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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
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
News
peopleBenjamin Netanyahu trolled by group promoting two-state solution
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Life and Style
fashionEveryone, apparently
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
art
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Sport
Husain Abdullah returns an interception off Tom Brady for a touchdown
nflLeague has rules against 'sliding to ground on knees'
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Java Developer - web services, XML and API

    £330 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Lond...

    Trainee Helpdesk Analyst / 1st Line Application Support Analyst

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

    Data Analyst / Marketing Database Analyst

    £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    IT Systems Manager

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

    Day In a Page

    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
    Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

    Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

    Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
    Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

    Education, education, education

    TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
    It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

    It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

    So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
    This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

    Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

    Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
    We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

    Inside the E15 'occupation'

    We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
    Witches: A history of misogyny

    Witches: A history of misogyny

    The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
    Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
    'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style