Consumer interest in Apple not dampened by Jobs’ departure

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Apple’s stock value didn’t plummet when Steve Jobs announced his departure as CEO (nor should it have), and it looks like the reaction from consumers matches Wall Street’s optimism. A new study conducted by ConsumerAffairs.com found that positive sentiment from consumers regarding Apple reached an all-year high in August, when Jobs revealed that he’d be stepping down as Apple’s CEO several weeks ago.

The watchdog site compiled info from 27 million statements made on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites during the year to measure consumer sentiment regarding Apple. Keywords like “great,” “best,” “good” and “love” were used to determine positive statements, and typical comments that made up the 170,000 positive mentions noted in August included things like “Apple will be fine thanks to his leadership” and “Apple all the way.”

In contrast, negative sentiments about the company (there were around 64,000 such statements in August as measured by ConsumerAffairs.com) focused mostly on “technical and pricing issues,” including problems with software updates and concerns about the Mac malware that had been more of a problem earlier in the summer.

Consumer confidence is arguably the most important thing Apple needs to retain as it transitions to a new CEO and decreased involvement for Jobs. Even if some analysts and investors see Jobs’ passing of the torch as potentially problematic down the road, most without a personal axe to grind will likely see reason as long as Apple keeps selling, growing and beating expectations. If customers see the brand in a positive light, there’s every reason to believe that’s exactly what will happen.

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