Steve Jobs was grieved around the world Thursday through the
very devices he conceived: People held up pictures of candles on
their iPads, reviewed his life on Macintosh computers and tapped
out tributes on iPhones.
One day after his death, two days after Apple introduced the
latest incarnation of a touch-screen phone that touched pop
culture, sadness and admiration poured out - not for a rock star,
not for a religious figure, but for an American corporate
By people who have grown up in a world where iPod headphones are as ubiquitous as wristwatches were to a previous generation, Jobs was remembered as their Elvis Presley or John Lennon. Perhaps even their Thomas Edison.
"It's like the end of the innovators," said Scott Robbins, 34,
who described himself as an Apple fan of 20 years and who rushed to
an Apple Store in San Francisco when he heard the news.
Apple announced Jobs' death Wednesday night and remembered him as a "visionary and creative genius." The company announced no
cause of death, but Jobs had been diagnosed with a rare pancreatic
cancer seven years ago and had a liver transplant in 2009. He was
On Thursday, the Apple website, which usually features slick
presentations of multicolored iPods and ever-thinner MacBook laptop
computers, simply displayed a black-and-white photo of Jobs, thumb
and finger to his beard as if in contemplation.
Around the world, tributes sprang up of the highest and lowest
In the Ginza shopping district of Tokyo, people held up iPhones
and iPads, their screens facing outward and displaying sharply
defined, touchable graphics of flickering candles.
At an Apple Store in Hong Kong, old and new means of grief came
together: People scribbled "RIP" and "We miss Steve" and longer
notes of condolence on Post-It notes, and stuck them to an iPad
And at the 24-hour Apple Store in midtown Manhattan, the
remembrances were more traditional. Passersby left flowers and
candles, actual ones. Even there, people snapped pictures of the
memorial with their iPhones.
"I was so saddened. For me it was like Michael Jackson or
Princess Diana - that magnitude," Stephen Jarjoura said at the
Apple Store in Sydney. His said Jobs left a legacy to rival Edison
and Albert Einstein.
Philippe Meunier, a senior partner of a Canadian ad agency who
was visiting New York from Montreal, reflected on how weird it was
to receive the news of Jobs' death on the phone he invented.
In a measure of his impact on personal technology, Jobs was
venerated by his fiercest competitors in the hours after his death.
Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, a company that Apple
once treated as Goliath to its David, then blew past in market
value, said it was "an insanely great honor" to have known Jobs.
A statement of grief came from Sony, whose Walkman and Discman were buried by the iPod.
Google added a link to the Apple site on its famously minimalist
search page. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, thanked him
for changing the world.
To the extent that there is an online version of the old-time
public square, it was overrun Thursday by remembrances of Jobs.
On Twitter, where the most popular "trending" topics change by
the hour, "ThankYouSteve" and "iSad" were still high on the
list a day after his death.
On Facebook, people posted revisions of the Apple logo, a
stylized apple with a detached leaf and a half-moon bite taken out.
One added a frown and tears to the apple. Another replaced the bite
with a silhouette of Jobs himself.
Heads of state around the world added their thoughts. President
Barack Obama said Jobs exemplified American ingenuity. Mexico's
President Felipe Calderon bemoaned the loss of "one of the most
visionary minds of our times." India's Prime Minister, Manmohan
Singh, said he was "deeply saddened."
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)