Apple Inc. has lost its visionary at a time when the company is headed into battle with its most serious challengers yet—and has shown some rare signs of vulnerability.
The day before Steve Jobs died, his successor, Tim Cook, took the stage to sell the world on Apple's newest iPhone. Though executives spent 90 minutes touting a raft of new features, the gadget didn't create the sort of immediate buzz Mr. Jobs's recent creations have enjoyed.
That muted response was ill-timed for Apple: Just a week earlier, Amazon.com Inc. unveiled its Kindle Fire, which costs less than half as much
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