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Steve Jobs: World media react to his death

Host | 02:08 UK time, Thursday, 6 October 2011

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 world's media:

In an obituary, The Economist says Mr Jobs was a man ahead of his time during his first stint at Apple

Computing's early years were dominated by technical types. But his emphasis on design and ease of use gave him the edge later on. Elegance, simplicity and an understanding of other fields came to matter in a world in which computers are fashion items, carried by everyone, that can do almost anything.


BBC Monitoring's Saeed Barzin says that in Iran, the death of Steve Jobs is one of those rare occasions when an icon of US culture has been treated with warmth and humanity by a variety of commentators, even conservative social-network users.

Many praised the man who, in their words, symbolised the dreams of the modern age and brought the world closer together. Similar feelings of sympathy were shown after the 11 September attacks in the US when young Iranians went out on to the streets and lit candles for the victims.

Adrian Hon, writing in the UK's The Telegraph, compares Steve Jobs to the great architect Sir Christopher Wren.

Like Wren, who had interests in astronomy, biology, and physics, Steve Jobs was not "only" a computer engineer or a programmer, but he had a deep love and appreciation of the importance of design and the humanities when it came to making objects that real people had to use. Sir Christopher Wren's epitaph at St Paul's Cathedral was si momumentum requiris circumspice (if you seek his monument, look around you). Steve Jobs more than earned those same words to describe his legacy.

Russian internet guru Anton Nosik praised the Apple co-founder's legacy (in Russian).

Steven Paul Jobs died at the age of 56 years, six months and 10 days. Most of us would not manage to achieve what he has achieved even if we had dozens of lives. Rest in peace.

In France, the daily Le Monde described Steve Jobs as "one of the inventors of today's world" (in French).

The co-founder of Apple changed the world. More than many big heads of state, his actions have changed the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world.

In China, social media such as the Twitter-like Weibo microblogging platform and the Facebook-like Renren network have been filled with tributes to Steve Jobs, BBC Monitoring reports. Both sites have set up special pages.

Weibo users have written more than 36 million tweets on the news. "Zhang Xiaojie" wrote: "Thank you for changing our world, Jobs." On the same site, "Shrek-Wong": said: "Many Chinese are mourning Jobs. I think, even if one of our state leaders dies, there won't be so much spontaneous mourning."

On the technology news site Mashable, Lance Ulanoff describes Steve Jobs as the tech industry's one true icon and a magnetic figure at Apple product launches.

Jobs relished the stage, I think, because it was the place where he could share his delight in the new. I always believed Steve Jobs was truly in love with his own products. When he unveiled the iPad, Jobs was smiling from ear to ear. Granted, he had some really good stuff to show off. To this day, no other tablet has surpassed (or even come close) to the iPad - or its market share.


Steven Levy, writing in US technology magazine Wired, says that although Steve Jobs had little interest in public self-analysis, he would occasionally drop a clue as to what made him tick.

Once he recalled for me some of the long summers of his youth. "I'm a big believer in boredom," he told me. Boredom allows one to indulge in curiosity, he explained, and "out of curiosity comes everything." The man who popularised personal computers and smartphones - machines that would draw our attention like a flame attracts gnats - worried about the future of boredom. "All the [technology] stuff is wonderful, but having nothing to do can be wonderful, too."

Australia's Adelaide Now writes that Steve Jobs's contribution to communications technology was staggering.

In death Jobs's influence on the history of technology is already being compared to names such as Edison, Bell, Gates and Da Vinci. He took the concept of portable mass communication from the pages of science fiction into the palms of our hands.

The Montreal Gazette, in an editorial, said Steve Jobs was far more than a corporate leader.

He was a visionary, a perfectionist, a lover of great and beautiful technology and of great and beautiful design, and an entrepreneur who wanted to get us to buy that gorgeously designed technology. Which he succeeded at, spectacularly. When what you have to sell is unlike anything that has been seen before - and so much better to boot - people are going to buy. He changed the world and made it more fun. You can't say that about very many people.

Ciara O'Brien in the Irish Times says Steve Jobs leaves behind "some shoes that are almost impossible to fill".

It's hard to escape Jobs's influence, even if you aren't a Mac fan or have never picked up an iPhone. His fingerprints are everywhere. His keynotes were watched avidly; his departure from the company something that had investors understandably nervous.

Writing in the UK's Guardian newspaper, Dan Gillmor said that when historians look back at the life of Steve Jobs, they will chronicle a man of contradiction and genius.

What set him most apart from his peers was an exquisite sense of product design and the ability to intuit what people would want, and use. Combined with his leadership (and salesmanship) skills, he was the most formidable CEO of recent times.

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.

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