Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple.
He will remain involved in the development of new products and company strategy, taking the position of chairman and director of the company, handing the CEO position to Tim Cook.
In a letter to his colleagues, Jobs outlines the reasons for his resignation:
"I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.
"I believe Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role. I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you."
Some believe the resignation is a sign of his worsening health after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, but this has not been confirmed.
Although Apple began as a computer company in 1976, it became hugely influential in the music business in later years with the release of the iPod in 2001. It quickly became a fashionable object to own for both its sleek, minimal design and ability to store 5GB of music - a game-changing amount at the time.
This led to the iTunes store, which remains the highest selling digital music store in the US, and proved that digital music can generate a substantial income for the music industry, even when competing with illegal music downloads. However, some (including UG) have noted that the option to buy single downloads from an album may have impacted on music revenues as much as illegal downloads over the last decade.
Apple are perceived to over-charge for their products, but it is often underestimated how much value they bring to the technology world. Some observers have noted that their huge cash balance of almost $80 billion is more than the US Government currently holds.
Apple's cash reserves allow it to invest in technology and tools for factories in the East which can build new technology at consumer friendly prices, effectively bringing future tech development forward. The result is products like the iPhone and iPad, with other companies finding it difficult to compete on price.
Jobs' replacement, Tim Cook, is believed to be responsible for making future technologies relatively affordable to consumers. Twitter user @WillShipley tweeted this morning an anecdote which demonstrates this point:
"Years ago, when I was still invited to sit in VIP section of Stevenotes, Apple was introducing a new product. The audience was shocked at the performance AND the price.
"I turned to the Apple executive next to me, and whispered What? How is it so cheap? That's better than competitors! Apple's never been cheaper. How did this happen?
"Exec said two words: Tim Cook.
UG wish the best to Steve and his health in the future.