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Why consumers will mourn Steve Jobs

What the tech icon's legacy means for Apple customers -- and anyone else who uses electronics.

By MSN Money Partner Oct 5, 2011 9:52PM

This post comes from Matt Brownell at partner site MainStreet.

 

MainStreet on MSN MoneySteve Jobs, the iconic founder and former CEO of Apple, passed away Wednesday at the age of 56.

 

Jobs recently stepped down as CEO of Apple and passed the torch to Tim Cook. Still, that doesn’t mean his absence won’t be felt. Consumers have been imeasurably changed by Jobs' vision and focus on putting innovative gadgets in their hands. There are some things we’ll always miss about the man who saved Apple.Post continues after video.

Dramatic product launches

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a rare media event last November to launch the new Facebook messaging system, it gave us a new appreciation for how well Apple pulls off its own product launches. It wasn’t that Zuckerberg’s media event was uninteresting or poorly executed, but nobody launches a product quite like Apple.

 

Never ones to send out a press release when an epic, hyperbolic media event would do, Jobs has always had a knack for making us hang on every word whenever there was a new iPod to show off or a new version of iTunes to download. While the products themselves didn’t live up to the hype 100% of the time, Jobs knew that his track record of success meant he would get our full attention -- and he took full advantage.

 

His consumer-friendliness

Sure, every company that makes consumer products is supposed to be consumer-friendly, but Jobs elevated it to an art form. No one else would have thought to open a line of experimental stores dedicated solely to selling Apple products, staffed by an army of “geniuses” ready to bend over backwards to fix your Mac or replace your headphones.

 

And products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad weren’t just triumphs of innovation that made the company billions – they also set a new standard for usability that the rest of the tech world has struggled, with mixed success, to replicate.
 

His candor

Despite his humble wardrobe, Jobs has always been an outsized personality, even by CEO standards. Sometimes that made him hard to like -- when iPhone 4 users complained of dropped calls, he denied the problem and told them they were holding it wrong -- but his willingness to speak his mind was refreshing.

 

Jobs was known to communicate with the press and customers alike with blunt, to-the-point emails (always sent from his iPhone, of course) directly to people who had written in to Apple. And remember, this is the guy who once suggested that Microsoft would be in better shape if Bill Gates would drop some acid. We appreciated a guy who would speak his mind and sadly that voice will now be missed.

 

Apple announced Jobs' passing Wednesday evening in a brief statement: "We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today. "Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve."

 

More on MainStreet and MSN Money:

 

11Comments
Oct 6, 2011 8:34AM
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Imagine what else he could have given us with 30 more years of life!

Oct 6, 2011 9:16AM
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Steve Jobs is a prime example why MBA's should never be allowed to run anything.  Love and condolences to the Jobs family.  I wish I still have my MacPlus.  At least the G3 is still on a shelf.

Oct 6, 2011 10:06AM
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I like what he did in business....but I didn't like his products.  Unlike everyone else I'm a techno junkie and I like being able to use the broadest availble products.  If you use Apple products you are locked into only using only what they say will work with their software.  Also Apple products are pretty pricey.  It just isn't my cup of tea.  But that is what is cool about what Apple does...they make things easy to use for the general public.  And they must be doing something right because alot of leople like their products..Heck my wife has and Iphone....Just wish she would quite asking me how to do things on it...
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I first learned how to use a computer 20 years ago on an Apple.  I appreciate techie's and others who like to be able to manipulate their own technology although all they're doing is using the same technology and unimaginative thought as the next techie or computer user.  Apple went beyond basic computer usage - Jobs pushed people and technology into a different realm, helped advance mankind and the way we live.  Thanks to Steve, the pc world and Windows wouldn't have gotten as far as they did without cheating off of his homework.  Dude, you were awesome and you will be sorely missed! 
Oct 7, 2011 8:44AM
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Lots of people died yesterday.......
Oct 7, 2011 11:03AM
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the world has lost a great innovator, he moved and changed the worlds view on technological advances.....
Oct 6, 2011 1:40PM
Oct 6, 2011 12:35PM
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His willingness to speak his mind was refreshing?  We appreciated a guy who would speak his mind and sadly that voice will now be missed.  Really?  Yet when someone like Gov Christie speaks his mind he's a moron and a Neanderthal. You people in the media with your political correctness nonsense are such hypocrites.
Oct 7, 2011 11:00AM
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He was a tech and business genius you have to give the guy that. However, people forget Mac lost to the PC. If Aplle is so great why did they lose? Simple they tried to control everything no partners same with Iphones and guess what they are losing to android now. The tablets 2 or 3 years down the raod will be the same. I have never bought a Apple product way over priced. I am a tech junkie like most engineers. I have always perfered to build my own PC, wait you can't do that with Apple. The Ipad everyone raves about as Jobs great idea, I guess you people never watch Eureka on Scyfy. First season was 5 years ago and look they had a tablet lol. Lets face facts $500 for a Ipad I can get a good laptop for that with a 2.5 giighz quadcore chip not a dual core 1 gighz. Oh, the ipad looks cooler doesn't do as much. To me performance and price not being cool is always where it was at. Jobs made everything he touched look cool the next guy I doubt will do that.
Oct 7, 2011 3:10PM
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He did take technology is some interesting ways.  Mostly though it's just pretty packaging. 

 

As a consumer I will not miss paying for my music twice.  I will not miss only being able to store my music in one way.  I will not miss the inflexibility.  Sorry day when I actually purchased an Itouch, and I won't double down on that purchase.

Oct 6, 2011 1:43PM
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I think he is faking his death cause of all the backlash he is getting by not releasing the iphone 5 but instead selling an old phone with one new chip in it and all the idumb fanboys are mad at him and bohooing in the corner cause they are not getting there overpriced piece of junk.
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