CUPERTINO (CBS SF / CNN Wire) — It was a moment many tech fans hoped never would come: Steve Jobs’ resignation from the helm of Apple Inc., which he co-founded from his family garage in 1976.
In the less than 24 hours since that news hit, people have rushed to online social networks to mourn the apparent end of Jobs’ career; talk about what this means for the future of Apple products like the iPhone; and wish him good health.
“The end of an era!” one Twitter user wrote.
“I pray it’s not bc (because) of his health,” said another.
“He was one of the most innovative and incredible men ever. I will not be the only one to shed a few tears over this news,” wrote yet another.
Jobs will remain with the company as chairman of Apple’s board of directors, but some commenters acted like he had passed away.
“I’ll miss him. I’ll miss his vision. I’ll miss his character. I’ll miss every terajoule of his near unlimited energy,” read one tweet.
Apple has not released any new information about the state of Jobs’ health. The 56-year-old went on medical leave in January, and he has suffered serious health problems in recent years, including pancreatic cancer and an apparent liver transplant.
Jobs also took a somber tone in his resignation letter:
“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,” he wrote in a letter to Apple’s board and the Apple community at large. “Unfortunately, that day has come.”
In the immediate aftermath of the announcement, tech pundits seemed far more concerned with the state of Jobs’ health than the future of the company that relies on him as its creative core. Apple is credited with kicking off the personal computing revolution. It also ushered in the smartphone craze after it released the iPhone in 2007 and rocked the digital music industry with iTunes.
The tech blog Gizmodo wrote a short tribute to Jobs:
“We very, very much hope that the greatest businessman, CEO and product developer of our era is doing okay, and that this decision does not mean his health has taken a turn for the worse. He is an icon and idol who has made this world we live in a better place. We sincerely and deeply wish Mr. Jobs and his family the best.”
More from a commenter on the blog Boy Genius Report:
“Best of luck to Steve!! I have nothing but love and respect for him and the way that he handled things at Apple! He created the best tech company in the world! I wish him luck on whatever he does from here on out! And good luck to Tim Cook! He’s gotta fill some size 100000000 shoes!!!”
Even people who aren’t generally Apple fans praised Jobs:
“While I may not like some of Apple’s practices and tactics, there is no denying that Steve Jobs took that company at its lowest point and made it into the gold standard of consumer technology,” wrote Eric Geller on the Google Plus social network. “Not since Bill Gates has any tech executive been this iconic and well-known among mainstream consumers.”
KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:
Others jokingly compared the news to other signs of the apocalypse, including the rare earthquake that hit the East Coast earlier this week.
“Earthquake, Hurricane, Middle East on the brink of war, now Steve Jobs resigns? The apocalypse is very, very near, folks,” a Twitter user wrote.
And still others have passed around bits of Apple nostalgia. The blog Boing Boing shared an early Apple commercial from 1984. Tim Carmody, a blogger at Wired, posted on Google Plus a 2001 video of Jobs introducing the first Apple store.
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