Apple Fans React to Steve Jobs' Big Announcement

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Rebecca Wengle, 21, will miss Steve Jobs' juicy Twitter feeds about Apple's (AAPL) new products.

"He's made the company this phenomenon," she said.

Not only did Macolytes interviewed Wednesday night near the Apple store in New York City's Meatpacking District already know of Jobs' resignation as CEO of Apple a few hours earlier, they already had fully-formed opinions on Jobs' legacy, what will happen to the iconic company he founded in 1976, its groundbreaking products, even the fate of its stock price -- a testament to both Apple and its leader's cult-like status, influence on modern living, and imprint on the collective consciousness of everyday people.

Consumers were of two minds: Some said Apple's spirit of innovation will continue to thrive post Jobs, while others wondered if the company is equipped to churn out products like the iPad, iPhone and MacBook without the design visionary behind it, they said.

Jobs, who has been struggling with his health for an extended period, wrote in a letter addressed to Apple's board and the "Apple community" Wednesday that he "always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come."

The Wengles, vacationing in New York from Toronto, and a self-described Mac family, were melancholy about Jobs stepping down.

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Jobs' leadership and Apple's success seem to be intricately entwined, they said. "It's sad, because he created the whole lifestyle that comes with the product," said Lawrence Wengle, 18, noting Mac's "clean" design aesthetic. Lawrence convinced his mom to ditch the family's PCs and go the Mac route two years ago.

His sister Jenna, 12, chimed in, crediting Jobs with Apple's "out-of-the-box" design and technology. "Their products make life easier," she said.

Rachel Mayo, 45, a telecommunications analyst from Connecticut, agreed.

"Look at it," she said, pointing to the Apple Store at 401 West 14th Street. "It's sparkly, it's flashy, it's linear: It's a desktop with nothing else -- less is more."

But Mayo is convinced that when Jobs goes, so will Apple's primacy. "They'll lose part of their edge," said Mayo, who owns an iPad, MacBook and an iMac. That's because it's inevitable that Jobs' successor will want to make his own mark on the business, she said.

By contrast, some argued that Apple is more than just Jobs, and despite his rock-star status, the creative brain trust that has been running the company's day-to-day operations is key to its success.

Apple should be just fine without Jobs, as his role has been more of a figurehead of late, said Itamar Eliakim, 21. "He's like Ronald McDonald."

Visiting from Israel, Eliakim and his friend Yoav Harari, 21, were shopping for iPod cases at the store.

Harari opined that although Apple should weather Jobs' departure relatively unscathed, in the short term, but said he's concerned about what it might mean for the stock price.
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