Apple's Steve Jobs dies aged 56 - Mobile World Live

Apple’s Steve Jobs dies aged 56

07 OCT 2011

Tributes have flooded in for Apple's legendary co-founder Steve Jobs, who died yesterday, aged 56.

President Obama said that "the world has lost a visionary," noting that "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." Microsoft's Bill Gates – a fierce rival – hailed the "profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come." Tributes also came in from Facebook creator and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, Google's co-founder Larry Page, Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop and China Mobile's Chairman Wang Jianzhou, among many others.

In a memo to Apple employees, Apple's CEO Tim Cook – who succeeded Jobs at the helm of the company just two months ago – said that Apple had lost a "visionary and creative genius." He continued: "Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple." Jobs remained at the firm for the last two months of his life as chairman of the board.

Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976 but was ousted from the firm following a board power struggle in 1984. His return to the helm in 1997 prompted Apple's revival via a series of ground-breaking products; first via the iMac (1999), then later with the iPod (2001), iPhone (2007) and iPad (2010). During this period, Jobs transformed Apple from a computer also-ran to a consumer technology giant, which briefly this year became the most valuable company in the world.

The announcement of his death came just 24 hours after Apple unveiled the latest version of the iPhone (iPhone 4S), which – for once – was less than enthusiastically received. Jobs was notable by his absence from the launch event.

Jobs had struggled with health problems for the last several years and took six-months medical leave in 2009. As a CEO whose profile was closely interweaved with the fortunes of his company, his health became very much a public matter that could affect Apple's share price.

As the announcement of his death was made after the US markets closed yesterday, it remains to be seen how investors will react.

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