Apple's co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs has died. The company has made the official announcement on its website.
"Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being," the company says on its website.
In New Zealand, Apple partners have echoed the words of mourning and say the industry has lost a visionary and a great innovator.
"It is a sad day for the IT industry," says Kelly Eyerman, Ingram Micro's senior business manager, responsible for the Apple division. Eyerman says the industry has lost a very important man but believes Apple is "in good hands" with its current senior executive team.
According to Richard Webb, CEO of Renaissance, Jobs was "an extraordinary contributor to an amazingly dynamic industry". "I have a great respect for his innovative capacity," adds Webb. "We will miss him."
"Vodafone New Zealand is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Steve Jobs. His vision for Apple transformed computing world, the way we buy and listen to music and more recently the smartphone industry, overnight. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and colleagues at Apple," Vodafone New Zealand says in a statement.
Jobs had stepped down from his CEO role on 24 August, after years battling with pancreatic cancer.
"We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today," Apple's board of directors said today in a statement. "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."
Jobs was 56 years old. He is survived by his wife, Laurene, and four children.
His family has released a statement saying that "Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family". "In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories. We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief." Analyst firm Ovum cites Jobs' impact beyond the technology industry. Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst for Ovum, says in the past four years, Jobs reinvented the smartphone and tablet computer, and before that, changed the music industry dramatically with the iPod and iTunes.
“Yesterday's iPhone 4S launch event was a reminder of the vision and strategy Steve Jobs laid out for Apple during his time as CEO, with iOS the software platform that will drive the company forward, iCloud and the related services the next-generation model for consuming and sharing content among devices," says Dawson. "That foundation will serve Apple well in the years to come, and there is little danger of Apple deviating from that successful strategy.”
The risk is for Apple to continue to rely on single ‘hero’ devices in its two major product lines, the iPhone and iPad, with an annual release cycle. The launch yesterday “should pave the way for at least another year of success in the smartphone business, and future releases are likely to continue that pattern,” says Dawson.
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