Accessibility links

This is the VOA Special English Technology Report.

Steve Jobs made technology fun. The co-founder of Apple died last Wednesday at the age of fifty-six. He had fought for years against cancer. Mourners gathered outside his house in Palo Alto, California, and Apple stores around the world.

Tim Bajarin is president of Creative Strategies, a high-tech research and consulting company.

TIM BAJARIN: "If you actually look at a tech leader, they’re really happy if they have one hit in their life. Steve Jobs has the Apple II, the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad and Pixar.”

Steve Jobs was a college dropout. He was adopted by a machinist and his wife, an accountant. They supported his early interest in electronics.

He and his friend Steve Wozniak started Apple Computer -- now just called Apple -- in nineteen seventy-six. They stayed at the company until nineteen eighty-five. That year, Steve Wozniak returned to college and Steve Jobs left in a dispute with the chief executive.

Mr. Jobs then formed his own company, called NeXT Computer. He rejoined Apple in nineteen ninety-seven after it bought NeXT. He helped remake Apple from a business that was in bad shape then to one of the most valuable companies in the world today.

Steve Wozniak, speaking on CNN, remembered his longtime friend as a "great visionary and leader" and a "marketing genius."

President Obama said in a statement: "By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the Internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun."

David Carroll is a professor at Parsons School of Design in New York City. He says Steve Jobs not only revolutionized technology, he also revolutionized American business.

DAVID CARROLL: “The fact that he was able to redesign American commerce top to bottom and across is really stunning. He probably will be considered an industrial giant on the scale of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, so one of the great of all time.”

Steve Jobs stepped down as Apple's chief executive in August because of his health.

Apple's new chief, Tim Cook, will also have to deal with the new Kindle Fire tablet computer from It costs less than half as much as an iPad but also does less.

And that's the VOA Special English Technology Report, written by June Simms and Avi Arditti. I'm Christopher Cruise.