By Prince Osuagwu
THE death of co-founder and former chief executive of US technology giant Apple, Mr Steve Jobs, yesterday, could be described as a smart exit.
This is judging by the fact that news of his death filtered in just a day after he introduced Apple’s latest iPhone 4S model. Interestingly, Jobs’ family had issued a statement saying they were with him when he died peacefully on Wednesday.
Jobs died at the age of 56. However, a better part of his life was dedicated to countless innovations that enrich and improve lives and make the world immeasurably better. Although cause of his death has not been yet announced, it could not be far from the pancreatic cancer which Jobs himself announced he was suffering from in 2004. Like the American President said in his tribute to Jobs, “Steve was among the greatest of American innovators, brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.”
No matter how his life is viewed, Steve Jobs truly created gadgets which have changed people’s perceptions of machines. He came into lime light when on April Fools day,1976, he in conjunction with his school friend Steve Wozniak introduced the first Apple computer, tagged Apple 1. For more than two decades, after the first Apple computer, the company was predominantly a manufacturer of personal computers, including the Apple II, Macintosh, and Power Mac lines, but it faced rocky sales and low market share during the 1990s.
Cutting edge products
Since then the company through the visionary leadership of Steve Jobs, has introduced cutting edge products like the colourful iMac computer, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad to the world. The latest iPhone 4S model was also introduced just a day before his death. However, the latest era of phenomenal success for the company has been in the iOS Apple range of products that began with the iPhone, iPod Touch and now iPad. With a market value estimated at $351bn (£227bn), Jobs contributed immensely to making Apple the world’s most valuable technology company, it has become today.
Steve Jobs was born in San Francisco in February 1955 to students Joanne Schieble and Syrian-born Abdulfattah Jandali. He had a summer job at Hewlett-Packard while at school but dropped out of college after six months and went travelling in India, where he became a Buddhist. He was to launch Apple with his school friend Steve Wozniak in 1976 and also caused the first Apple computer to be sold the same year.
Jobs married in a Buddhist ceremony in 1991 and has three children with his wife. These are in addition to a daughter from a previous relationship. He is said to have a personal wealth estimated at $8.3bn (£5.4bn) as at year end 2010.
He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003, and after three periods of sickness, resigned as Apple CEO in August 2011. As the face of Apple, he represented its dedication to high-end technology and fashionable design. Inside the company Jobs was said to have exerted a level of influence unheard of in most businesses.