Steve Jobs, the co-founder and until recently the CEO of Apple Corp has died in California after a long illness.
Jobs retired as CEO of the company in August after taking his second leave of absence due to illness.
Jobs founded Apple in 1976 alongside Steve Wozniak after the two men built a personal computer, the Apple I, which was followed by the Apple II in 1977. The Mackintosh computer was launched in 1984. In 1985, Jobs was forced out of the company after losing a boardroom battle.
He returned to the company in 1996 and became CEO in 1997 at a time when Apple was struggling to survive and began one of the most extraordinary turnarounds in business history. Earlier this year, Apple briefly became the most valuable company in the world. In 1997 its revenue was $7.1bn, while its latest revenue is $65.2bn. The small outsider had become a massive corporation.
The word visionary is much used in association with Jobs and in his case the accolade is undoubtedly deserved. He had an uncanny ability to provide the public with products it didn’t know it wanted. The iPod and iTunes, first launched in 2001, changed the way music is consumed and distributed.
Jobs and Apple then revolutionised the mobile phone industry with the launch of the iPhone in 2007. While market incumbents refined the music and camera phone and introduced colour screens, Apple made a quantum leap and gave us a portable computer that made phone calls.
The arrival of the smartphone has transformed the industry and is changing the way people work. The iPad is another product nobody thought was needed, but Jobs once again proved everyone wrong.
Apple said this morning (6 October) that: ‘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.’