Tributes paid to Apple pioneer Jobs

Steve JobsApple co-founder and former chief executive Steve Jobs has died at the age of 56, the US technology company has announced.

The pioneering businessman, who was the mind behind the revolutionary iPhone and iPad devices, had been battling pancreatic cancer.

He stepped down from his post as Apple's chief executive in August saying he could no longer handle the job due to his illness.

Mr Jobs, who lived in Silicone Valley, California, died on Wednesday surrounded by his family. Apple said it was "deeply saddened" by the news.

A company spokesman said: "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.

"His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts."

Jobs done: Apple's finest creations

Jobs done: Apple's finest creations

A statement released by his family added: "In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve's illness."

The father-of-four started Apple Computer with high school friend Steve Wozniak in his garage in 1976 but was forced out a decade later. He returned in the mid-1990s and transformed Apple into one of the world's most powerful companies.

Just two months ago the frail-looking businessman resigned as the company's CEO due to his health, but said he would continue to play a leadership role. He was replaced by Apple's chief operating officer, Tim Cook, and took the role of chairman of the company's board.

Mr Jobs, described by many as an industry oracle who revolutionised computing, survived pancreatic cancer in 2004 before receiving a liver transplant in 2009. He had taken three spells of leave over the past several years, with the most recent spell in January.