Steve Jobs does bring a great deal of value to Apple. He sees into the future with binoculars while we have a hand over one eye. He sticks to his plan while others cast about. He has no problem implementing unbelievable measures to keep things secret. He is an inspiration to his employees and no doubt his enemies.
I submit that above all of these things his greatest value is delivered as the keeper of the Apple Brand Promise.
As the importance of the salesperson is displaced by a customer's interaction with the social graph, the Brand Promise is more important than ever. The Brand Promise is the context within which the community talks about a product. A well established Brand Promise erects boundaries beyond which even detractors cannot go.
What do you think the Apple Brand Promise is? For a long time it was that Apple products were easy to use. I do not think that is it anymore.
I propose this: You will always be cool with an Apple product in your hand, in your bag, or on your desk. Steve Jobs upholds his promise that you will not feel a fool for buying his creations.
How else could he convince everyone to pre-order iPads -- a first generation product that no one has even seen!
Love him or otherwise, that Steve Jobs is doing it again.