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Sculley: Does Apple Still Deserve Steve Jobs Premium?

Monday, 3 Dec 2012 | 12:58 PM ET
John Sculley, Former CEO, Apple
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
John Sculley, Former CEO, Apple
Sculley: Does Apple Still Deserve Steve Jobs Premium?
Apple has a few years left of refreshing products before having to up its game, former Apple CEO John Sculley says.

Apple can continue to ride its current product line for a few more years before having to up its game, former Apple CEO John Sculley said Monday on CNBC.

On "Fast Money," Sculley, who famously battled with Apple founder Steve Jobs, explained why he continued to hold on to the company's stock.

"I see a company that has always been able to define the future around products that it can create that captures people's imagination. Steve is the one who's done that from the beginning. He left a tremendous legacy," he said. "If Steve Jobs had left the company four years ago, the company might be in a very different situation than it is today. The question is: Does it still deserve a Steve Jobs premium?

"Steve Jobs lived in a world of black and white, no compromises, perfectionist. He believed that you had to keep pushing the edges of innovation, and Apple is still doing that."

Sculley added that the company was building out its existing products, such as following the iPad with the iPad mini.

"So I think Apple's got a few years of being able to do that," he said. "At some point it's got to do something beyond that."

Sculley praised current Apple CEO Tim Cook and product chief Jony Ive.

"You've got to have clarity, you've got to have somebody making clear decisions. Apple has that now with Jony Ive," he said, adding that Cook was "exactly the right CEO for Apple because he's able to build the respect of a team, and if he didn't have a product leader, then he'd have a tough time at the company."

Sculley noted challenges that Apple competitors Hewlett-Packard and Dell were having with a clear lack of a product leader.

"Microsoft is way behind the ball, and we don't know if they can get to that twice-a-year introduction cycle that Apple and Samsung have," he added.

Sculley also praised the South Korean smartphone manufacturer.

"Samsung today is an extraordinary company in terms of products and in terms of marketing. It's a much better marketer than Microsoft is, and it's got much better products than anyone except Apple, so I'd be watching Samsung," he said.

"You really need a great competitor out there to keep you going."

Trader disclosure: On Dec. 3, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Stephanie Link is long AAPL; Stephanie Link is long JPM; Stephanie Link is long SBUX; Joe Terranova is long VRTS; Joe Terranova is long TJX; Joe Terranova is long AAPL; Joe Terranova is long YUM; Joe Terranova is long SWN; Joe Terranova is long GLW; Joe Terranova is long DELL; Joe Terranova is long VZ; Joe Terranova is long XOM; Simon Baker is funds long IWM; Simon Baker is funds long MDY; Simon Baker is funds long BAC; Simon Baker is funds long F; Simon Baker is funds long HD; Simon Baker is funds long JNJ; Simon Baker is funds long MRK; Simon Baker is funds long MSFT; Simon Baker is funds long QCOM; Josh Brown is long JPM; Josh Brown is long WFC; Josh Brown is long GDX; Josh Brown is long GLD; Josh Brown is long XLU; Josh Brown is long TLT; Josh Brown is long XLF; Josh Brown is long WMT; Josh Brown is long TGT; Josh Brown is long COST.

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