audience on his health.

But, perhaps fittingly, there was no “One More Thing” on Tuesday.

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