Apple tycoon Steve Jobs has passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, aged 56.
The cancer which afflicted Jobs had a particularly low survival rate, and pictures of him taken some months ago left no real doubt as to the terminal nature of his condition:
He also took medical leave from his position as CEO in January as a result of the illness, finally resigning in September.
None other than Nobel Peace Prize winner President Obama paid his respects:
Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve 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.
By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike.
Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, 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.
The world has lost a visionary. And 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. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.
Various top technology company CEOs were quick to offer tribute – most interestingly, in light of their global legal feuding, the CEO of Samsung, who had this to say: “His innovative spirit and remarkable accomplishments will forever be remembered by people around the world.”
Bill Gates, familiar with the innovative nature of Apple products for some time now, also praised his “profound impact.”
Online, the awe with which Apple products are regarded in Japan ensured even 2ch offered a sympathetic obituary, although one rather less gushing with praise than those offered by Apple fans:
“Apple’s done for!”
“Surely it’s just another false report!?”
“No, it’s on CNN – he’s dead.”
“Didn’t he die before?”
“Apple is doomed without him – nobody can match his charismatic leadership.”
“How many billion dollars is this going to knock off their market cap then?”
“Their balance will probably go now, their products will become more American.”
“To think he’d die so soon…”
“I hate Apple but R.I.P. Steve Jobs, he was a genius.”
“The passing of a great man.”
“I’m going to cry!”
“The age of Apple is over.”
“It’s rather splendid how he resigned properly before passing on, rather than just hanging on in the post.”
“I’m a Windows user so I owe him a great deal – may you find peace in the next world.”
“Thank you, Jobs. Rest easy.”