A little pushback against Dishhead Apple haters from yours truly. It seems absurd to say that iPhone users have not complained about AT&T. We've done nothing but whine. It also seems absurd to argue that Apple has not led to entrepreneurial or innovative collaboration. Yes, I know the system is closed and censored. But the explosion of iPhone apps has changed media and our lives. And Apple didn't invent them itself. As for the stores-as-churches, I guess aesthetics are a matter of choice. The new Los Angeles Catholic cathedral is about as beautiful as one sees in the modern world, and it too is stark, open, clean, simple, letting air and light do the work of material substance. The Apple Stores, translucent squares of light, just strike me as inimitable and deeply recognizable - and elevating.
I guess, lastly, I'm not a geek. I use this technology and marvel at it without having the slightest clue how it really works. And since switching to Apple for everything a few years ago, the only problem I have had with the technology is AT&T and when I dropped my iPod in Cape Cod Bay and when I left my MacBook in a cab.
And the upside of the control freakery is the reliability and elegant, stylistic unity. I remain a disciple. And want Jobs to get better and thrive again.