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Shanghai Apple fans join in mourning

CHINESE Apple fans gathered at Shanghai's three Apple Stores yesterday, leaving flowers and paying silent tributes to Steve Jobs. At China's biggest Apple Store recently opened on downtown Nanjing Road E., at least 1,000 people, including local residents, tourists and Apple Store workers, lined up at the entrance with flowers and notes to mourn Jobs under the store's big Apple logo, whose light had been switched off in tribute. Many of the notes were accompanied by black and white portraits of Jobs, which read, "Thank you, Jobs. You have changed our lives," or "Thank you for bringing us jobs." Some fans expressed their grief and regret with notes saying "iGone," "iThankYou" and "iSad," word plays on Apple's iconic products. A young couple took out a red apple, symbol of the company, and placed it among the notes and flowers. "I still cannot believe it that he has gone, so fast and in such a sudden way without any signs," said 23-year-old Diao Xiaolei, an Apple fan who claimed to have purchased most of the company's electronic products in the past few years and who was among the first batch of fans to participate in the mourning. "I woke up early in the morning to get the latest information of the new iPhone 4S from Apple's official website, but the front page stunned me as it said Jobs has gone," said Diao. "Before his death I even stayed up throughout the night for the release of the new iPhone, hoping that Jobs would show up." "A giant shining star has fallen. Jobs has changed my life in almost every aspect - communication, entertainment, and social networking," said another mourner, Shanghai resident Liu Guanghui, "Products designed by this man have accompanied me in the past five years, witnessing, participating or even guiding my way of life, and now this man has gone." Among the mourners were some Apple Store workers, who appreciated Jobs for bringing them true jobs. The workers changed their clothing to join the tribute because the company didn't allow them to mourn in their uniforms. At an A! pple Sto re on Huaihai Road M., fans secretly lit candles outside the store after the store workers had banned them due to safety concerns. In a bookstore at People's Square, sales of books about Jobs increased by 10 percent. On China's biggest and most popular microblog, Weibo.com, messages conveying people's sadness filled the whole platform yesterday. In a vote where 165,000-plus people had participated by 7:30pm yesterday, 53 percent said they were "shocked" to hear about his death, while 35 percent said they felt "sad" and others said "they still didn't believe he has gone." "Surely I will buy an iPhone 4S to mourn the great man who has brought us so much fun and convenience," said a microblogger Mo Xiaodong. "It's a iPhone for Steve Jobs."

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