By Jennifer Abbasi, contributor
FORTUNE -- In the weeks following the death of Apple's CEO and co-founder one year ago today, more than a million people sent emails to an address set up by Apple (AAPL). Messages on blogs, Facebook (FB) and Twitter, and even makeshift in-store memorials, demonstrated a collective sadness at the Apple co-founder's passing. And now, Memmento.com, a new online cemetery, has not one, not two, but three competing Jobs memorials. Why do so many people who never met the man care so much that he is gone?
Andrew Przybylski, a psychologist at the University of Essex, surveyed a few hundred Apple users about how their relationship with their devices informed their feelings about Jobs' death. A third of the participants reported feeling emotionally connected to their Macs, iPads, iPhones and iPods, agreeing with the statement that the devices "occupy a special place in my heart" -- and those people were 70% sadder about his passing than those who didn't feel the love.
An idea called the self-determination theory used in education, sports, and gaming circles tells us that people become more psychologically involved when circumstances satisfy certain universal needs. Indeed, Przybylski found that people felt emotionally connected to their Apple gadgets -- and by extension their creator -- because the devices satisfied two of those needs, "relatedness" and "autonomy," which, he says, "strike at the heart of the purpose of computing devices: to connect us to others and to provide us with meaningful choices."
Beyond just putting technology in people's hands, there's something unique in Steve Jobs' legacy. "I think that he delivered experiences that met and in many cases exceeded users expectations," Przybylski says. "He gave generations of scientists, students, business people, and artists tools to go farther than they thought they could."
A shorter version of this story appeared in the October 8, 2012 issue of Fortune.
Were traders watching the live blogs? You be the judge.
FORTUNE -- How does Apple's (AAPL) share price respond to a high-profile media event in which there are few surprises?
You can read too much into a chart like the one above, but it suggests that Mr. Market was:
Disappointed with the unsurprising name of the new iPhone
Pleased with the engineering specs and other details as they unfolded
Lost interest during the rehashing MORE
A collection of dire warnings from the past puts this week's alarms into perspective
Three days after ZDNet ran a piece entitled "Coming Soon to a Mac Near You: Serious Malware": Daring Fireball's John Gruber has posted, under the headline "Wolf!" more than a dozen variations on the same theme.
They date back to 2004 and all sound a familiar warning: Apple (AAPL), having achieved critical mass in the market place, is MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 5, 2011 7:41 PM ET
Fortune's final poll of Apple analysts -- professional and amateur
We'll find out whose estimates were closest to the mark when Apple (AAPL) releases its earnings for the first fiscal quarter of 2011 shortly after the markets close. A conference call with analysts is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. EST (2 p.m. PST). The hour-long session will be webcast here.
We'll compare the estimates to the actual results and publish MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 18, 2011 6:53 AM ET
>Ben Baer, Senior Producer - Nov 5, 2009 3:45 PM ET
Are Apple's lawyers getting ready to go on vacation? For the second time in as many days, the company has agreed to settle a lingering class action suit.
On Thursday, it was a pair of complaints out of Canada that 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation iPods were delivering something like three hours of music, not eight hours as advertised. Although one case was granted class action status and the other wasn't, Apple (AAPL) MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 9, 2008 3:25 PM ET
|America's economic mobility myth|
|Treasury closes the book on GM bailout with final stock sale|
|Where should you put your money now?|
|Snowden docs had NYTimes exec fearing for his life|
|The economy: The 2014 outlook|