Known for its forward-thinking innovation, Apple instead is taking a trip down memory lane Friday. The world's most valuable company has cleared the new product images typically featured on its website's home page and replaced them with an otherwise blank screen showcasing a video that honors the firm’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, on the one-year anniversary of his death.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook said “no company has ever inspired such creativity or set such high standards for itself” in a message remembering his predecessor.
Jobs died Oct. 5, 2011, at age 56, after a long health bout stemming from a tumor in his pancreas. The memorial video features a collection of images and recordings largely depicting the firm's biggest product launches. It opens with a recording of Jobs repeating a favorite quote (first uttered by hockey legend Wayne Gretzky): “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”
That line came to define Jobs' career, most recently with the launches of the iPhone and the iPad. When introduced in 2007, the smartphone was so far ahead of competitors. Many of them -- including Microsoft with its forthcoming Windows 8 phone -- are still playing catch-up. Meanwhile, the tablet practically created the market for such devices and was credited so heavily with creating demand for the product that Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $1 billion in August for infringing on patents related to the iPad.
When the one-minute, 44-second video concludes, the Apple site restores the typical links to its store, iTunes and support verticals at the top of the page, but the rest of the screen remains blank with a message from Cook, who replaced Jobs as chief executive last August. “Steve’s passing one year ago today was a sad and difficult time for all of us,” he said in the statement. “I hope that today everyone will re?ect on his extraordinary life and the many ways he made the world a better place. One of the greatest gifts Steve gave to the world is Apple.”
Cook has managed to steer that “gift” to greater heights. Today, the company Jobs co-founded in 1976 with Steve Wozniak is worth $625.06 billion, nearly $200 billion more than Exxon Mobil, the next largest company, and its share price stands at 666.80 (as of the close of markets Thursday). That marks a 76.3 percent increase from its 387.25 price when Jobs died last year. By comparison, Google and Microsoft have grown by 52 percent and 16 percent, respectively.