Apple boss Steve Jobs, seen here delivering one of his last public speeches, has died at 56
Described as a 'visionary' by president Barack Obama and 'brilliant passionate and energetic' in a statement from his company itself, Jobs is widely credited with transforming the world of computer and smartphone technology.
Apple's iPod also revolutionised the music world by making digital music and music players 'cool' again.
Microsoft boss Bill Gates also paid tribute to Jobs, who died on Wednesday, saying it had been an 'insanely great honour' to work with him.
A tribute to Jobs, left on the Apple store front in Santa Monica'I will miss Steve immensely,' Gates added.
In a short tribute, Mr Obama hailed Jobs' contribution to American life in general, saying he 'made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun'.
'Steve was among the greatest of American innovators - brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it,' the US president added.
Many other tributes poured in for the Apple co-founder after the news of his death emerged, with influential figures from across the world united in their respect.
Apple's statement said: 'The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.'
Tributes and flowers were laid by Apple staff and fans at the company's iconic headquarters in Cupertino, California.
Candles are lit at a makeshift memorial for Steve Jobs at the Apple headquartersThe Apple boss' death comes just a matter of hours after his company's latest announcement - the next generation iPhone 4S.
The presentation of the new device, which has received a muted response from fans and critics so far, was made by new chief executive Tim Cook - his first public presentation after taking over from his predecessor.
Jobs' impact across different spheres was perhaps encapsulated best by the tributes paid to him from all walks of life.
American tennis star Serena Williams called Jobs 'the Thomas Edison of our day' in a Twitter post, adding: 'You will be missed but your legend will live forever.'
Will Findlater, editor of Stuff Magazine, added: 'Steve Jobs created the modern technology landscape. He made gadgets front-page stories and objects of desire, and his uncanny ability to predict what we would need and want from our gadgets led to the products that have defined the 21st century.
'He understood above all else that it’s not the technology itself, but the way in which you use it that can enhance your life. As a result, he forever changed the way we entertain ourselves, communicate with one another and interact with our devices.'
Meanwhile, British business magnate Lord Sugar - his own fame born from the computers market - said he was 'gutted' by the news.
'We started our computer biz at same time and were competitors tru 80's. Great visionary. Sadly missed RIP,' he told his followers.
Jobs started his career in tech in 1969 when he got a summer job at Hewlett-Packard, before going on to launch the Apple 1 computer with fellow Apple founder Steve Wozniak in 1976.