When Apple announced the death of its co-founder and Chairman Steve Jobs Wednesday afternoon, friends, rivals, colleagues and even the President all responded swiftly to pay tribute and express sadness.
Yet from the early personal computers to the later iPods, iPhones and iPads, Jobs’ emphasis at Apple always seemed to be on the consumer. Thus it is fitting that fans of the late innovator also publicly mourned Jobs, appearing at Apple stores not just across the country but across the world.
They gathered outside Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, where flags flew at half-mast and flowers and memorabilia littered the ground. Jobs image still blankets the home page of the Apple website.
Also read: Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs, Digital Visionary, Dies at 56
Outside his home in Palo Alto, fans brought signs and drew messages in sidewalk chalk.
In cities from San Francisco to New York, admirers appeared at Apple retail stores to pay tribute, carrying signs, flowers, photos and even bringing apples with a bite taken out of them – like the logo.
Also read: Steve Jobs Through the Years (Slideshow)
The stores continue to operate as usual, but security guards have had to accept even larger throngs of individuals congregating both inside and outside.
Though Apple’s impact was most significant in its home country, this outpouring of respect and emotion has not been limited to the United States.
From Tokyo to Frankfurt, Sydney to Shanghai, media outlets found mourners in places where Apple's products are perhaps newer, but no less beloved.
Yet this spirit of commemoration did not stop people from already looking ahead to Apple’s future.
“It’ll be absolutely crucial whether they are able to carry out his will,” a Tokyo resident named Rinji Matsumoto told the Wall Street Journal about Apple’s outlook without Jobs.
There is no doubt journalists asked the fans such questions, the first step in what will likely be a quick transition from this outburst of respect to dispassionate business analysis.