Update: Steve Jobs passed away. 1955 - 2011. RIP.

Apple Computers was founded by the “Steves”—Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak—in a garage in Cupertino, California in 1976. Back in those days Apple wasn’t selling beautiful iPhones, iPads, or iPods, they were peddling the Apple I, a personal computer kit each hand-built by Steve Wozniak. The Apple I went on sale in 1976 for $666.66 (certainly some sort of in-joke between Jobs and Wozniak).

Fast forward to 2011…

Nearly everyone has one of Apple’s ubiquitous MP3 players, the iPod, and the must have cell phone is now the iPhone. The device has become so popular that a non-cellular version of it, dubbed the iPod touch, has become the best-selling iPod, and the operating system created for the iPhone has begun to influence the way all operating systems are designed. Apple has gone from a simple computer company to completely revolutionizing the way we consume music, television, and movies. We can say with little disagreement that Apple has changed our lives.

What a difference 35 years makes. Apple is now the largest mobile electronics company in the world.

And the public face of Apple remains Steve Jobs. Dynamic, passionate, visceral, and calculating, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to say where Apple begins and where Jobs ends. The two are so much a part of each other that it’s hard to fathom anyone else ever wearing the black turtleneck and jeans and saying, “wait, there’s one more thing.”

Yesterday Steve Jobs issued a memo to the Apple Board of Directors.

“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.”

The news of his resignation has already splashed fear in the hearts of the Apple Faithful. We’ve noticed during the past few Apple Keynote Speeches that Jobs is looking thinner, frailer, and a little tired. This leaves many speculating on if Apple would survive the loss of Steve Jobs. Gizmodo sums it up the best:

[...] Nobody would be able to dedicate himself in flesh and soul to Apple in the same way that Steve Jobs does. Because he is in love with the company. The company is his kid. The company is himself at a very deep level. Not only because of his role in the decision making process—which is huge—but because it actually embodies his life. His birth, exile, and return. His ideas and his dreams. His glories and miseries, absolute successes and total failures. No matter how they try to stage it and pretend that everything would be fine, it will not be fine. Because he is the force that makes the whole thing tick. Out of pure love for the company he made.

I love Apple too, Steve. Thank you for everything you’ve done for us.

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