No company has the power Apple has over consumers and journalists, but we're the ones who gave Apple that power.
Twitter's launching a "Buy" button. Tinder settled its sexual harassment lawsuit. Home Depot got hacked. News is flying left and right out of TechCrunch's annual Disrupt conference, too.
But who cares?
The top stories on Techmeme--the tech industry's news aggregator--aren't any of these stories. They are all speculation stories about what the company Steve Jobs built will launch tomorrow. By 10 AM PT tomorrow (Tuesday), all others news will be completely wiped away, at least for a few hours. Millions will tune into live blogs and Apple's live stream to watch the expected unveiling of two devices: the iPhone 6 and the "iWatch/iTime/iBand" or whatever Apple decides to call their new wrist-mounted wearable. For half a day, almost every public company will avoid making any major announcements (unless it's bad news) and thousands of bloggers and analysts will dissect every single aspect of Apple's launch event.
There is no other company in the tech industry--or any industry, frankly--that has this power. An Apple launch isn't just a multi-billion dollar corporation making announcements; it's an event that consumers actively anticipate. We care. We really, really care.
Why? Is it because Apple consistently delivers stellar products? Is it Apple's incredibly intricate press strategy? Does our obsession with Apple stem from the Cuptertino company's legendary founder?
All of these factors play a role, but they are not the reason Apple dominates the headlines and our Twitter feeds. We are.
Earlier this year, legendary journalist and reviewer Walt Mossberg compared the fanaticism and devotion to Apple to a religion--the Church of Apple. I really like this comparison, because there really isn't another way to describe the Apple phenomenon. Even when I traveled to Apple headquarters to cover its launch events, back when I was an editor at Mashable, it felt as if I was walking on holy ground.
Mossberg warned consumers and journalists not to treat Apple like a religion, but treat it like the flawed company it is. But those warnings fall on deaf ears. Apple remains a religion, and its power becomes more and more apparent in the days leading to its major press events. Hundreds of journalists make the pilgrimage to Cupertino and the Yerba Buena Center. Thousands of people line up around the block just to be the first to get their hands on the newest Apple device. Entreprneeurs live and die by the ethos of Steve Jobs. Criticizing Apple will bring out legions of fans who will make sure you know that your opinion is wrong.
We are the ones who turned Apple into a religion. We love Apple's products so much that we demand to hear more about them. We obsess over every little detail. Legions of journalists, who know that Apple equals clicks, leverage our obsession to rack up the pageviews with every iWatch rumor story or Tim Cook expos (I'm no exception). This cycle fuels the Church of Apple, and this cycle isn't going away anytime soon. The Church of Apple remains strong.
Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, and the iPhone didn't build the Church of Apple. We built it, and that's why Apple isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
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