Internally, Bajarin said, all of the groups within Apple report to both Jobs and Cook, meaning that, as COO, Cook not only handles the day-to-day operations, but is responsible for the complete execution of the company's vision.
Bajarin also said that though Cook would never claim to have the same eye for design as Jobs or Apple's top designer Jonathan Ive, Cook understands (and has given input on) what does and does not work from a design perspective. Cook's imprint is also evident in the efficiency of the company's successful brick-and-mortar stores, he said.
While Cook doesn't share Jobs' commanding style when it comes to taking the stage, he still knows how to hold his own under the spotlight.
He may not be a "flashy showman," Bajarin said, but at this months' Verizon iPhone announcement, Cook was "he was just as animated and as confident as Steve Jobs is when he's up there."
Given how brightly Jobs' own star shines, Enderle noted it may be that the public hasn't yet had a chance to see all that there is to Cook.
"There are certain aspects to his life that we may not find out about until after Jobs is permanently gone," he said. "Steve Jobs doesn't really like anyone to outshine him, so that's going to make it difficult for us to find the gems in Cook's recent background."