Steve Jobs, pioneering co-founder of Apple, passed away on Wednesday at age 56.
Jobs has been consistently referred to as a visionary and creative genius. Jobs was considered the driving force behind some the most successful consumer products ever. Jobs was given almost singular credit for the creation of the pioneering products that emerged from Apple, and, in fact, Jobs was well-known for his personal involvement in product development. He famously micromanaged and approved even minute product details.
The Macintosh computer, launched in 1984, helped create the market for home computers. The Mac was the first successful PC with a graphical user interface (its predecessor, the Apple Lisa, had a GUI but did not sell well).
The iPod launched as an audio player in October 2001. It changed how people consume and listen to music, and ended up altering the entire music industry. The iPod eventually evolved into a full-scale media player, game console, and app device.
The iPhone took over where the iPod's functionality left off. The iPhone launched in 2007, introducing the mass-market to the concept of an app-using, multifunctional smartphone. Like the iPod, the iPhone generated huge levels of consumer excitement, with each new product release creating rock-star-like levels of excitement.
New product launches from Apple became well-known for a Steve Jobs introductory event. His personality helped ramp up consumer excitement that created round-the-block lines of eager buyers when products launched.
That charisma helped convince consumers to rush out and buy another new product configuration, the iPad. The first tablet computer was an instant blockbuster. The iPad 2 launched in March 2011. The iPad continues to be the dominant tablet computer.
Very shortly after Jobs' death, Apple CEO Tim Cook sent an email to all Apple employees.
He said: "Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple."
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