Apple (AAPL) had a great decade, but its success has hinged as much on the downfall of the PC as it has on heralded CEO Steve Jobs.
A look at the stock performance of Apple and its PC rivals Dell (DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) underscores the revived Mac maker's dramatic success story and the triumphant return of its co-founder. It also raises unavoidable concerns about how Apple will perform when Jobs inevitably leaves.
But perhaps a bigger concern is how will Apple fare if the PC industry ever catches its stride. Lost in the debate about Jobs' health is how Apple will perform during the inevitable recovery of PC makers and the invasion of netbook upstarts like Asus and Acer.
Persistent rumors that Jobs' cancer has returned, compounded by Apple's unwillingness to address the issue or offer a possible succession plan, have dogged the stock since June.
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