“Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us, who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve has lost dear friend and inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind the company that only he could build, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple”, the company says on the official web-site.
Former chief executive and co-founder of US technology giant Apple Steve Jobs was 56. He was suffering from pancreatic cancer in 2004 and had a liver transplant five years later.
US President Barack Obama said: “Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it…. The world has lost a visionary.”
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that “America lost a genius who will be remembered with Edison and Einstein, and whose ideas will shape the world for generations to come”.
Jobs had built introduced the iMac computer, the iPod and the iPhone to the world.
He started his company with co-founders in the 1970s. Today Apple is the world’s most valuable technology company. It’s market value is estimated at $351bn (£227bn).
He married his wife Laurene in 1991, and the couple had three children.
Jobs also leaves a daughter from a previous relationship, and as an adult discovered that he had a biological sister, US novelist Mona Simpson.
On the news of the death of Apple’s chairman and co-founder, here is a roundup of the reaction to his death in the US media:
Writing for the New York Times, Nick Wingfield remarks on Steve Jobs’ reputation as the life force driving Apple’s success as a company:
Rarely has a major company and industry been so dominated by a single individual, and so successful. His influence went far beyond the iconic personal computers that were Apple’s principal product for its first 20 years. In the last decade, Apple has redefined the music business through the iPod, the cellphone business through the iPhone and the entertainment and media world through the iPad. Again and again, Mr. Jobs gambled that he knew what the customer would want, and again and again he was right.
Patricia Sullivan at the Washington Post says that his particular genius was not just in designing the product, but in selling the appeal of it to his customers:
He knew best of all how to market. “Mac or PC?” became one of the defining questions of the late 20th century and although Apple sold a mere 5 percent of all computers in that era, Mac users became rabid partisans and dedicated to Mr. Jobs. Mr. Jobs was the first crossover technology star, turning Silicon Valley renown to Main Street recognition, and paving the way for the rise of the nerds such as Yahoo founders Jerry Yang and David Filo, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
At CBS News, Dan Farber says Steve Jobs created a new mould for fellow innovators:
He was not an inventor in the classic sense, tinkering with program code to create the Worldwide Web or tinfoil to reproduce sounds on a phonograph. Jobs was more of an orchestral conductor, charismatic and dictatorial, assembling the people and pieces of existing and emerging technology to craft an object of desire that reflected his personal aesthetic and vision for how people and machines should interact. It was an expression of American individualism, buoyed by the kind of self-confidence that insists on pursuing a personal vision regardless of the risk.
While at the Wall Street Journal, Yukari Iwatane Kane and Geoffrey Fowler note that Steve Jobs had an impact beyond his own company, redefining the hi-tech industry he was part of:
Mr. Jobs transformed Silicon Valley as he helped turn the once sleepy expanse of fruit orchards into the technology industry’s innovation center. In addition to laying the groundwork for the high-tech industry alongside other pioneers like Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison, Mr. Jobs proved the appeal of well-designed products over the sheer power of technology itself and shifted the way consumers interact with technology in an increasingly digital world.
Brandon Briggs, writing for CNN, comments on Apple’s unique trajectory as a company, and notes Steve Jobs as a crucial driver in the success story:
He also built a reputation as a hard-driving, mercurial and sometimes difficult boss who oversaw almost every detail of Apple’s products and rejected prototypes that didn’t meet his exacting standards. By the late 2000s, his once-renegade tech company, the David to Microsoft’s Goliath, was entrenched at the uppermost tier of American business. Jobs’ climb to the top was complete in summer 2011, when Apple listed more cash reserves than the U.S. Treasury and even briefly surpassed Exxon Mobil as the world’s most valuable company.
“Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve,” Apple said.