Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder and visionary, dies

Editor ©RapidTVNews | 06-10-2011

Visionary and creative genius seems the perfect epitaph for Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs who has died aged 56.
Indicating his status as not only a technologist but also someone whose company's products have become intrinsic to everyday life, tributes to Jobs, who finally succumbed to a long battle with pancreatic cancer, have flooded in from not only those at the highest echelons of the IT and communications industries but also world leaders.

President Barack Obama said that Jobs 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.” Former arch rival Bill Gates added: "Steve’s profound impact on the world of technology would be felt for many generations to come".

In a fittingly stylish tribute to the man who not only transformed the company but also the industries in which it worked, Apple said: “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.”

Jobs’ replacement at the helm of Apple, CEO Tim Cook, paid his own tribute, saying, “Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing
human being. Those of use who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will be forever the foundation of Apple.”

After years of being seen as the single-handed force behind iconic products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad, Jobs officially stepped down from Apple in August 2011. After a liver transplant in 2009, Jobs had always been cagey about his medical status but was forced to take medical leave since mid-January 2011.

In a grand irony, Jobs’ death came only two days after the launch of the iPhone 4S, perhaps the product that cemented his visionary status. Indeed many felt that both the new product and the unveiling itself had missed the touch of the former CEO who became synonymous with products that transcended the mere technical and became part and parcel of everyday life, giving the functional a unique sense of desirability whether in the form of the Apple II, iMac, iPod, iPhone and lately the iPad.

Jobs began his career at Apple in 1976 with Steve Wozniak in 1976, pioneering what they called the world’s first mass-market personal computer, the Apple II. Yet despite launching the Macintosh Jobs was forced from his own company in a bitter power struggle. Undimmed he unleashed his creative talent by founding the Pixar animation studio before returning triumphantly to Apple to oversee the launch of an almost endless string of groundbreaking, beautifully styled industry-defining products starting with the iMac at the height of the era.

This kick started a process that included the iPod, iTunes, iPhone, App Store, Macbook, Macbook Air, and eventually the iPad which in only a year after launch has totally redefined the tablet computing market as well as the portable and connected TV arena.