Second coming a blessing at the altar of hi-tech
Whoever said religion was dying never saw the queues that snake round Apple's stores when a new product arrives. On Friday night thousands of Europeans, some having queued for three days, gathered to pay homage to the second coming of the iPad.
Many emerged holding their products aloft and punching the air. Never mind that iPad 2 was a modest and slightly disappointing upgrade on iPad 1, and that the uninitiated would scarcely be able to tell the difference. The rapturous way it was received had all the air of a revivalist meeting.
Apple's secret begins with its product. It refused to pay for the sort of spurious market research which often justifies big companies sinking to the lowest common denominator. Instead, under Steve Jobs, it has focused on making gadgets so beautifully functional that many people will pay extra to have one around.