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Despite of being in serious medical condition, Steve Jobs managed to define Apple’s roadmap for the next several years, according to new media reports citing sources with knowledge of the matter. The next-generation iPhone is projected to be among the “legacy” devices of the legendary founder of Apple.

The co-founder and former chief executive of Apple has left a legacy of innovation and ideas that promise to shape technology for years to come. According to The Times news-paper, Steve Jobs himself told colleagues that there were at least four years’ worth of products in the pipeline. In his last months, Mr. Jobs has also been overseeing the development of the iCloud project and masterminding updated versions of the iPod, iPad, iPhone and MacBooks, ensuring at least four years’ worth of products are in the pipeline, according to Apple sources, a report from Daily Mail reads.

Mr. Jobs reportedly ensured blueprints for new machines were created years in advance, which means that Apple has solid plans for the next several years, which is very uncommon for a technology company. Usually, companies have very brief sketches of next-gen products, not solid plans or blueprints.

Defining technology plans for several years is not truly hard thanks to the fact that general technology roadmaps are unknown for big companies, such as Apple. For example, chip companies like ARM Holdings or Intel Corp. have roadmaps till the second half of decade, many display vendors outline their roadmaps for several years to come, providers of materials and various small parts suppliers also have long-term plans. Besides, industry standards like memory, interconnections and others are also known.

What is very interesting are exclusive capabilities that Steve Jobs wanted Apple’s future products to have compared to the rivals. For example, Apple’s latest-generations of MacBook Air laptops use exclusive “blade”-style solid-state drives, whereas the firm’s iPhone 4 and 4S smartphones have the world’s only 3.5” display with 960*640 screen with extreme pixel density. Apple software innovations have also managed to help to make Apple a technology powerhouse and those capabilities are kept strictly inside Apple.

Tags: Apple, iPod, iPad, iPhone, Macintosh, macbook

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