By SARAH BLOOM, MELISSA FALCONE, MAUREEN SCULLY and DIANA STANCZAK
The visionary co-founder of Apple Inc., Steve Jobs, died Oct. 5 of respiratory failure caused by his long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 56.
Jobs stepped down as CEO in August after battling cancer in recent years, and his passing raises the question about the future of Apple.
“Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief Executive Officer – Job’s replacement – in an email to Apple employees. “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.”
After 28 years with Jobs at its helm, Apple will have to cope with the death of the man who changed culture, technology and the world. Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976 with his childhood friend, Steve Wozniak, and became CEO IN 1983. In March, Forbes Magazine valued Jobs’ net worth at $8.3 billion; Apple is currently worth approximately $300 billion.
In 2001, Jobs introduced the world to the iPod, introducing Apple fans to a modern way of listening to music. Once the iPod was born, Apple took off.
Jobs became ill in 2004 when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. With that news and any subsequent health issues, Apple stock would drop for weeks at a time, proving that Cook has big shoes to fill. But Jobs appointed Cooke on Aug. 24, 2011, knowing the day would come when he could no longer stay at the helm of Apple.
And within days of Jobs’ death, he jumped into center stage. Cook’s first public act as Apple CEO was to introduce the new iPhone 4S, an underwhelming prospect when people were expecting the iPhone 5. Still, demand for the 4S is high, and many people didn’t hesitate to pre-order the device, which will hit stores on Oct. 14. And apparently iPhone users are not the only ones. On Oct. 6, a day after Jobs’ death, Apple’s stock decreased by less than 1 percent, proving that Apple customers have faith in the company.
“I think Apple is still going to be dine, it will obviously be different wihthout Jobs but I don’t think the company will fail. The masterminfd behind the original idea is gone, however, there are so many employees that have followed him and know what they’re doing, which will keep the company afloat,” said Ramapo College junior Danille Ruberto. “Apple is such a strong enterprise, that I don’t see it failing as a company just because he [Jobs] passed away.”
Jobs reinvented how consumers receive information and media on every level, from computers to other devices like the iPhone, iPod, iPad and Apple TV.
Branching off the Apple tree
Jobs also had significant roles in media and technology outside of the Apple umbrella.
From June 1985 to Dec. 1996, Jobs was not Apple’s CEO and he actually branched out to form another company, NeXT Computers, a company that started off originally designing computers meant to rival the Macintosh and PC. His work with NeXT was so forward thinking and innovative that it would soon absorb Apple a decade later when Apple began to create some of its most trend-setting technology, according to simson.net.
In 1986, only a year after he started NeXT, Jobs teamed up John Lasseter, a former Disney employee and current head of Lucasfilms’ computer special-effects group to form what would be known as Pixar. While at Pixar, Jobs was an integral part of developing RenderMan, the technology that is responsible for the signature animation of Pixar films like Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Up.
Surprisingly enough, Jobs’ influence even stemmed to the unlikeliest of places: fashion. Beyond the shopping apps and “wired” clothing products that are undoubtedly thanks to his influence, Jobs’ signature black turtleneck is now an iconic image. During every speech he gave unveiling a new, jaw dropping piece of equipment Jobs’ wore a St. Croix black mock turtleneck that retails at $175.
That shirt became part of his iconic image and since his passing the sales for the shirt have grown by 200 percent, according to the company. Now, on back order, any shirts purchased in Jobs’ memory will see $20 from the sale go to cancer research in the innovators’ honor.
Jobs’ legacy, Today and Tomorrow
Every day, thousands of people, like 23-year-old Marlboro, New Jersey native Damien Marks, wake up every morning to their iPod blaring from their iHome alarm clock. For Marks, the sounds of Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved” puts a smile on his face as he checks his iPad for his email updates. Before he walks out of his door, he grabs his iPhone and checks the weather.
“I use everything that begins with an i,” Marks said. “I use my iPod, iPad, iPhone and MacBook everyday and without it, I would be lost.”
Mark is just one of many people who has an i-wired life. The iPhone revolutionized the smartphone industry and is the inspiration for android phones.”I have an android, but there’s no doubt it is basically just a lesser version than the iPhone. I knew that when I bought it,” said Emily Paterson, 20 “it was kind of why I bought it.”
Other Apple products like the Mac – Macintosh – computers changed schooling for students. The advanced software on Macs, particularly for the art industry, makes them a necessity for schooling. Though elementary, middle and high schools often have a blend of Macs and PCs, by college it is often necessary to have a Mac.
“The Mac has helped me keep my workflow and appreciate good design due to its aesthetic,” said Ramapo College senior Kristenelle Coronado, a design and interactive media major.
Bergen County College design major Victoria Butley, 20, believes that Apple will remain to be top dog. “I think down the line Job’s absence will be felt not just in Apple, but thoughout the whole IT community. As an art student, it makes me wonder how my career will be shaped. That being said, I don’t doubt I will still be with other people in line outside an Apple store in a decade for the iPhone 11.”