US president Barack Obama today led tributes to Apple co-founder and former chief executive Steve Jobs who has died at the age of 56.
The pioneering businessman, who was the mind behind the revolutionary iPhone and iPad devices, had been battling pancreatic cancer.
He stepped down as Apple’s chief executive in August saying he could no longer handle the job due to his illness.
Mr Jobs, who lived in Silicone Valley, California, died yesterday surrounded by his family.
President Obama said the world had lost “a visionary”.
In a statement he 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.
“He transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.
“The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.”
Apple said it was “deeply saddened” by Mr Jobs’ death.
A company spokesman said: “Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.
The father-of-four started Apple Computer with high school friend Steve Wozniak in his garage in 1976 but was forced out a decade later.
He returned in the mid-1990s and transformed Apple into one of the world’s most powerful companies.
Just two months ago the frail-looking businessman resigned as the company’s CEO due to his health, but said he would continue to play a leadership role.
Bill Gates, the founder of rival technology company Microsoft and friend of Mr Jobs, said he would miss him “immensely”. He 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.”
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page: “Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.”