CUPERTINO, Calif./NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple fans from New York to Australia gathered to mourn the death of Steve Jobs, leaving Apple products, bouquets and heartfelt messages in tribute to the man who transformed the computing, music and phone industries.
Flags outside Apple's headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California flew at half mast as a group of mourners flocked to a nearby lawn. Distraught Apple fans left flowers in tribute and a man played the bagpipes.
"In my mind there is no difference between him and a Pasteur," said Chitra Abdolzadeh, a healthcare worker in Cupertino, in reference to the legendary French chemist Louis Pasteur.
Ben Chess, a 29-year-old engineer at the Internet company Yelp and a former Apple intern, drove to the Apple HQ from San Francisco immediately after work. He laid a bunch of flowers. "It's the right thing to do," he said.
At the downtown San Francisco Apple store, people held up pictures of Jobs on their iPads and taped greeting cards and post-it notes to the store window saying "thank you Steve" and "I hate cancer." There were also candles and red apples left outside.
One Apple store employee in San Francisco, Cory Moll described Jobs as a personal inspiration. "We're lucky to have had him for as long as we did," said Moll, holding an iPad displaying a quote in memorial to Jobs."What he's done for us as a culture, it resonates uniquely in every person," Moll said. "Even if they never use an Apple product, the impact they have had is so far-reaching."
Across the country in New York City, a makeshift memorial made out of fliers featuring pictures of Jobs was established 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.
Business professor and influential business thinker Gary Hamel said he left for the store as soon as he found out about Jobs' death."As soon as I heard the news, I came out to this Apple store to pay my respects," he said, clutching the power cord he just bought inside. "I saw tears in some people's eyes."
Outside another Apple store in New York's SoHo neighborhood, two men laid candles, bouquets of flowers, an apple and, for a while, placed an iPod Touch on the ground.At the Apple Store on Boylston Street in Boston, Angelos Nicolaou, a student at the Wentworth Institute of Technology, said that Jobs "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, said of Jobs: "He's changed the face of computing. There will only ever be one Steve Jobs."Some of the people who flocked to their local Apple stores when they heard of Jobs' passing were already thinking of Apple's future without its co-founder. The company named Tim Cook as its new CEO at the end of August when Jobs stepped down.
"They had a lot of time to prepare for the transition ... Tim Cook will continue his legacy," said Guilherme Ferraz, 44, a Brazilian businessman who was standing in front of a Manhattan Apple Store.
Keenen Thompson, a 21-year-old was in front of the Apple store in New York and said he would not leave until Apple's new iPhone 4S, unveiled earlier this week, comes out.
The former Apple store employee said he wants to be the first one to get the new iPhone on October 14.
"I wish the company well and I feel confident with Tim Cook," he said, glancing at the MacBook Air laptop he had set up next to him.