From The Straits Times    |

Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder and former CEO, has passed away at age 56 after a long battle with cancer and other health complications.

The news was announced on late Wednesday, which has transformed its homepage into a memorial for its late co-founder.


Steve Jobs has been lauded as one of America’s greatest CEOs and a maverick in pioneering tech gadgets with emphasis on good design.

In fact, in the tech world, he could be considered as a trendsetter and fashion icon – just look at the revolutionary array of sleek, sophisticated gadgets like the iPhone, iPod Nano and MacBook Air, that made everyone sit up and take notice.

From its early days, Apple carved a niche for itself by creating products that were meant to be stylish lifestyle accessories, rather than just function-fulfilling, metal-and-circuitry boxes.

His hands-on approach in setting the distinctive look for the Apple brand as a whole is evident in the 313 Apple design patents he is credited in. Even as a CEO, he led the design of the glass staircases found in many of Apple’s ultra-modern outlets.

Who can forget the funky, multi-coloured iMac G3 series which translucent bodies? Released in 1998, that was probably the first time PCs had lashings of bright colours and smooth, capsule-like shapes, and Jobs had a hand in conceptualising that, too.

Apple’s updated iMac line in 2000 featured deeper colours like emerald and deep red.

Apple really exploded in 2004 with its breakthrough iPod campaign, featuring the sounds and silhouettes of U2 against neon backgrounds. It also marked Apple’s entrance into the music industry and popular consciousness. Suddenly everyone wanted an iPod, and it wasn’t considered geeky but rather cool to be holding a tech gadget in your hands.

In the past decade, Jobs had been plagued by ill health. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009. After taking three leaves of absence due to health problems, he resigned as CEO and was succeeded by Tim Cook.

Although he was never formally schooled in design, his keen eye for clean contours helped shape Apple into a brand synonymous with style. No other company can quite surpass Apple in that aspect for probably a long time to come.

In a statement on its website, Apple summed it up best when it said that “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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