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Steve Jobs dies aged 56

Jobs had been on medical leave since January

Apple founder and former CEO Steve Jobs has died, aged 56, after his long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Apple said late Wednesday night that Jobs was surrounded by his wife and immediate family when he died in Palo Alto, California. Other details were not disclosed.

Fans paid homage to Jobs outside Apple stores around the world and his death sparked an immediate outpouring of tributes from world leaders and business rivals.

US president Barack Obama 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.”

“By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun,” Obama said, before citing Jobs’ success with the Pixar animation studio: “And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike.”

Microsoft founder and former CEO Bill Gates said that he met Jobs nearly 30 years ago, and that the two had been colleagues, competitors and friends for more than half their lives.

“I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death,” Gates said. “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.

“For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honour.  I will miss Steve immensely.“

Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook announced the news of Jobs death to apple staff, saying that Apple has “lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being.”

“Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”

In his final statement to the press, upon announcing his resignation as CEO at Apple, Jobs spoke of Apple’s “brightest and most innovative days being ahead of it”.

“I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you,” he said at the time.

News of his death drove the Apple share price down more than 5 per cent in Frankfurt on Thursday morning. Apple shares are now trading 3.5 per cent lower, after hitting a low of €270 in Frankfurt. The shares are expected to open lower when Wall Street opens at 2.30pm GMT.On the NASDAQ, Apple’s shares rose by 1.5 per cent.

Ovum chief analyst Jan Dawson said that Jobs’ death will be felt deeply at Apple, but also throughout the industry.

“The iPhone 4S launch event was a reminder of the vision and strategy Steve Jobs laid out for Apple during his time as CEO. That foundation will serve Apple well in the years to come, and there is little danger of Apple deviating from that successful strategy.”

“The risk—if there is one—is that Apple continues to rely on single ‘hero’ devices in its two major product lines—iPhone and iPad—with an annual release cycle. However, this week’s launch should pave the way for at least another year of success in the smartphone business, and future releases are likely to continue that pattern.”

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