Apple fans bid final farewell
Updated: 2011-10-07 08:50
By An Baijie and Wu Yiyao (China Daily)
Chinese fans Yang Zihan (left) and Zhang Lingyi lay apples with bites taken out of them to mourn Steve Jobs in front of the Sanlitun Apple store in Beijing on Thursday. [Photo / China Daily]
Outpourings of public grief and appreciation sweep globe
BEIJING / SHANGHAI - Apple stores in China were once again packed with people on Thursday - but this time they didn't come for any new gadget unveiled by the company, but to mourn Steve Jobs, the company's visionary who died on Wednesday at the age of 56.
In Beijing and Shanghai, emotional diehard fans came to pay tribute to the legendary figure who never came to China, but who changed people's lives here with inventions like the iPod, iPhone and iPad.
"When he showed up at each news conference with some new Apple products, I usually felt quite excited to see the innovation," Tian said.
Outside the store, a large picture with Jobs was placed on the ground as well as flowers, candles or apples with a bite taken out of them, an imitation of the company's iconic logo.
A card on top of a bunch of flowers read: "Rest in peace, Steve, you will be remembered".
Yi Ran, 64, a female artist who labeled herself an "iPhone freak", said that she burst into tears while hearing the news of Jobs' death.
|US President BARACK OBAMA:
"Steve was among the greatest of American innovators — brave enough to think diff erently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it."
|Microsoft co-founder and former rival BILL GATES:
"The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come... For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it's been an insanely great honor."
Kai-fu Lee, former Google China president, and current CEO of Innovation Works
"Your products changed the world and your thoughts infl uenced a generation. May you rest in peace."
CHANG XIAOBING,chairman of China United Network Communications Group Co Ltd
"A great person has gone, taking away limitless creativity. I wish Apple can achieve even greater innovations in the future."
Apple CEO TIM COOK, who succeeded Steve Jobs in August
"Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being... Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple."
LIU CHUANZHI, president of Lenovo Group
"He went through many diffi culties and challenges in his career ... All of this refl ects the optimistic attitude toward life and the strong willpower of Mr Jobs."
"There are only three apples in the world, one with Eve, one with Newton, and the last one with Jobs," Yi said.
Zhao Wanpeng, a worker at the Sanlitun store, said that the memorial activities were being done spontaneously by fans.
On Shanghai's East Nanjing Road where China's newest Apple store was just opened last month, security guards stood outside to keep order.
"I knew that he wasn't in good condition when I last saw him on television but I just can't accept it," said 17-year-old Zhang Rui, adding that Jobs was an idol for her and her peers.
"Whenever we are required to write an essay about innovation or talent or leadership we quote Steve Jobs - for me, he's the best example to follow," said Zhang.
Yin Cheng, a 23-year-old college student, said it was hard to accept that Jobs was gone.
"Mac pro, iPod, iPhone, and iPad, all of these products are my great companions, and many of my friends have owned at least one of these products," he said.
Bouquets of chrysanthemums and lilies were also laid outside the store at Lujiazui in Shanghai.
An employee who spoke on condition of anonymity said his brain went blank when he heard the news on Thursday morning.
"He's the very reason that I work so hard, dreaming that someday I can meet him in person and tell him how I admire him, but at the moment, I don't know what to do," said the employee.
Many other people used social networks to mourn Jobs. His death ranked as the day's most popular topic on Sina Weibo, China's popular microblogging site, garnering more than 63 million posts before 8 pm on Thursday.
"Jobs' charisma was so overwhelming, and he contributed so much to the brand, so I'm afraid that it will take huge efforts for people at Apple to maintain the popularity of its products when the company is without this great guy," said Sam Yi, a frequent customer at Apple stores in Shanghai.
In Cupertino, California, flags outside Apple's headquarters flew at half-staff as mourners gathered on a nearby lawn. Distraught Apple fans left flowers and a man played the bagpipes.
Ben Chess, 29, an engineer at an Internet company and a former Apple intern, drove to Apple headquarters from San Francisco after work to lay flowers. "It's the right thing to do," he said.
Across the country in New York City, an impromptu memorial made from fliers featuring pictures of Jobs was erected outside a 24-hour Apple store on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, with mourners snapping photos of it on their iPhones.
"We will miss you Steve, RIP. Thank you for your vision," read one flier.
At a Boston store, student Angelos Nicolaou said Jobs had "inspired us to be rebels and challenge the status quo. I hope there will be more leaders like him. It seems like the world is running out of them".
In Sydney, Australia, lawyer George Raptis, who was five years old when he first used a Macintosh computer, made his way to the glass-paneled Apple store when he heard the news.
"He's changed the face of computing," he said. "There will only ever be one Steve Jobs."
Reuters contributed to this story