Apple founder and visionary Steve Jobs passed away Wednesday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
The company confirmed Jobs' death in a statement.
"We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today. Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve," the company wrote.
"His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts."
The contributions Jobs made to the technology world are far beyond most people ever imagined -- he's listed as the inventor or co-inventor in 338 US patents or patent applications. He's also helped pave the way for Google, Facebook and all creative minds in the world with game-changing
Apple, Inc. was really created around the Apple II computer, released in 1977. The 8-bit system was mostly designed by company co-founder Steve Wozniack and ushered in the microcomputer generation.
Many children of the 80's remember the green screen of the Apple II and the floppy disk drive that allowed for games like Oregon Trail and Frogger. More importantly, the creation of the Apple II paved the way for affordable home computers.
It's not technically a gadget, but Jobs' influence in Pixar Animation Studios made it what it is today.
Jobs was fired from Apple in 1985 after his relationship with early company executive John Scully soured. He then moved on to purchase The Graphics Group in 1986 from George Lucas' Lucasfilms for $10 million. The company eventually partnered with Disney to become Pixar. Together, Pixar and Disney created some classic animated movies like Toy Story, A Bug's Life and The Incredibles, among many others.
Music fans were relegated to antiquated cassette players or skipping CD players if they wanted to take their music on the go. Jobs and Apple changed all that with the creation of the iPod in 2001.
The iPod revolutionized how we consumed music; people bought fewer and fewer CDs and instead focused on the emerging mp3 technology to load music on their iPod, iPod Shuffle or iPod Nano.
The natural next move for Apple was to enter the competitive mobile market. Jobs and his crew of creative minds unveiled their creation -- the iPhone -- to mass hesteria in January 2007.
The iPhone quickly took over the growing Smart Phone market, beating more experienced mobile phone creators like Research in Motion, Nokia and Palm. The latest incarnation of the iPhone -- the iPhone 4S -- was announced to much fanfare just a day before Jobs' untimely death.
Jobs and Apple again set out to take over the tablet computer market with the introduction of the iPad in January 2010. The company sold 3 million iPads within 80 days of its April 2010 release.
The iPad 2 -- released in early 2011 -- grew on the existing technology, allowing users to chat face-to-face with others and take high-quality video.
No one knows what the future will bring for Apple without Jobs. However, Jobs hand-picked successor Tim Cook to take over the company and his vision. We can't wait to see what Cook and his team do to carry on Jobs' legacy.
Images courtesy Wikimedia Commons
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