Yesterday’s news that Steve Jobs decided to stand down as the CEO of Apple wasn’t entirely shocking to seasoned Apple watchers who knew this day would come. The writing has been on the wall for quite some time, if you were willing to read early signs, such as an open-ended sick leave nearly stretching into its ninth month. Wall Street understandably sent AAPL down 4.6 percent to $358.75 in early New York trading in what one investor described as “an emotional trade in the short term” that also affected Nasdaq-100 Index and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index which both declined a fraction of a percent on the news. Meanwhile, companies Apple counts as competitors gained. Both shares of Samsung and LG Electronics, which compete fiercely with Apple on smartphones, gained 2.4 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively, in Seoul trading.

NH Investment & Securities Co. analyst Seo Won Seok says Cook, Apple’s newly appointed CEO, “may try to improve the relationship with Samsung” or even work out a settlement of sorts. The notion has its merits as Steve Jobs was a strong advocate of intellectual property protection as Apple banned the copyist Samsung from selling smartphones and tablets in Australia, the European Union and elsewhere. Jobs exit could also turn into “lease of life” for Sony, Nokia, Hewlett-Packard, HTC and ZTE Corp – all companies under tremendous competitive pressure stemming from Apple’s successes in multiple markets. While Samsung and HTC spokespersons wouldn’t come on the news, top dogs from Sony, Nokia and ZTE would. Here’s how they complimented Jobs’ achievements…

Sony CEO Howard Stringer

I think his brilliance has been well documented, but what gets forgotten is the bravery with which he’s confronted his illness. For him to achieve this much success under these circumstances doubles his legacy.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop

Steve Jobs is a visionary in the computing industry. We look forward to both Steve and his team having a positive impact on our industry for many years to come.

ZTE Corp executive vice president

We are very thankful to Steve Jobs’s contribution to the smartphone and mobile broadband industry. With innovation spirit, ZTE will play a more active role in communication, smart terminal and mobile broadband industry, and build more value for consumers around the world.

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