Steve Jobs death prompts global grief online and off
Millions of people have taken to Facebook and Twitter to mourn the loss of the man who transformed the face of consumer technology and brought the world the iPod, iPhone and most recently, the iPad.
As the news broke in the early hours of Wednesday morning, industry leaders and fans alike took to Twitter to express their grief.
Twitter struggled to cope with the high influx of people using the network to send their message of grief, many of which ended ‘RIP Steve Jobs’.
Many people were unable to access the microblogging service during the first hours after the news broke, as the system overloaded and produced an image of a ‘fail whale’, which the company produces when the site cannot cope with the demand.
Mike Shaw, who goes by the name @zax2000 on Twitter, wrote: "You know that somebody important has died when you keep getting the FailWhale...It's the new measure of somebody's influence."
Lots of celebrities joined in the public mourning of Jobs online, with the likes of Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, tweeting: "I have been in love with the world Steve Jobs made ever since my first Apple Mac. He was one of the great architects of the real. RIP."
Arnold Schwarzenegger, the actor and former governor of California where Apple's headquarters are based, added: "Steve lived the California Dream every day of his life and he changed the world and inspired all of us."
Ashton Kutcher, the actor, said: "We have all surfed on the wake of Steve Jobs ship. Now we must learn to sail, but we will never forget our skipper".
Throughout yesterday fans left tributes to the technology leader outside the company’s shops around the world - with many putting bunches of flowers outside the Apple store in London’s Covent Garden, the second largest Apple store in the world.
Fans left bereft by the loss of Jobs, also took to holding up their iPads outside Apple stores, with flickering images of memorial candles, as a tribute to the technology innovator.
Jobs died peacefully at home on Wednesday evening surrounded by his family, after losing a high profile battle to a rare form pancreatic cancer. Jobs never met his biological father, despite his dad’s recent admissions of regret that they had no relationship.
“Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius and the world has lost an amazing human being,” Apple said. “Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives.”
Jobs, who has fought cancer in recent years and received a liver transplant in 2009, stepped down as Apple's chief executive in August. But his death still came as a shock to many in Silicon Valley and across the world.
Tributes have flooded in from high profile people and fans alike.
US President Barack Obama has remembered Jobs as a visionary and great American innovator.
He said: "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," he said in a statement.
Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, added: "The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come."
While Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder and close friend, said: "People sometimes have goals in life. Steve Jobs exceeded every goal he set himself."
David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said that Jobs had inspired future generations of inventors and entrepreneurs.