Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs was something of a mythical figure in the tech world. He helped usher in the era of the personal computer. He was pushed out of his own company by management that found him difficult and troublesome. He returned to Apple when the company was on the verge of bankruptcy and turned it into one of the most influential companies in the world after releasing groundbreaking products like the iPod, iTunes and the iPhone.
In early 2011, Jobs announced he was taking a medical leave of absence. He remained CEO of the company but wouldn't be at Apple on a day-to-day basis. In August, Jobs sent an internal memo revealing his decision to resign as CEO, stating he no longer felt competent to lead the company. He recommended to the Board that Apple COO Tim Cook take over as CEO.
Then, in October, the news broke that Steve Jobs had died. His passing prompted Apple fans around the world to visit Apple stores. Many people left flowers or notes of thanks to Jobs. The outpouring of emotion seemed more like what you'd expect after the passing of a beloved leader or celebrity, not the CEO of a technology company. His authorized biography didn't hit store shelves until late October, and yet became Amazon's best-selling book of 2011 [source: AFP].
Jobs made an undeniably huge impact on the computer and electronics industries. He was a visionary with a knack for creating user experiences that people didn't even know they wanted. He was also known for being argumentative, temperamental and aggressive. There's no one else quite like him leading in the tech industry today.
That wraps up the biggest tech stories of 2011. What might 2012 have in store for us?