Tributes for Apple 'visionary' Steve Jobs


1984-2011: Three decades of innovation at Apple

World and business leaders have paid tribute to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who has died at 56 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

US President Barack Obama and Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev said Mr Jobs had changed the world.

Microsoft's Bill Gates said it had been "an insanely great honour" to work with him. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg remembered his "mentor and friend".

The Twitter microblog site struggled to cope with the traffic of tributes.

Apple itself said Mr Jobs had been "the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives" and had made the world "immeasurably better".

Thousands of celebrities and ordinary people went on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to record their tributes and memories of the man behind products such as the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad.

An iPhone displays an image of Steve Jobs at a makeshift memorial outside an Apple Store in New York on 5 October 2011

The death of Mr Jobs could create a record for Twitter traffic.

Thousands of people all over the world have also been attending Apple stores to leave flowers, notes, and apples with a bite taken from them to mimic the company's logo.

Apple's leading rivals such as Microsoft, Google, Sony and Samsung all chipped in with glowing tributes.

GS Choi, chief executive of Samsung, which is embroiled in a major court battle with Apple on patents, said Mr Jobs was an "innovative spirit" who "introduced numerous revolutionary changes to the information technology industry".

In his statement, Bill Gates said: "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. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it's been an insanely great honour."

At the scene

A single bunch of flowers - still in their plastic wrapper - were the only outward sign of the passing of Steve Jobs outside Apple's flagship London store in Covent Garden.

Ginnie Leatham, a brand director in the media industry, from West Sussex, hand delivered a single red Gerbera to staff inside the store.

She said: "I was really sad when I woke up this morning. I had a real lump in my throat and felt quite tearful.

"I was thinking about it on my commute into work. I always walk past the Apple store and I just thought 'I'm going to stop'.

Mr Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook: "Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you."

His comments were "liked" by more than 200,000 people within hours.

In his own tweet, Barack Obama wrote: "There may be no greater tribute to Steve's success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented."

Web users in China have reportedly posted almost 35 million online tributes.

Tim Cook, who was made Apple's CEO after Mr Jobs stood down in August, said his predecessor had left behind "a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple".

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Steve Jobs transformed the way we work and play; a creative genius who will be sorely missed."

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said that the US had "lost a genius who will be remembered with Edison and Einstein".

News Corp's Rupert Murdoch said: "Steve Jobs was simply the greatest CEO of his generation."

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak will remember Mr Jobs for "knowing what made sense in a product"

People also gathered outside Mr Jobs's home in California's Silicon Valley to lay floral wreaths, while flags were flown at half mast outside the Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.

A statement from Mr Jobs's family said they were with him when he died peacefully on Wednesday.

"In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family," they said, requesting privacy and thanking those who had "shared their wishes and prayers" during his final year.

Face of Apple

Mr Jobs built a reputation as a forthright and demanding leader who could take niche technologies - such as the mouse and graphical user interface, using onscreen icons rather than text - and make them popular with the general public.

Life of Steve Jobs

  • Born in San Francisco in Feb 1955 to students Joanne Schieble and Syrian-born Abdulfattah Jandali - adopted by a Californian working class couple
  • Had a summer job at Hewlett-Packard while at school - later worked at Atari
  • Dropped out of college after six months and went travelling in India, where he became a Buddhist
  • Launched Apple with school friend Steve Wozniak in 1976 - first Apple computer sold the same year
  • Left Apple amid disputes in 1985 but returned in 1996 and became CEO in 1997
  • Bought Pixar animation company in 1986 for $10m
  • Married in a Buddhist ceremony in 1991 - has three children with his wife and a daughter from a previous relationship
  • Had a personal wealth estimated at $8.3bn (£5.4bn) in 2010
  • Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003, and after three periods of sickness leave, resigns as Apple CEO in August 2011

He introduced the colourful iMac computer, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad to the world. His death came just a day after Apple unveiled its latest iPhone 4S model.

With a market value estimated at $351bn (£227bn), Apple became the world's most valuable technology company.

More than almost any other business leader, Mr Jobs was indistinguishable from his company, which he co-founded in the 1970s.

As the face of Apple, he represented its dedication to high-end technology and fashionable design.

And inside the company he exerted a level of influence unheard of in most businesses.

Mr Jobs also provided major funding to set up Pixar Animation Studios.

In 2004, Mr Jobs announced that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer. He had a liver transplant five years later.

In January, he took medical leave, before resigning as CEO in August and handing over his duties to Mr Cook.

In his resignation letter, Mr Jobs said: "I believe Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role."

However, Mr Jobs stayed on as Apple's chairman.

Despite his high profile, he remained fiercely protective of his private life.

He married his wife Laurene in 1991, and the couple had three children.

Mr Jobs also leaves a daughter from a previous relationship, and as an adult he discovered that he had a biological sister, US novelist Mona Simpson.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 178.

    the 'bashing' posts mainly seem to try and promote other worthy people that have died with no fanfare. What is so wrong with that? BBC HYS hasn't made pages for them but somehow they are worth less even though they'd done more? saved lives perhaps?
    It is staggering the mourning going on from people who never knew him, who's only interaction was BUYING A PRODUCT

  • rate this

    Comment number 177.

    When complying about the Beeb removing negative comments about Apple remember the people who will miss him most are his lawyers. The ones he used to stifle other companies.

  • rate this

    Comment number 176.

    Bottom line, he was popular and well respected not just because of the hard work and vision that made Apple the company it is today, but because like so many others like him, he did it with such a genuine passion for what he was doing.
    He really believed in the products and strived for excellence in all that he did.
    That's why people liked and respected him.

  • rate this

    Comment number 175.

    To mourn Steve Jobs, from 12am today to 8am tomorrow, all the microblog sent through Apple handset on Weibo (a Chinese social media platform), will appear "from Jobs's iPhone" or "from Jobs's iPad".

  • rate this

    Comment number 174.

    Steve changed the face of computers, music, phones and tablets. His unique strength was that he personally enjoyed using all Apple products. He was not a typical user, but he imposed a user’s perspective on every product. In other technology companies, this perspective only emerges when the product hits real users. Technology users have lost a unique champion. Steve will be sorely missed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 173.


    So your a mug punter who ignores consumer feedback says more about you than an other fruit.

  • rate this

    Comment number 172.

    I'm sorry but all this gushing praise is nauseating. Jobs wasn't an inventor - he was nothing more than a marketing man. A smart marketing man yes - he got millions of people to pay over the odds for essentially ordinary products, marketed as though they were better than the others. They weren't - they were more expensive, and gullible people thought more expensive meant better. Not so.

  • rate this

    Comment number 171.

    My thoughts are with his family and friends and while I agree that Apple have brought some remarkable products to market I think people need to take a minute to think things through. Yes, Apple have pushed boundaries with new products but they are a coporation who exists to make money and they do that very well. Surely the inventor of the mobile phone has done more to change the world than Apple

  • rate this

    Comment number 170.

    Steve Jobs,an icon?No disrespect to Jobs as a person. His innovations,his determination and his business talents are all undeniable but honestly all this hype about his death makes me sick to the stomach.I read a comment of Wozniak,he dared putting him in the same sentence with Lennon,Kennedy and Luther King!Jobs helped in the making of an empire that sold "alienation" devices made in sweat-shops.

  • rate this

    Comment number 169.

    If you actually read the comments, most aren't bashing him, all acknowledge his passing - most are bashing the cult of Jobs and cult of Apple. Yes, he will be missed, by his family, friends and coworkers, but if one doesn't know him there's nothing to miss. He wasn't Ghandi or MLK, he was a CEO of a company who was very good at marketing. I'm not cursing him, but this is how it is

  • rate this

    Comment number 168.


    So you broke your iPod. I think that says more about you than it does about Apple.

  • rate this

    Comment number 167.

    so nauseating - there are products and services we use every day, a part of our lives, but because there is no 'cult' of belonging or marketing to add validation to life no one cares who made their (toaster? shoes? bed? doors? glasses? showers?)
    this is just like Diana - somehow everyone feels they are part of it and have a right to mourn. You didn't know him, get over it

  • rate this

    Comment number 166.

    Purveyor of shoddy goods, nicely package but essentially useless in the grand scheme of things. I never owned an iPod that didn't fall apart or stop working very shortly after the guarantee expired. Sort the alternative for other products in the range and was seldom left feeling I was wrong. Steve Jobs worked out that more people will come back than choose my route and made a fortune out of that.

  • rate this

    Comment number 165.

    Furthermore, I find the fact that some people use this forum as an opportunity to 'bash' a man that has been dead less than 24 hours extraordinary. These people need to get a life, better still get an iLife.

  • rate this

    Comment number 164.

    SONY introduced Walkman, but delayed to release MP3 player. (could not worried of coping digital music files easily). Steve Jobs introduced IPOD and every one trying to catching up. I always eager to buy a mac computer due to slick design, but it is pricey and can not afford. Thank you Steve for innovation of slick products. Isad

  • rate this

    Comment number 163.

    Never ever have I seen such extensive outpouring of grief from the world and the online community. Just goes to show how many hearts he touched with his products and the legacy he leaves behind. A giant amongst men, who accomplished the most whilst he fought a most deadly and terrible disease. Thank you Steve, you are an inspiration to us all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 162.

    In the case of Mr Jobs, actions speak louder than words, yet he was heard all over the world and he brought people everywhere closer together.

    Mike B

  • rate this

    Comment number 161.

    We only have one life.All of us can make the people around us feel so proud of us or ashamed of us. You made everyone feel proud of you. Well done to you Steve. Well Done ! R.I.P and my thoughts right now are with your family and friends.

  • rate this

    Comment number 160.

    Can the BBC get a grip please. This is not a story worthy of being the main item and top headline - put it in the Technology section and headline it there.

  • rate this

    Comment number 159.

    I know very little about information technology, but it saddens me to see the envious, resentful, spiteful comments made by some posters. Whatever you feel, a man has died, and died tragically young. People who knew him personally, his family and friends, could read this. Please, have a little respect.


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