Apple store staff in Tokyo observed a silent prayer before opening the doors to customers on Thursday, after the company's founder and visionary Steve Jobs died following a battle with cancer, Agence France Presse reported.
Customers and TV news crews arrived at Apple's always-thronged store in Tokyo's upscale Ginza shopping district hours after the technology giant announced the death of its influential founder.
"We observed a silent prayer before the store opened this morning, and we encouraged each other to go out and do our best today," AFP quoted an Apple store worker as saying.
Jobs died on Wednesday from cancer aged just 56, a premature end for a man credited with changing the world's relationship with technology through inventions such as the iPad and iPhone.
Tributes flowed in from around the world for Jobs, while Apple fans flooded social-networking sites to voice their sorrow at the passing of the man whose work helped take the mobility of the Internet to new levels.
"I found out about his death through Twitter," the agency quoted 21-year-old Mami Tachiguchi, a Tokyo-based student who has been using Apple products for about five years, as saying.
"Jobs really is Apple," she said. "So many people are talking about it on Twitter. Today has made me really appreciate how influential he was."
Others spoke of Jobs's passing as a milestone in pop culture history. "He was such a great manager and I was shocked to hear the news," the agency quoted another 21-year-old student, Yusuke Nishi. "This news is as big as that of Michael Jackson's death, and I wonder if Apple will now decline without Jobs around."
Jobs was just 21 when he founded Apple Computer in 1976 with his 26-year-old friend Steve Wozniak in his family garage.