Apple likely quietly paid tribute to Steve Jobs during ‘Let’s Talk iPhone’ event

“While watching Apple’s stream of Tuesday’s iPhone event two nights ago, the video would periodically pan to the same shot of audience members applauding. While I normally wouldn’t have paid much attention to such things, the shot in question caught my eye because it centered on an empty seat with a black cloth draped over it, with the word ‘Reserved’ written on it,” Josh Rosenthall writes for Edible Apple.

“Though this transpired one day before Steve Jobs passed away, I was still exceedingly curious. ‘Who was this reserved seat for?’ I wondered,” Rosenthall writes. “The CEO of Nuance, maybe? Perhaps a representative from a top development company? But more importantly, I wondered who in the world would get an invite to an Apple iPhone event and not show up?”

Rosenthall writes, “Looking back, perhaps this was a quiet tribute from Apple executives to Steve Jobs, who likely knew that this would be the last Apple keynote held while Jobs was alive.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Link pulled due to fake Flash installer.

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      1. I saw the empty reserved seat and thought that it must have been reserved for Steve. Little did I know as I watched that last night it was about 15 minutes before the news of his death broke. My iPhone was buzzing as I watched the announcement and I didn’t pick it up until it was over only to find out why it was going nuts. Sad time.

    1. Me too, immediately noticed the reserved seat. It was obviously “his” seat ! I am sure it will be held “reserved” forever now, as a respectful memento. We miss you, Steve.

    2. Agree; I noticed this. However, the chair “reserved” could have two purposes: if Jobs’ health would at least shortly become better for him to visit the presentation and sit there (and, if the health would be even better than just about sitting, maybe also make some presentation). And if Jobs could not be there, then it would be tribute, which both Apple workers and Jobs himself could understand, watching the video.

    3. Does anyone think that Apple had the foresight to call this new iPhone the 4S (as opposed to 5) as a direct tribute to Steve Jobs…in that this may be the last one he witnessed the launch of while alive?

      4S = 4Steve


  1. Conspiracy Theory: Maybe Jobs actually died on Tuesday and they just held the news of him dying until Wednesday? He wouldn’t have wanted to have spoiled the presentation…

    Just a thought…

    1. I thought Tim needed more energy on stage, but if he knew that Steve was doing poorly or had already passed away, I can understand not being able to be too excited. It would be tough to give a presentation knowing what they knew.

      I do think – this one time – they would’ve rescheduled if this happened Tuesday or before. That would be understandable. Hopefully, they give the upper guys today and tomorrow off.

    1. Upon hearing of his death, I vowed to think of my new iPhone 4S as a memento of Steve and will always think of the S being for Steve. I will keep his example of service to humanity in my heart always. I miss you Steve.

  2. I haven’t watched the event yet … I was too humbled and upset at the realisation that Tim Cook et al, went ahead with this, whilst they surely knew Steve was very, gravely ill. Much respect.

    I remember when I was 6 years old, coming home from school one lunchtime to find my mother sobbing at the kitchen table. I asked her what was wrong.

    ‘Elvis has died’ she said.
    In my six year old, logical head, I couldn’t understand why you would get so upset at the passing of someone you had never met.
    I now understand. Rest in Peace Steve.

    1. I said that yesterday about the “reserved” chair!
      Steve would have wanted them to carry on with a presentation. I’m sure the order to continue was given by him. It also kept the press off Steve’s back until the event was over. If they had postponed it, the presshounds would have been all over Steve’s doorstep guessing he was dying. Definitely not what his family needed at that time.

      Everyone now realizes why the presentation had a more somber note than usual to everyone’s talks. (They were criticized for lack of enthusiasm that Steve had.) Lucky they could even keep it together knowing what was transpiring as they talked. If I’d looked off the stage at that empty chair I would have just started cryin’ like a baby!

      A good Keynote under unbearably stressful conditions.

    1. In the UK’s RAF, chairs are always removed when a comrade dies, so that at a briefing or other event, the person is not represented in the number of seats. By contrast, when someone is ill or injured, often an empty chair will be present, and even given the briefing documents or whatever else is handed out.

  3. I saw the same thing and wondered. It never occurred to me that there was a deeper significance. The nuances that Steve always addressed and many of us missed, continued right up to the day before he passed.

  4. The showing of that chair was too prominent to be anything but a memorial to Steve. The presenters looked sad, and the whole thing was strangely muted. They knew of course, and Steve would want the show to go on. It must have been extraordinarily difficult for Apple to take the stage and keep it together.

  5. While following the event via the web I gave no thought about how bad Steve Job’s condition might be and presumed he was letting his team do it on their own. Obviously, I was in denial as I am sure many others were.

    However, the next day mid-morning (I am on the east coast) while reading MDN and other sites about the event the thought came to me “I bet Steve Jobs is dead now”. Didn’t think any more of it and then at 9pm my wife called and gave me the news over the phone.

    Dont know why I had that thought. Dont think I ever had that kind of thought about him before. Just strange.

    Thomas Edison was my boyhood hero and when I heard the comparison earlier this year it felt very fitting. I have several hero’s and Steve Jobs is certainly one that I look up to and admire. I certainly agreed with his vision of technolgy for the rest of us. RIP “crazy one”.

  6. Every person who presented at the Keynote was surely a friend of Steve’s and must have known that he was at death’s door . It had to have been painful for all of them yet they did it with class. A testament to the quality of the team and company he built
    Thanks for the magic Steve. In perpetuum frater ave atque vale

    1. The original poem by Catullus is worthy of posting here:

      Through many peoples and many seas have I travelled
      to thee, brother, and these wretched rites of death
      I bring a last gift but can speak only to ashes
      Since Fortune has taken you from me
      Poor brother! stolen you away from me
      leaving me only ancient custom to honour you
      as it has been from generation to generation
      Take from my hands these sad gifts covered in tears
      Now and forever, brother, Hail and farewell.

      RIP, Steve—the original Crazy One.


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