In a surprising move, Apple's CEO Steve Jobs has been given the Mobile Personality of the Year award at this year's Global Mobile Awards hosted at the MWC (Mobile World Congress) show in Barcelona.
The special award was created to mark the 15th anniversary of the Global Mobile Awards and "reflects the contributions of individuals, established names, new thinkers, and rising starts, across the global industry and leaders of other industries that have contributed to the growth and convergence of mobile during the last year".
Steve Jobs did not turn up to personally collect the award, and nobody from Apple collected the award on his behalf. Stephen Fry, the host of the Global Mobile Awards, said he would pass it on.
The other nominees are present at MWC, including Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google who is due to give the keynote speech later in the day.
Apple is not attending the Mobile World Congress and Stephen Fry had earlier in the awards ceremony referred to them as "the elephant in the room" and that he admired "Apple's success insomuch as it inspires others. It causes the whole ecosphere to adapt, adopt, and excel."
In accepting the award Stephen Fry outlined the career of Steve Jobs in three acts. The first being the original rise of Apple, the second being Steve Jobs at Next, and the third being Steve Jobs today.
He also recounted a story about how Tim Berniers Lee developed HTML on a Next computer, and took it to a trade show to show Steve Jobs. But Steve Jobs over-ran and didn't get to see the system. Stephen Fry said "and he still hasn't met him today. That these two men who changed the world came that close to each other and never met is remarkable."
Stephen Fry also joked at Apple's expense, saying Steve Jobs can't make it because "he's busy working on Apple's next big thing the iDiaper".
The nominees were:
Chairman of the Board and CEO, Google Inc.
Co-CEO, Research In Motion
Co-Founder and CEO, Apple Inc.