People around the nation and world remembered Steve Jobs as an innovator who changed the way they play, work, and live, with a public outpouring of grief and tributes after news of his death broke.
Many people said they learned of Jobs’ death from complications of pancreatic cancer on their iPhones and iPads, which have become an everyday part of communication since the first iPhone was unveiled in 2007.
Twitter also was jammed Wednesday night as people took to the Internet to share the news and their thoughts over the tech icon’s death.
As news spread, fans arrived at Apple’s flagship Manhattan store to leave candles and flowers, and as midnight neared, more crowds arrived to remember Jobs and his contributions. Memorials also cropped up worldwide, including in Australia and China.
At Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., flags were flying at half-staff as bagpipes played “Amazing Grace” and people placed flowers around a white iPad with a picture of Jobs on the screen.
In San Francisco, fans wrote tributes on Post-Its and put them on the Apple store’s glass windows. One fan even left a black turtleneck, a tribute to Jobs’ signature black turtleneck and Levi jeans he wore for new product launches.
Mourners also held iPhone-lit vigils in several cities, including New York and San Francisco, using the device Jobs helped create to remember his life.
Many of those mourning Jobs’ death also celebrated his work ethic, which echoed an American success story with the visionary’s early days when he, co-founder Steve Wozniak and Ron Meyers created the Apple I computer, revolutionizing personal computing.
“He completely changed the way we operate,” said Quinn Duffy, an intern at Wimdu, a travel Web site, to the New York Times. “He’s a pretty good model for someone who wants to take a smaller company and become a global force.”
Another mourner, David Lauder-Walker, told the New York Times he was buying headphones for his iPhone when a friend texted him about Jobs’ death.
“He was really somebody who changed the conversation,” he said, “for whom good enough wasn’t good enough.”
Fans are still mourning Jobs, but his innovations continue to grow. Just one day before the tech legend died, Apple unveiled its iPhone 4S, which adds new software to the slim, streamlined iPhone 4 Jobs helped develop.
Also, in the months before Jobs formally stepped down as Apple CEO, he came out of medical leave to unveil the iPad 2. The latest generation of the sleek tablet revolutionised not only personal computing, but played a valuable role in healthcare, military and other institutions.
But as Jobs’ technological genius is remembered today, people who knew him personally honored not only the devices, but the man who was behind them.
Mourners left flowers in front of Jobs’ modest Palo Alto, Calif. home, where he died that evening surrounded by his family, and neighbourhood children drew hearts with markers on the sidewalk for others to leave messages.
“Here’s a guy who’s a billionaire and lives in a regular neighbourhood, not behind a gated estate with all the security guards,” said Bruce Gee, a former Apple employee, honouring a man who remained a private citizen while changing the technology world with his innovations.