Tributes continue around the world for Steve Jobs

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2008, file photo, Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up the new MacBook Air after giving the keynote address at the Apple MacWorld Conference in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
October 6, 2011 8:06:22 PM PDT
There is a huge hole in Apple and people around the world are continuing to mourn the loss of Steve Jobs.

Jobs' death marks the loss of a man who changed the way we live in important ways. Many compare his impact to innovators like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

People who have been bringing flowers and leaving notes at the memorial outside the Palo Alto Apple store say they can't explain it, but they have a need to express their sorrow.

It has been a spontaneous showing of affection and respect. Total strangers and a few neighbors have been dropping off flowers and symbolic apples to Jobs' home.

"I never thought that his death would affect me this way, but it's really profound like someone really special, even bigger than life," Palo Alto resident Kris Norvig said.

Technology futurist Paul Saffo says people connected in a special way to Jobs, even calling him just by his first name as though they knew him.

"He has millions of close friends who never met him but are close friends because of what his inventions did to their imaginations and their lives," Saffo said.

College student Brian Butcher is one of them, who compares his bond to Jobs to the way sports fan connect to players.

"Barry Bonds, Will Clark, always felt connected to those guys because they're playing sports in our area, and this is someone who really made it in a major way," Butcher said.

But the almost cult-like response to Jobs' death may wane. And what will happen next at Apple?

"We wonder if it's an opening for some other consumer electronics company, what Apple will be like now, and if there's another Steve Jobs in our lifetime," CNET Executive Editor Molly Wood said.

Many believe that Jobs has left Apple with a strategy to guide the company for years to come. And Jobs groomed his successor, Tim Cook, for five years before elevating him to CEO.

Apple is already on an aggressive expansion into overseas markets, opening retail stores in China at a fast clip. Apple earns over half its revenue now from international sales.

An uncertain future? Respected tech blogger Robert Scoble doesn't think so.

"They still have the best retail chain in the business, they still have the best supply chain in the business, they still have the best R&D lab in the business, they still have the best design team in the business, and on and on," Scoble said.

We'll get an early reading on Apple without Jobs in the weeks ahead as the new iPhone 4S and the iCloud service roll out.


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