In what many are now referring to as a quasi-religious experience, hundreds of fans gathered at Apple stores to worship at the altar of the iPhone 4S. At the Los Gatos, Calif. store, Steve Wozniak waited along with hundreds of fans, and the religious metaphor seemed ripe for extension: Wozniak is quickly becoming the Paul to Jobs’s Jesus.
Wozniak has always shared the spotlight with Jobs, as the lovable sidekick to a brooding genius. Despite his role in building the first home computer, he’s easily ceded the limelight to Jobs, grinning as hundreds awarded Jobs the credit for changing the world with computers Wozniak built.
Though Wozniak is a familiar face in Silicon Valley, he has been all over the media since Jobs’s death last week, pushing the message of Jobs as modern-day saint, a message the public was hungry to hear.
Jobs’s family, always private, continued to maintain a silence after his death, whereas Wozniak took up the role of chief historian, in a series of interviews. He also wrote and commented on posts all over the Internet, sharing in the outpouring of memories about his late pal.
One video went viral when the cameraman waited an extra beat after the end of the interview. It’s a moment long enough to see the emotion Wozniak had been holding back pour forth.
His eyes water only for a second, but it is a moving tribute to the two men’s lasting friendship.
Wozniak’s Thursday-night vigil in front of the Apple store was another moment for him to push Jobs’s message. Wozniak had ordered phones to his home and, as an employee of Apple, could have easily called up his company to send him one, but he told CNN, “I want to get mine along with the millions of other fans.”
As one fan notes on Wozniak’s Facebook page, it’s a PR success because it does not feel like PR at all. Wozniak is a true believer in Jobs’s legend.