Last Bite of the Apple – Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Steve Jobs Dies

I wouldn’t normally write anything like an obituary on a photography blog but I must admit I was quite shocked to her that Steve Jobs had died during the night. I am a user Apple products however, I have a MacBook Pro (on which I’m writing this now), an iPad and have recently acquired an iPhone, my kids have iPods and my my wife has become a bit of an iPad junky, being hooked on eBooks ever since I bought her an iPad for her birthday last year. We’re fairly recent converts to the Apple world but I wouldn’t say in any way are hard-core Apple aficionados, however it’s hard to imagine our lives without Apple now and if you don’t have an iPhone the chances are you do have a smart phone that no doubt has been modelled on what the iPhone first brought to the market.
The thing that really brought this sad event home for me was how young Jobs was. He was only 56, just two years older than me, but in his brief 56 years he’s managed to leave such a huge footprint on the modern world. He’s hailed as a visionary and he certainly had an amazing knack of knowing what would work and what wouldn’t. Take the iPad, tablets had been tried and tested before and failed miserably, but the way Apple did the tablet was just so different and so innovative it has totally changed the way we see portable computing. Now every major computer company around the globe is developing a tablet device, every major news paper, TV channel has an App, and the ‘App’ has entered our daily lexicon.

Jobs took medical leave from Apple three times, underwent surgery in 2004 and received a liver transplant in 2009, but it was only in August this year when he resigned as the Apple CEO and handed over the reins to Timothy Cook. We all knew about Jobs illness but I’m quite shocked at how little time he actually had left. Watching clips of his last Apple keynote speech on the TV this morning I realise just how thin and gaunt he looked then but he still possessed that charisma and enthusiasm in presenting the latest Apple innovations in a way in which nobody else can do. He will be a hard act to follow indeed.

Jobs certainly had his detractors and a reputation of being a real tough cookie at times. You did things the Jobs way or not at all, but with that went the Midas touch. Apple drive hard bargains too, 30% of all App purchases downloaded from the iTunes go to Apple, a big margin these days and one that the some of the newspaper publishers have found hard to swallow with several electing to go their own way. There is also that Apple arrogance too that many hate; it’s the Apple way or not at all. Look at their adamant refusal to incorporate Adobe Flash technology into iOS, their operation system on the iPhone and iPad, a technology that is already present on around 70% of the worlds website.

So what will happen to Apple now the have lost their visionary and creative leader? I can’t help but wonder. Is he irreplaceable? Undoubtedly so. Just take a look at Microsoft since Bill Gates stepped down; they have wandered aimlessly, rudderless and are now a long distant second to Apple and seemingly still in dependency. Can Apple survive? Certainly so, but can they continue to innovate and lead? I think they probably will for some time to come. Jobs legacy will continue for sometime yet.

I can still remember a day back in 1984, in an office in Sacramento, California, where I then worked as computer programmer. A large group of the company employees were all huddled around a small desk. Upon it sat one of the first Apple Macintosh computers. We’d seen nothing like it before, a windowed, graphics based, operating system, and this weird cursor-cum-pointing device … a mouse. We were all absolutely amazed at the time, now these devices are things we just take for granted and are apart of of our everyday lives.

Thank you Mr. Jobs. Rest in peace.

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