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Despite the shock which surrounded the exit of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the signs that the man responsible for bringing Apple to the top would be stepping down from duty have been lurking since he took a medical leave in January of this year, leaving Tim Cook in charge of proceedings immediately after resignation.

Steve Jobs holding iPhone

Additionally, with the first Steve Jobs-sanctioned biography about to hit shelves, the whole scenario seemed to fall into place. For purpose of interest, it has been reported that Job’s approved biography will include details of the resignation, which will give the book a sense of completion rather than being “the journey so far”, often deemed as an excuse to raise some easy money.

Like many similar companies, Apple is serious about protecting its innovation. The fruit company has over 1000 patents in total, and Jobs is what you would consider king of the patents, holding a grand total of 313 to his name. These range from some relatively insignificant ones to innovations which have helped define the fate of the company.

Take the click wheel for example. It is probably the most significant trait of the iPod device, which despite being rather late in its arrival, changed the way portable audio was done. Then there was no more drag and drop, all you had to do was connect your iPod to your Mac with Firewire, and iTunes did the rest.

But it’s not just the key innovations such as the click wheel which have been patented under Jobs’ name. Even the iconic staircases found throughout Apple Stores are covered by patents, and such attention to detail is what has separated Apple from the rest. You can mull over the full list, courtesy of the New York Times, here.

Jobs is seen by many as a cult figure of Apple, and you cannot but admire the determination of a man who was initially ousted from a company he co-founded, only to return, find it virtually on its knees, and develop it into one of the world’s most valuable companies.

Despite no longer heading Apple, I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of him. With Jobs having been the most prominent figure in keynotes and major announcements, don’t be surprised if it is indeed the man himself who presents the world with the iPhone 5, iPad 3, or any of the many other future gadgets.

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