Outpourings of public grief and appreciation swept the globe on Thursday after the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
Jobs, who touched the daily lives of countless millions of people through the Macintosh computer, iPod, iPhone and iPad, died on Wednesday at age 56 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He stepped down as Apple chief executive in August.
In New York City, an impromptu memorial made from flowers, candles and a dozen green and red apples was erected outside a 24-hour Apple store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, with fans snapping photos of it on their iPhones.
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“It was really sad news for us,” said Daiichiro Tashiro, 25, visiting from Tokyo.
Tributes poured in both from ordinary people and from the pinnacles of the business and political worlds.
At an Apple store in Sydney, lawyer George Raptis, who was 5 years old when he first used a Macintosh computer, spoke for almost everyone who has come into contact with Apple. “He’s changed the face of computing,” he said. “There will only ever be one Steve Jobs.”
A college dropout and the son of adoptive parents, Jobs changed the technology world in the late 1970s, when the Apple II became the first personal computer to gain a wide following. He did it again in 1984 with the Macintosh, which built on breakthrough technologies developed at Xerox Parc and elsewhere to create the personal computing experience as we know it today.
The rebel streak that was central to his persona got him tossed out of Apple in 1985, but he returned in 1997 and after a few years began the rollout of a troika of products that again upended the established order in major industries.
A diagnosis of a rare form of pancreatic cancer in 2004 initially cast only a mild shadow over Jobs and Apple, with the CEO asserting that the disease was treatable. But his health deteriorated rapidly over the past several years.
Jobs’s death came just one day after Cook presented a new iPhone at the kind of gala event that became Jobs’s trademark. Perhaps coincidentally, the new device got lukewarm reviews.
Student design a hit on the Web
A Hong Kong design student’s poignant tribute to Apple founder Steve Jobs became an Internet hit Thursday with its minimalist, touching symbolism — and brought a job offer and a flood of commemorative merchandise using his design.
Jonathan Mak, 19, a student at Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University School of Design, came up with the idea of incorporating Steve Jobs’ silhouette into the bite of the Apple logo, symbolizing both Jobs’ departure and lingering presence at the core of the company.
The logo was even used as the Twitter profile picture for Ashton Kutcher.
“It’s been a crazy day for me,” Mak told Reuters. “I’m both excited and terrified,” added the teenager.
Mak said he had received a job offer because of the design.
Mak, who first created the logo after Jobs stepped down as Apple’s head in August, said it hadn’t made much of a splash until he reposted it Thursday.
“Originally, I was going to put a black modified logo against a white background,” said the bespectacled Mak. “It just didn’t feel somber enough. I just wanted it to be a very quiet commemoration. It’s just this quiet realization that Apple is now missing a piece. It’s just kind of implying his absence.”