Apple founder Steve Jobs dies

Just a day after the company he founded launched its latest smartphone, Apple has announced that its founder, Steve Jobs, has died at the age of 56. He had been battling pancreatic cancer for some time and had undergone a liver transplant just a couple of years ago.

In a company statement, Apple said his '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.' A further message on its website said it had 'lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being.'

Flags are being flown at half mast outside the Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, while tributes continue to pour in. According to the BBC, US President Barack Obama said that with his death, the world had 'lost a visionary', while Bill Gates added: 'For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it's been an insanely great honour. I will miss Steve immensely.'

Steve Jobs started a company from his garage in the 1970s. When he left his role as CEO in August, he left a company with an estimated value of £227bn, making Apple the world's most valuable technology company. But more significantly, he changed the world of technology, especially when it came to the mobile world. The iPhone was a 'game changer' in the mobile phone market when it landed in January 2007, with the rest of the industry playing catch up ever since.

It that wasn't enough, Apple and Jobs changed the mobile landscape once more in April 2010 with the launch of the iPad. Did the world really want or need a touch-screen tablet? Sales and the glut of similar devices on the market 18 months later says a resounding 'yes'. That's why he's being called a visionary. With Jobs in charge, Apple managed to lead, rather than follow the market. It is why the company is so successful and it's also why Steve Jobs is such a hard act to follow.

Whether you own an Apple mobile or not, Steve Jobs has touched the way you communicate directly or indirectly. He will be sorely missed.

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