"iSad": Apple fans in Paris mourn the passing of Steve Jobs

"Thank you, Steve." "RIP, Steve. Merci pour tout."


Outside the Apple store, across the road from Paris's opera house


Personal notes expressing gratitude to a man they had never met but who nevertheless impacted each one of their lives. Bouquets of flowers littered the ground and hung from the door frames at the Apple store at Opéra in Paris, a day after the news broke that one of the world's most valuable companies had lost its gifted co-founder.



Candles, flowers, and for some, the most appropriate gift to leave was Jobs's favourite fruit. The letter on the right, from an "orphaned Apple boy" says it's a shame Jobs hadn't yet had time to create the "iSky" via which he could keep transmitting his genius, even after death...


Many of the pilgrims who gathered to light candles and leave messages of respect for Steve Jobs found out he had lost his battle to cancer on one of the very devices he pioneered.  The devices they were then using to photograph the makeshift shrines, and each other, a meta-narrative Jobs would no doubt have appreciated.



Meanwhile at the Apple store at the Carrousel du Louvre, staff had propped white boards against the wall and left out bundles of post-it notes.



Pilgrims wrote messages in ballpoint pen and stuck them up. A reminder in itself of Jobs' innate skill at presenting information but low-key and DIY as he might have liked.


Meet the fans


         Javier              Sophie               Florian


Javier is from Mexico and was at Opéra. He was alerted to Jobs' death by a Twitter app on his iPhone. He describes Jobs as "a fighter" and an "innovator" and says the tech wizard leaves an "easier world" behind him thanks to his technological expertise.


Sophie is from Manchester, England and was at the Louvre store. She was particularly touched by the apple someone had left there which said "I love you". She says apart from his "turtleneck and jeans", Jobs' was "an intelligent man who knew technology and also knew business."


Florian, who lives in Paris and London, was also at the Louvre store. He said he'd come to pay tribute because Jobs showed "how one mind can change technological evolution." He says Jobs deserves respect for being an "inventor and a self-made man."


Why such a reaction? My thoughts


It's like Diana died, said a friend, of the memorials to the god of Apple. Or indeed Michael Jackson. Steve Jobs has grown into a cult figure, synonymous with the brand he created, the face of the firm for 35 years (on and off). Fans felt like they knew Jobs personally though most had never even met him, and despite the fact he was an intensely private man. Why? Because when someone falls in love with Apple - and thus with the guy in the black turtle-neck pullover - they tend to fall deeply, and for life.  


In some cases, an Apple encounter provokes a kind of fanaticism. Dazzled by the beauty of the technology, its reliability and ease-of-use, consumers eschew all other brands in favour of the technology Jobs pioneered (no doubt helped along by the closed system for which Apple has been slated). And that's key. He was at the coal-face, extremely hands-on, involved with every aspect of the creative process, and launched the products himself (with his trademark, "there is one more thing"). Thus fans felt that by using his technology, somehow they were connected to him.  Never mind that Jobs was no Mother Teresa; overlooking any dubious codes of conduct; ignoring reports of his bullying or that Apple's goal, when all is said and done, is to make money. They were hooked. And it'll take time to get over the fact that Apple will, inevitably, go on without the man that once defined it.


Hear more about Steve Jobs - his successes, his controversies and his legacies - on the next edition of Tech 24. Monday 16:40 CET. Become a friend of the show on our Facebook page where you can also leave your tribute to Steve Jobs.

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mourn is a conventional outward signs of grief for the dead, such as a black armband or black clothes. Read more at the site below you can get more information. dave www.tulleeho.org

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