Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has died

Breaking news: Apple co-founder and former chief executive, Steve Jobs, has died.

Steve Jobs, former chief executive and founder of Apple, has died at the age of 56.

Apple confirmed the news on its website.

Jobs had been unwell for some time, and succumbed to illness earlier today. He had been on medical leave since August.

Jobs stepped down from Apple as chief executive earlier in August. In a note to employees, he asked that Tim Cook, would replace him as part of his succession plan.

"I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know," Jobs wrote in his resignation letter, adding: "Unfortunately, that day has come."

He had suffered from pancreatic cancer, and taken two leaves of medical absence to recover from his illness. In 2009, he had undergone a liver transplant, forcing him to take further time off.

Jobs will be remembered as one of the founding fathers of modern computing.

"We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today," read a statement by Apple's board. "Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve. His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts."

His family, in a statement, ask that privacy is respected during their time of grief. "We know many of you will mourn with us".

Apple's website has updated with an image of Jobs, reading the text: "Steve Jobs 1955-2011".

One of the world's most famous chief executives, and instrumental in today's world of consumer computing, he will be remembered for his work at Apple, in bringing products to all walks of life.

More soon.