ChangeWave first began asking consumers about how a possible Jobs resignation would affect their purchase habits back in 2008, after . At the time, Jobs's health was a source of concern for investors, ChangeWave director of research Paul Carton told .
In 2008, consumers were wary of a Jobs-less Apple, with 18 percent saying that the icon's theoretical resignation would make them less likely to buy Apple products in the future. Since then, though, ChangeWave has revisited the question on a regular basis and, for the most part, the percentage of worried consumers has continued to drop.
In the most recent survey of the question, conducted earlier this month, only 4 percent of consumers said they would be less likely to buy Apple products without Jobs at the company's helm. Fully 1 percent of those surveyed said they would be likely to buy products with him gone, and 6 percent said they didn't know. That means that almost 90 percent of consumers surveyed are just as likely to buy Apple products no matter who's in the current CEO spot.
It seems, in retrospect, that Jobs's of may have actually been beneficial to the company, weaning consumers off the idea that the former CEO was the only person at Apple who mattered. Ultimately, it seems, consumers are comfortable with the idea that it's not about the company is so much as it's making.
In case you need more evidence that Apple remains on track, take a gander at a couple other numbers that ChangeWave provides about the success of the iPad. Not only does Apple's tablet continue to dominate the consumer market--85 percent of consumers surveyed in August about their planned tablet purchases said they'd be buying an iPad--but the inroads in the business market are almost as dramatic.