On most days, Apple.com is like any other corporate home page – a billboard, a news hub for corporate goings-on and a launching pad for an online store where people can buy stuff. Every once in a while, though, it turns into something unlike any other big company’s home page.
When Apple’s home page featured a video tribute to Steven P. Jobs, the company’s co-founder and former chief executive who died a year ago to the day. The 105-second video consisted of still black-and-white images of Mr. Jobs with audio of him announcing Apple products like the iPhone and describing Apple’s corporate philosophy. The music on the soundtrack is Bach’s Prelude No. 1 in G Major for Cello, played by Yo-Yo Ma, who was a friend of Mr. Jobs.
The home page take-over made it modestly more difficult for Apple customers, most of whom were probably unaware that Friday was the anniversary of Mr. Jobs’s death, to buy Apple products. After the video finished playing and a letter from Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, appeared, regular links to Apple’s online store and product pages were displayed.
When people that Mr. Jobs admired died, Apple.com was made over in similar fashion. That happened when George Harrison of the Beatles and Rosa Parks, the civil rights activist who was featured in Apple’s “Think Different” advertising campaign, passed away.
All of the tributes bore the unmistakable imprint of Mr. Jobs, without whose approval such radical changes to the Apple home page would have been unthinkable. Even after his death, his influence on the site still shows.