The Korea Herald

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Koreans offer condolences, praise Jobs’ legacy

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Published : Oct. 6, 2011 - 16:51

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The local IT scene on Thursday paid tribute to Apple founder and visionary Steve Jobs following the news of his death.

The mastermind behind iMac, iPhone and iPad died from cancer aged 56, the California-based firm announced Thursday.

The stock prices of Samsung Electronics, whose relationship with Apple recently soured due to patent issues, sharply increased when the news was confirmed.

Industry watchers, however, carefully predicted no serious impact from his death in the local IT scene, saying the market for smart devices has now matured.

Even though Jobs had stepped down from management in August, he is said to have played a mentor role for Apple until recently.

Sources said his health could have worsened ahead of the release of the iPhone 4S, which garnered disappointing reactions on Wednesday.

“Apple was a latecomer but it could be successful thanks to the genius of Steve Jobs who could make innovative business models such as the iTunes App Store,” an industry official said.

“However, at this time when the smartphone is widely used, local companies that have strong know-how and technologies in hardware could get more advantages in the coming years.”

It seems unavoidable that Apple products would lose their current ardent supporters with the absence of Jobs, industry sources said.

The outlook over the patent disputes between Samsung and Apple remained mixed.

Samsung is currently embroiled in an escalating legal battle with Apple over patent infringements despite each side serving as a valuable customer to the other.

“The new CEO Tim Cook has maintained a good relationship with Samsung in terms of parts production. There could be a dramatic settlement between the two companies,” one source said.

Meanwhile, Internet-users offered condolences through social network services. With thousands of messages posted via Twitter, the access to the site was sometimes delayed Thursday morning.

“I’m reading the news of his death on an iPhone. I can imagine tens of thousands of sad faces who would read on an iPad,” one netizen said.

“Isn’t it a perfect life for a person?” said another netizen. “He is the icon of this generation who has experienced all things from beginning to end, from bottom to top.”

AhnLab, the anti-virus software firm whose founder Ahn Cheol-soo is sometimes compared to Jobs, also posted their condolences.

“It feels like a generation is finished. But his legacy will be left. We feel sad.”

Some online users described their sorrow by using the expression “iSad” while Apple released an email address at rememberingsteve@apple.com to receive condolences.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)