Within 36 hours of legendary performer Robin Williams’s passing, Apple has converted its homepage into a de facto memorial. Apple’s homepage does not typically pay tribute to recently deceased figures in the way of magazine covers, unless they have some historical significance. (Obviously, Steve Jobs merited a remembrance, and the most recent example is Nelson Mandela last December.) Williams’s voice, of course, earlier this year graced one of Apple’s more memorable recent ads–the iPad spot “Your Verse” featuring a passage from Dead Poets Society. And by paying tribute to Williams now on its home page, Apple is perhaps honoring the universality of his appeal–he held the rare distinction of being someone almost everyone could agree on.
The home page features an image of Williams in tasteful grayscale, with the following words: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Robin Williams. He inspired us through his passion, his generosity, and the gift of laughter. He will be greatly missed.” That about says it all. Surely many people will see it while flocking to Apple’s iTunes page to rent and purchase Williams’s best films.