Dear Steve Jobs,
Regarding the iPhone 5 release, I want to tell you that you have created the most global consumer demand for a product in the history of the world.
And we haven't even seen it yet.
Tuesday is Let's talk iPhone day, and we'll finally get a look at the thing -- whatever it is. Logic says it will be a big hit, pretty much without fail.
And that pretty much sums it all up, since very few things in this world any more get mass affection.
I understand you may not be at Tuesday's event, since you are not well. You've had a liver transplant, and are battling a rare form of cancer, and that can't be easy.
I also understand you don't like to talk about it.
But here's hoping the iPhone 5 release is not your last. Here's hoping you will be around long enough to see another iPhone, and another.
We don't get to pick and choose our time on this Earth, however, like we get to pick and choose the iPhone 5 release date, or when we want to buy an iPhone.
We just all have to hope and try to make a dent in the world big or small, best we can, in the time we have.
In that regard, you have moved mountains. And though you've been feted, roasted and toasted effectively -- I also understand you are at times hardest on yourself, and probably deserve to hear it one more time.
They say the world has flattened in the 21st century, and it's safe to say the iPhone -- the world's most popular smartphone -- has helped make that happen. They want it in China. They want it in the U.S. They want it in India. They want it in the U.K. They want it just about everywhere.
They just want it, period. In fact, no consumer product has ever been so wanted around the world. And though we speak many languages on this globe, from the one place to the next, the truth is that more people speak those different languages into an Apple iPhone than any other smartphone.
Not only has Apple, under your vision and leadership, created unprecedented product demand -- but also the company created an entirely new global sport -- iPhone speculation.
Also, speculation about Apple's iPhone 5 release and features began last year immediately after the company you co-founded and led as CEO in two terms for many years released the iPhone 4.
That's one reason, as you know, that Apple has had such great success. It's now about more than the product -- it's bigger than the product. Apple has become as much of a lifestyle company as a product company, which translates into a premium brand, with products sold at premium products.
I write this piece on a MacBook Pro, for instance, just before I had FaceTime on my iPhone 4 with a family member I miss. I looked for any updates on your health -- being honest -- on my iPad. And, I typed planning notes for the week that were downloaded to all of the products.
I've gotten to know in the past decade some of the sharpest, and most impacting CEOs in the world, writing books about their leadership styles and personalities, including Carlos Ghosn, the Nissan and Renault CEO; Jeff Immelt, GE's chairman and CEO; Robert Lane, the former CEO and chairman of John Deere, Ford Motor Company chairman Bill Ford; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and others.
But I regret never having had the chance to get to know what you are about, though it's not like I didn't try. You were, in fact, the only CEO interview request I ever made that was ignored. That's okay -- I wasn't alone, and I respected your position.
You kept yourself closely guarded as a CEO, and granted access to next to none during your leadership tenure.
It's just like now. You have retired, and you have moved out of the limelight. And you want to keep it that way. We understand. You want it to be about the company, the people, and the product -- and that's admirable.
You may show at Tuesday's Let's talk iPhone event, or you may not. That guessing game yields a sport in and of itself, which I'm sure gives you odd delight. Either way, it's okay. You've earned the ability to keep us guessing. You had a big vision with Apple and you saw it through.
The odds of making that happen, especially in bringing Apple back in your leadership Act II, are almost impossible. Somehow, however, you did it, and the interest that's run for months involving Apple's iPhone 5 release is a testament to your unique drive and execution, even though it wasn't always as easy as it looks now, we know.
On Tuesday, the talk will be about the product, or products, the company unveils. But through those products, we will see multiple signs of your legacy of achievement. Because of that, there's no doubt that more resounding success will follow for the iPhones and Apple.
You made a dent in the world with these products -- and a big one at that. The iPhone 5 release will be just another, among a long list that is sure to grow.