News of the death of Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs dominated the headlines this week, overshadowing the launch of the firm’s latest iPhone. Rivals were quick to praise the man for his role in shaping the modern tech industry.
Apple’s board confirmed the passing of former chief executive Steve Jobs in a brief statement. Jobs finally stood down from the post in August following a long medical leave of absence – his second in recent years as he battled pancreatic cancer.
The firm hailed Jobs’ “brilliance, passion and energy,” and credited him with making the world “immeasurably better,” with his devices and innovations.
That view was echoed by Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer, who hailed Jobs “a true visionary,” however the greatest accolade was perhaps offered by Microsoft’s former chief Bill Gates, who said working with Jobs over 30 years was “an insanely great honor.”
In a demonstration of the high regard Jobs was held in, the New York Times carried his obituary on its front page – an honor usually reserved for US presidents.
Jobs’ death stole the limelight from the launch of Apple’s latest smartphone – the iPhone 4S -, which features the same dual-core processor as its iPad 2, and a new voice recognition user interface based on advanced artificial intelligence.
Unlike previous Apple launches, though, the new device didn’t win universal praise, with analysts from Informa Telecoms & Media and Ovum criticizing a lack of development in the design of the device, which could leave Apple open to attack from a host of rival vendors.
However, the new device does allow Apple to push previous iPhone models further down the value chain. The firm plans to give the 3GS version away for free to post-pay customers, in a move that could open the door to emerging markets.
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