Occupy Apple, or happy Steve Jobs Day

Today marks both the retail debut of the iPhone 4S and the unofficial celebration of Apple's late legend. Which is getting more attention?

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And though the crowds have faithfully gathered outside Apple's chapels, the 4S is clearly preaching to the converted. According to Retrevo's Gadgetology survey of 1,300 presumably rational adults, the vast majority of iPhone 4S buyers are already Apple acolytes. More than 40 percent of people who own an iPhone 3 or 4 handset said they planned to upgrade. Just 12 percent of Android phandroids said they were planning to make the switch.

My conclusion? Apple has had a long-established, deeply loyal following for some time now, starting with the Mac, then the Newton, then the iPod. The iPhone grew the cult significantly, as did the iPad. But with the passing of their spiritual leader, I think the Apple cult has peaked.

Some cults outlive their leaders and grow from their teachings, just as some recording artists grow more popular (and sell more songs) after they're dead. I'm not betting on that happening here.

Will we be talking about Steve Jobs on Oct. 14, 2012? Possibly. We'll be talking about him for decades. But I doubt that day will be more significant than any other.

Are you wearing a Steve Jobs uniform today or buying an iPhone 4S? Post your thoughts below or email me: cringe@infoworld.com.

This article, "Occupy Apple, or happy Steve Jobs Day," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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