Loss of Steve Jobs makes world ‘iSad’
Apple ‘genius’ dies from cancer
Apple’s Steve Jobs has died from cancer at the age of 56, a premature end for a visionary who revolutionised modern culture and changed forever the world’s relationship to technology through inventions such as the iPad and iPhone.
The passing of Mr Jobs left people around the world “iSad” yesterday, with countless mourners typing out their grief on the handheld Apple gadgets that have transformed modern life.
“We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today,” the California-based gadget-maker’s board of directors said in a statement released after his death on Wednesday, surrounded by his family.
“Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that en-rich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.”
Tributes flowed in from around the world for Mr Jobs, while Apple fans flooded social networking sites to voice their sorrow at the passing of the man who helped put mini computers in the shape of phones in millions of pockets.
Ordinary people, many of whom learned of his death on their iPhones and iPads, swamped Twitter using the trending hashtag #thankyousteve to pay tribute to Jobs “for all you have done for this generation”, as one person tweeted.
Another called on Jobs to make an “iHeaven to connect us with God”.
Mr Jobs was just 21 when he founded Apple Computer in 1976 with his 26-year-old friend Steve Wozniak in his family garage.
From such humble beginnings the company, with its ubiquitous trademark of an apple with a bite taken out of it, grew to eventually become one of the world’s most valuable firms.
US President Barack Obama paid tribute to one of America’s “greatest innovators”.
“He transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world,” Mr Obama said in a statement.
Microsoft boss Bill Gates along with other titans of the high-tech industry agreed, with some people hailing Jobs as a modern-day Thomas Edison, who invented the light bulb.
“The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come,” Mr Gates said in a statement.
The two men were rivals in the race to dominate the market at the start of the personal computer era.
But, while personal computers powered by Microsoft software ruled work places, Jobs envisioned people-friendly machines with mouse controllers and icons to click on to activate programmes or open files.
Tim Cook – who had been handling Apple’s day-to-day operations since Jobs went on medical leave in January, and was made CEO in August after his resignation – led the praise for the Silicon Valley legend.
“Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple,” he said in a statement.
Apple turned its home page into a tribute to Jobs, posting a large black and white photo of the bearded high-tech maestro in his trademark black turtleneck and small round glasses. The only caption: Steve Jobs, 1955-2011.
Jobs’s family also issued a statement, saying he had lost his long battle with pancreatic cancer surrounded by his relatives.
“In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family,” it said.
Under Mr Jobs, Apple introduced its first computers and then the Macintosh, which became wildly popular in the 1980s.
He was elevated to idol status by ranks of Macintosh computer devotees, but left Apple in 1985 after an internal power struggle and started NeXT Computer company specialising in sophisticated workstations for businesses.
He co-founded Academy-Award-winning Pixar in 1986 from a former computer graphics unit he bought from movie industry titan George Lucas.
Apple went from strength to strength as Jobs revamped the Macintosh line, launching a “post-PC era” in which personal computers give way to smart mobile gadgets – the iPod, iPhone and the iPad, as well as the popular iTunes site.
Jobs is survived by his wife Laurene, with whom he had three children. He also had a daughter with a woman he dated prior to marrying.
1976: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak unveil the first Apple computer in Palo Alto, California. It consists of little more than a circuit board and costs just under $700.
1977: The Apple II with a one-megahertz processor becomes the first mass-produced computer and an instant hit.
1980: Apple becomes a publicly traded company.
1983: Lisa, the first personal computer featuring a mouse for navigating and desktop icons and folders, is introduced. Its failure is blamed on a daunting price of nearly $10,000.
1984: The Macintosh PC makes its debut. It is affordable and features innovations such as a disk drive, built-in monitor, and a mouse.
1985: Mr Jobs resigns after being stripped of control of Apple in an internal power struggle.
1986: John Sculley becomes Apple president. Mr Jobs starts computer company NeXT and buys Lucasfilm’s computer graphics division, renaming it Pixar.
1996: Apple buys NeXT and makes Mr Jobs an adviser.
1997: Mr Jobs returns as head of Apple. Arch-rival Microsoft invests $150 million in the company.
1998: He revamps Apple’s product line, churning out colourful $1,300 iMac PCs with monitors and drives in the same casing.
1999: The iBook, marketed as a mobile iMac, is introduced.
2001: Apple launches the iPod pocket digital music player for $399 and opens its first retail store in Palo Alto.
2003: Apple opens online music store iTunes.
2004: Mr Jobs undergoes an operation for pancreatic cancer.
2007: Apple kicks off the era of the touchscreen smartphone with the new iPhone.
2009: Jobs goes on medical leave in January, returning to work in June after undergoing a liver transplant.
2010: Jobs unveils the iPad tablet computer, a huge hit after it goes on sale in April. Apple passes Microsoft in May as the largest US technology company in terms of market value.
January 17: Jobs takes another medical leave of absence.
January 18: Apple reports a record quarterly net profit of $6 billion on revenue of $26.74 billion.
March 2: Mr Jobs makes surprise appearance to unveil of the latest iPad.
June 6: Jobs again surprises by launching Apple’s free online storage hub iCloud.
July 19: Apple second quarter profit hits $7.31 billion on revenue of $28.57 billion.
August 9: Apple briefly passes ExxonMobil as the world’s largest company by market capitalisation.
August 24: Mr Jobs announces his resignation as CEO and is replaced by chief operating officer Tim Cook, but stays on as Apple board chairman.
October 4: Apple unveils the iPhone 4s, which includes a built-in “personal assistant” but fails to dazzle investors as it is not the next-generation iPhone 5 smartphone many had hoped for.
October 5: Apple announces the death of Jobs at the age of 56. He calls him a “creative genius” and an “inspiring mentor”.
Macintosh computers: The first Macintosh computer was launched in 1984 and the line has grown to include iMac all-in-one desktop machines as well as stylishly sophisticated MacBook laptops.
The iPod: Introduced in 2001, the hip personal music player revolutionised portable digital entertainment, culminating with its touchscreen iPod Touch MP3 player.
The iTunes Store: Launched as the iTunes Store in 2003, Apple’s online shop sells music, movies, and television shows for computers and its mobile devices.
The iPhone: Apple introduced its first iPhone in 2007, combining iPod features and Internet connectivity in a touchscreen smartphone that swiftly became the mobile device of choice.
The App Store: Apple began letting outside developers customise applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch in 2008, opening an online App Store now stocked with more than 150,000 fun, functional and hip mini-programmes.
The iPad: Apple heralded the arrival of a “post personal computer era” in April 2010 with the launch of the iPad tablet computer, which is about the size of a letter-sized sheet of paper.