Now, the spotlight has turned to the people still toiling away at Apple HQ in Cupertino. The company is so closely identified with its iconic figurehead and uberboss, can those assuming the reins measure up to Steve's success?
So read on and say hello to Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Phil Schiller and the rest of the boys minding the (Apple) store in Steve Jobs' absence.
Chief executive officer
Alabama-born Tim Cook joined Apple from Compaq in 1998, when the fruit-flavoured company was on the verge of bankruptcy. Jobs saw something in Cook he hadn't seen in other applicants, notoriously walking out midway through one previous interview.
Cook's soft-spoken demeanour is said to have balanced out Jobs' more explosive management style, but he is considered every bit as driven as his polo-necked boss, quietly working ridiculous hours and demanding the same determination from his staff.
In 2011 Cook topped Out magazine's Power 50 list of LGBT movers and shakers. He's on the board at Nike and has previously worked for IBM.
Formerly the company's chief operating officer, Cook has been minding the tiller during Jobs's previous health-related absences. But his skills lie in managing Apple's supply chain rather than design,if he will be able to continue Jobs' singular vision for user-friendly products once the planned line-up of devices runs out.
Salary: £500,000 plus £3.1m bonus and £31m stock options
Senior vice president of industrial design
Chingford's own Jony Ive is the design guru behind Apple's most iconic products. His obsessive attention to detail led to the iMac, PowerBook, MacBook, MacBook Air, iPod, iPhone and iPad. His skill lies not just in making ever-prettier kit, but in pushing the boundaries of building thinner, faster, better-integrated kit. That's also very pretty.
Ive joined Apple in 1992 after studying industrial design at Newcastle Polytechnic. Initially languishing in a basement designing printer trays, his skills were finally recognised when Jobs returned in 1997. Ive and his hand-picked designers are an elite unit marked by security that's tight even by Apple's secretive standards. Rumours swirled recently that he wanted to return to Britain, but it's unlikely he'll leave Apple any time soon.
Salary: Probably rather a lot, plus £18m in shares
Senior vice president of iOS software
Where Ive is the physical design guy, Scott Forstall is the software guy. He's the chap in charge of iOS, the software on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The silky-smooth pinching, swiping and tapping redefined mobile phones, forcing Nokia, BlackBerry and Microsoft's Windows Mobile to pull up their socks and take a long hard look at their lives.of iOS are even crossing the park to show up in Apple's latest software for computers, .
Forstall came to Apple with Jobs when the company bought NeXT in 1997. He was a key figure in the development of Mac OS X, and is even more important now as Apple's software design comes together across different devices, from phone to tablet to computer to, perhaps, television.
Salary: £366,000 in 2009, plus £7m in shares
Philip W Schiller
Senior vice president of worldwide product marketing
Another of Jobs' mob returning to Apple in 1997, marketing wonk Phil Schiller has been one of the most visible faces in Steve's absence, presenting several keynote demonstrations and speaking out over the company's.
Salary: £302,400 plus a £230,000 bonus in 2006, plus £6m in shares
Senior vice president of Mac hardware engineering
Bob Mansfield is in charge of hardware engineering for the Mac and iPhone, as well as production of the iPad, and chips. He joined Apple when the company he worked for was snapped up in 1999, and took over his current job from the brilliantly named, who left shortly after the antenna problems that plagued the iPhone 4.
Salary: Forget the salary, Mansfield has made nearly £36m in the last three years from selling Apple shares
Senior vice president of retail
Harvard and Stanford-educated Ron Johnson is the man behind the Apple Store, in charge of the company's retail strategy. He made his name at Target -- the Stateside cross between Asda and Woolworth's, to the power of a kabillion -- before joining Apple in 2000, and pioneering the Genius Bar. Don't get too attached: he's off to become the boss of JC Penney in November.
Salary: In 2007, Johnson made £68m in one day from selling Apple shares
Senior vice president and chief financial officer
Bean counter Peter Oppenheimer is the man who controls the purse strings. He brought his scientific calculator to Apple in 1996.
Salary: £427,500 plus £17m in shares
Senior vice president and general counsel
Lancashire-educated legal eagle Bruce Sewell joined Apple from Intel in 2009. Since then, legal spats include a bust-up with Lodsys over apps, tech blog Gizmodo over a mislaid prototype of the iPhone 4, and the.
Senior vice president of operations
Jeff Williams is in charge of practical concerns such as quality control and moving products around the world. He joined Apple in 1998 and previously worked at IBM.
Albert Gore Jr
Former Vice-President of the United States, eco-warrior and inventor of the Internet Al Gore is a member of the Apple board, alongside Jobs, Cook, and bosses of Avon, Genentech, Intuit, J Crew and Northrop Grumman.