The technology world has been rocked by the death of Steve Jobs, the creative force who almost singlehandedly transformed Apple from a struggling niche technology brand to one of the world's biggest and most successful tech companies.
A brief statement announcing Jobs' death has appeared on the Apple website, paying tribute to the charismatic founder and former CEO whose ideals and principles are so clearly entrenched in the company's DNA.
Jobs died peacefully surrounded by his family after a long struggle against health issues that has seen him stand down as Apple CEO at the end of August after three previous health-related leaves of absence.
His last public appearance as company boss was to take to the stage and unveil iCloud at WWDC in June, another in a long line of iconic Apple products and services Jobs clearly helped inspire.
“We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today,” Apple's Board of Directors said in a statement.
“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.
“His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.”
Jobs' wife and four children issued a statement of their own reinforcing those sentiments:
“In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories.
“We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.”
We'll have time to run through Jobs' achievements and legacy in more detail, but for now we'll simply join with the rest of the technology community in saying a fond farewell to Steve Jobs – you will certainly be missed.
Regardless of how you feel about Apple and the iPhone, few people would argue that the world has lost one of its great visionaries.