Earlier Thursday morning, an unsuspecting somewhat pudgy bearded man rolled up to the on his Segway to survey the location. To his surprise, business looked just like normal. Feeling somewhat pleased to be the first in line at a new Apple product launch often a legend of lines and camp-outs, this stouthearted man parked his Segway in a corner near the display window, and outfitted his space with a few stadium chairs, blankets, and the odd notepad or two. However, man in the coveted front of the line space was not just any Apple faithful. This was the Los Gatos resident, and legend in his own right,
As the hours passed and the line grew throughout the day, so did a makeshift memorial to the spring up in the corner opposite his friend affectionately known as "Woz." Oct. 14 is the launch of the newest incarnation of the iPhone and has also somewhat unofficially been labeled a day of memorial of Steve Jobs. Flowers, cards, poetry, and simple scribbled thank-you notes are just a small indicator of what has been a lost seen as worldwide by consumers, technophiles, and Wall Street alike.
I had the fortune of spending a few minutes with the "Woz" and asking him about Apple's newest gadget which he describes as "the most startling change in the history of computers." This grand proclamation comes from the new on-board robot embedded in the iPhone 4 called Siri. "We are barely touching on artificial intelligence, but now we have a machine that talks to you like a friend," Woz says. Siri is an extension of how his late friend Steve Jobs viewed consumer technology. "A person doesn't want a bunch of technology to do a job, he just wants an answer in the most streamlined way possible."
When asked about Steve Jobs, Woz said that he "had a lot of drive and was someone who wanted to change the world. He felt he knew singlehandedly what to do with Apple when he came back and he knew the number of times you would have to say no to make a great product happen." Wozniak himself hopes that he contributed to the overall culture of the company and that those great things that have happened will continue to occur there.
For the masses that fear for the future of Apple without their mythical leader, Wozniak has words of assurance. "We will be using the Jobs' way of thinking in the future. Steve liked to trim things down. Provide the user the things that they need and not what they don't. Having that one person at the top with the ultimate supremacy and maintaining that high level of secrecy."
In the basking glow of memorial candles creating this surreal atmosphere that has become tradition for a new Apple launch, what more assurance can Apple fans have than the assuring comfort from one its co-founders, also waiting in line for his new iPhone 4s to hear the pleasant voice of Siri to guide him safely on his way.
Click on the video to hear a full-length interview with the "Woz" about the latest Apple invention.