Never the advocate of subtle promotion, New York magazine's cover story this week bears a simple headline over a psychedelic picture of Steve Jobs: iGod. John Heilemann's story takes a humorous and surprisingly intimate look at the nigh-mythological arc of Jobs' career, including the most common epithet applied to him by colleagues and friends alike (hint: it's anatomical), and quotes like this one from Jean-Louis Gassée describing Jobs' RDF as almost a physical force: "[Jobs is] the most powerful person I've ever met. The word charisma-in the true, Greek sense-applies. He has the power to open up your chest and put his fingers inside you." Um, okay, Jean-Louis, does 'blech' translate to French?
Naturally, with two weeks to go before some minor product launch, the story's focus is on the iPhone's potential success or downfall and the implications for Apple. On this point, the money quote is from a CEO of an unnamed but very large communications company:
"The entire [bleeping] Western world hopes that it's a case of imperial overstretch... But everybody is quietly saying, er, what if people want to buy a $500 phone? What if, er, people have been waiting for a device that does all these things? What if this thing works as advertised? I mean, my God, what then?"What then, indeed.