Steve Jobs legacy reaches far beyond Apple

While saving Apple, Steve Jobs changed the world.

Jobs guided Apple from the brink of financial ruin to a lofty place among the world's most valuable companies before stepping down as chief executive this week, apparently due to health woes.

But thinking of Jobs merely as the man behind Apple's resurrection would be on par with thinking of The Beatles as just a band that made cool music.

As did the Fab Four, Jobs altered the rhythm of modern life.

"His legacy goes way beyond Apple," Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg said of Jobs, who ceded his chief executive role on Wednesday to chief operating officer Tim Cook.

Forrester analyst Charles Golvin's "laundry list of the tendrils" Jobs has extended into our lives dates back to the 1970s, when Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple and introduced home computers.

"The whole idea that a computer is something that a consumer might want comes from him," Golvin said.

"The way we compute today wouldn't be what it is without Steve Jobs."

While personal computers powered by Microsoft software ruled work places, Jobs envisioned people-friendly machines with mouse controllers and icons to click on to activate programs or open files.

Jobs is even credited with raising the standard for animated films by bringing his vision to Pixar, a movie studio he founded while exiled for a time from Apple due to an internal conflict.

"At Pixar he redefined what a movie could be like with computers," Gartenberg said of the studio, which has since churned out a series of blockbusters such as "Cars" and "Toy Story."

Jobs also transformed the music industry with iPod MP3 players and the iTunes online shop, where people could buy digitized music.

Prior to iPods and iTunes, the music industry grappled with how to make money selling digital music and struggled to stave off piracy made possible by easy file sharing on the Internet.

With the iPod, Apple gave music lovers a hip new way to listen on the go and provided recording labels and artists a controlled distribution channel for songs.

"Jobs reinvented the music business model," Gartenberg said. "Not only did he have a consumer electronics hit with iPod, but iTunes became the most successful music retailer on the planet."

With the launch of the iPhone, Jobs set in motion a shift to mobile computing on handheld gadgets that Internet giants such as Google and Facebook have embraced as the future.

"Apple really created the modern smartphone era, not just for business but for the consumer," Gartenberg said. "Prior to the iPhone, smartphones were about keyboards, not touchscreens; it was a business device."

And with the iPhone came an "app economy" of smartphone software programs to play games, monitor health, track exercise, navigate and more.

Golvin cited the iPhone as the impetus for Google to dive into the mobile business with Android software for smartphones.

"There were phones that accessed the Internet before the iPhone, but it completely changed the paradigm and brought it to mainstream consumers," Golvin said. "Now look at all the companies profiting from that."

Jobs proclaimed the arrival of a "post personal computer era" with the iPad, which set fire to a moribund tablet computer market.

"With the iPad he revolutionized again the way consumers compute and introduced the whole idea of the post-PC era," Golvin said.

The iTunes shop for digital content expanded to include movies and people increasingly turned to mobile devices for entertainment.

Jobs even left his mark on the retail industry with real-world Apple stores that bring in more profit per square-foot than any other merchant.

"The way things have to be sold was completely changed by Steve Jobs and Apple," Golvin said. "The way technology is marketed, he did it better than anyone else."

While Apple wasn't the first to come up with smartphones or tablet computers, Jobs was a master at tailoring products to resonate with consumers.

He also has marketing magic so potent that people camp out in the streets to be the first to get their hands on Apple's new creations.

"His famous reality distortion field and the ability to convince people are more than legendary," Golvin said.

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
musicHunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original  manuscripts
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
New Articles
Life and Style
lifeAiming to show breasts in a non-sexual way for cancer awareness
New Articles
i100... while following the referendum
New Articles
i100... with this review
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special
tvNick Frost, Natalie Gumede and Michael Troughton step up
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Beard, Ben Schnetzer, Douglas Booth and Jack Farthing in ‘The Riot Club’
filmReview: Sheer nastiness of Riot Club takes you aback
Arts and Entertainment
tvBut something’s not quite right
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Graduate BI Consultant (Business Intelligence) - London

    £24000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Graduate BI Consultant (B...

    Service Delivery Manager (Product Manager, Test and Deployment)

    £40000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Service Delivery Manager (Product Ma...

    Technical Product Marketing Specialist - London - £70,000

    £50000 - £70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Cloud Product and Solutions Marketin...

    Trainee Helpdesk Analyst / 1st Line Application Support Analyst

    £18000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week