Apple co-founder Wozniak says he'll miss Jobs

October 6, 2011 - 2:45 PM
Obit Jobs Wozniak

FILE - In this July 17, 2009 file photo, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak looks on during the World Championships in Segway Polo in Cologne, Germany. Wozniak, who started Apple in a Silicon Valley garage with Steve Jobs in 1976, said he’ll miss his fellow co-founder “as much as everyone.” Steve Jobs died Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011 at 56. (AP Photo/Hermann J. Knippertz, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Like millions around the world, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is mourning the death of the man who brought the world such devices as the iPhone and the iPad.

Wozniak, who started Apple in a Silicon Valley garage with Steve Jobs in 1976, said he will miss his fellow co-founder "as much as everyone."

"We've lost something we won't get back," Wozniak said in an interview with The Associated Press. "The way I see it, though, the way people love products he put so much into creating means he brought a lot of life to the world."

Wozniak, a high school friend of Jobs', last saw him about three months ago, shortly after Jobs emerged from a medical leave to unveil Apple Inc.'s iCloud content syncing service and the latest version of its iOS mobile software. At the time, Wozniak said, Jobs looked ill and sounded weak.

Jobs had battled cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009 after taking a leave of absence for unspecified health problems. He took another leave in January — his third since his health problems began — and officially resigned as CEO in August. Jobs became Apple's chairman and handed the helm to his hand-picked successor, Tim Cook.

Apple announced Jobs' death Wednesday without specifying a cause. Jobs was 56.

His death was followed by an outpouring of grief around the world from Apple fans and competitors, as well as heads of state. In a sign of how pervasive the gadgets he spearheaded have become, much of the mourning was done on Apple gadgets: People held up pictures of candles on their iPads, reviewed his life on Macintosh computers and tapped out tributes on iPhones.

People also flocked to Apple's retail stores around the world, some leaving flowers or candles.

Apple gave its home page over as a tribute to Jobs, and visitors who clicked through were shown an email address — rememberingsteve(at)apple.com — to share thoughts or memories about Jobs.

Wozniak, 61, said Jobs was a good husband and father and a great businessman who had an eye for details. He said Jobs was a good marketer and understood the benefits of technology. His string of hits includes the Apple II and Macintosh computers, iPod music players, the iPhone and the iPad tablet computer.

When it came to Apple's products, "while everyone else was fumbling around trying to find the formula, he had the better instincts," he said.

Wozniak wiped away tears in an AP video interview.

Jobs "gets a reputation for being a strong leader and for being brash. But to me he was always so kind, such a good friend," he said.

After dropping out of Reed College in Portland, Ore., Jobs returned to California in 1974, where he attended meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club — a group of computer hobbyists — with Wozniak.

Wozniak's homemade computer drew attention from other enthusiasts, but Jobs saw its potential far beyond the geeky hobbyists of the time. The pair started Apple Computer Inc. in the garage of Jobs' parents in 1976. According to Wozniak, Jobs suggested the name after visiting an "apple orchard" that Wozniak said was actually a commune.

Wozniak and Jobs both left Apple in 1985. In Jobs' case, it followed a clash with then-CEO John Sculley. Jobs resigned his post as chairman of the board and left Apple after being pushed out of his role leading the Macintosh team.

Jobs returned in 1997 as interim CEO after Apple, then in dire financial dire straits, bought Next, a computer company he started.

According to Wozniak, Jobs told him around the time he left Apple in 1985 that he had a feeling he would die before the age of 40. Because of that, "a lot of his life was focused on trying to get things done quickly," Wozniak said.

"I think what made Apple products special was very much one person, but he left a legacy," he said. Because of this, Wozniak hopes the company can continue to be successful despite Jobs' death.