Apple has traversed the first year, without Steve Jobs at the helm. Many things have changed, even as   core operations remain the same for Apple.

Tim Cook has taken over at a time when Apple has just created a new consumer class for its highly innovative smart products. The man at the helm now, continues a tight rein and has the following great numbers to speak of- from $360 billion last October to a massive $620 billion in 2012 October. Growth has been good, nearing the 75-percent growth and Apple has become of the ‘most valuable listed company’ so far. This is after the all-time high inflation has been adjusted, as with Microsoft’s 1999 edition.Apple Without Steve Jobs - A Year Later

When the iPhone and the iPad, part of Steve Jobs vision, first debuted there was huge speculation and reams written on the success of these products. A few years later, the writing continues although now it is more about how the competitors’ smart phones and tablets are no-performers to iPhones’ & iPads’ class and performance.

Today, with Tim Cook at the helm, Apple has done well: In fact, better than expected. In the past year it has had one of the highest numbers of iPhone sales. IPhone 5 preorder sales too in September have been phenomenal.

Typically, Apple as a company has a single communication channel- only the chief executives: CEO Tim Cook, Phil Schiller the marketing chief or Scott Forstall the iPhone software chief and the culture of off-hand brunches with journos is not something that has ever happened with Apple.

Therefore, when Tim Cook spoke for the first time last October introducing the iPhone 4S, the whole world paid attention. IPhone 4S, did go on to become a successful product as has the iPhone 5 now. This May while speaking at the All Things Digital Conference, Tim Cook cleared all doubts on product innovation and new product launches- “The product curator role moves around as it always had even when Jobs was there, as, not one person does it all.”

Analysts, on the question of Apple’s product innovation speculate that Apple could well take the path that Sony did. With the death of Sony’s leader Akio Morita, in 1999, Sony saw a fall in leadership and the single motivating force that made Sony great. A single authority to take calculated risks was missing as was the lack of a clear vision on envisioning and designing of products.

Analysts suggest that Apple’s golden period could be anywhere from two to four years before, it could well take the same path as Sony has post Akio Morita.

The recent apology letter on the poor quality of Mapping services has Apple’s detractors singing its swan song- Steve Jobs would never have : allowed a full product launch of yet to be developed service, second, he would never have rendered an apology, besides allowing other brand products such as Nokia’s and others’ mapping services.

Recent news of the poor working conditions at Foxconn, China-based iPhone, iPad manufacturer has also added to laxity and lesser over all control of Apple’s operations over its partner groups.

However, iPhone 5 continues to sway the market, while news of iPad Mini’s launch for Christmas appears to be a reality by the day.

Author Bio: Kelly Austin works as part of a team of writers at PeekTab. Kelly writes about tablet security software and other security topics. If you want to know more about Kelly you can follow her on Twitter @KellyAustin86