Steve Jobs's death sets off global tributes and industry action

Steve Jobs's Apple products reached across the globe, and so is news of his passing, particularly in Asia, where his innovation transformed the technology industry.

By , Staff writer

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    Web designer Nikola Ivkovic takes a picture with his iPad of an in memoriam photo of Steve Jobs, who founded and ran Apple, on display in an Apple store in Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday.
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Steve Jobs's Apple products changed the world, and if the outpouring of tributes to him worldwide – as well as the ripples in the business and technology world – are any indication, his death will too.

South African political newspaper The Daily Maverick was still leading its homepage with news of his death by Thursday evening, local time. South African journalist Richard Poplak penned a tribute to Jobs in which he heralded him as the "Shakespeare of our time" and said that he "owned the future."

The late guru of Apple Inc., a visionary by any definition of the term, was also not interested in “real”. He was concerned with the future on his own terms, defined by innovations that he created, through a vessel that exemplified his understanding of the world, or at least how it should be. …

It is culturally vital to acknowledge the following: Steve Jobs was perhaps the greatest postmodernist who ever lived. He employed the art of minimalism to enhance technology; he employed technology to advance the art of the minimal. He constantly revised “now”, as if the moment was a canvas that was stretched only as a palimpsest, to be scrawled over by technological development and a belief in the free market that was second to none.

The Times of India writes that Jobs’s visit to India in the 1970s, when he was only 18, may have been the catalyst for his jump into the technology field.

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But, it was his unsatisfactory India visit of early 70s that could have been one of the major reasons for Jobs' focus on the world of technology and eventually the setting up of the company called Apple.

His biography, titled 'The Little Kingdom -- The Private Story of Apple Computer' quotes Jobs as saying that "It was one of the first times that I started to realise that maybe Thomas Edison did a lot more to improve the world than Karl Marx and Neem Kairolie Baba put together."

Ironically, the Indian government unveiled its own version of a tablet Wednesday, the day of Jobs's death. Known as Aakash, it is the world's cheapest tablet.

But despite the design of cheaper generics every time Apple unveiled a new product, Apple products still engendered a significant following – achieving "unmatched fashion value and cult status across the world, including in India," The Times of India writes.

Many argue that Jobs and Apple lost out to almost all his peers in the global technology space, including the likes of Microsoft, IBM, HP and Dell by not availing of the 'India advantage' in their businesses, [but] the products that Jobs gave the world hold much higher iconic value [than] anything else in the technology space, India included.

The Wall Street Journal reports that many technology industry leaders gave Jobs the credit for their own success because of the many doors his own company opened for them – and the inspiration they gained from observing him.

By hiring more and more companies in Asia to build Apple's goods, Apple created tens of thousands of jobs in the region and lifted the fortunes of little-known companies that became Apple's partners.

By focusing on simple, accessible design, Mr. Jobs inspired companies in industries as diverse as retailing and auto manufacturing to do the same. In an interview earlier this year, Hyundai Motor Co. chief executive Steve Yang, who retired last week, attributed the company's focus on design and brand-building to Apple.

And by breaking the grip cellphone service providers had on content, Mr. Jobs opened the door for software developers in Asia and the rest of the world to reach consumers directly.

"Chairman Steve Jobs introduced numerous revolutionary changes to the information-technology industry and was a great entrepreneur. His innovative sprit and remarkable accomplishments will forever be remembered by people around the world," Samsung Chief Executive Choi Gee-sung said, according to the Journal.

His death could be a "turning point" in the patent battles between Samsung, a Korean company, and Apple, The Korea Times reports. Only hours before Jobs died, Samsung filed patent lawsuits in France and Italy to ban the sale of the newly-released iPhone 4S. Samsung is waiting to see whether a full-fledged takeover by his successor will have an impact on the legal battle between the two technology giants.

Lawsuits between the two companies go both ways – Samsung plans to sue Apple because "the iPhone 4S "infringes on Samsung-owned telecom-related patents." Jobs – who the Korea Times described as "the greatest IT guru of all times" in a separate article – previously sued Samsung, claiming that the Korean company had copied the design of Apple's "i-branded products."

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