The loss of Steve Jobs could send Apple into a tailspin and knock the company from its perch atop the consumer electronics space.
Forrester Research chief executive George Colony said that without its charismatic leader, Apple risks entering a decline similar to that seen by Sony in the years following the departure of Akio Morita.
Colony said in a company blog post that Jobs unique management style and charismatic leadership should prove difficult to replace at Apple and would likely cause the company to lose much of the momentum which has propelled it to the top of the consumer electronics space.
"Apple has chosen a proven and competent executive to succeed Jobs," Colony said of new Apple chief executive Tim Cook.
"But his legal/bureaucratic approach will prove to be a mismatch for an organisation that feeds off the gift of grace."
Rather than select a business leader such as Cook, Colony suggested that Apple look to one of its creative heads, such as design head Sir Jon Ive or iPhone software vice president Scott Forstall.
"From on far they appear to have some of the charisma and outspoken design sense to legitimately lead the company," the analyst noted.
The comments come in the wake of yet another record quarterly report for Apple. The company claimed its highest non-holiday revenues ever with $39.2bn on the backs of particularly strong iPhone and iPad sales.
Apple is expected to unveil the next generation for its software and hardware platforms in the coming months.
The World Wide Developer Conference in June will bring previews for the next versions of both OS X and iOS, while Apple has been rumoured to be readying the next version of its iPhone for release in the summer or fall months.
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