AND lo, once again they will come, filing like acolytes into the California Theatre in San Jose, heads bowed, the tell-tale white cords of their faith hanging like tefillin from their ears, some even wrapping the thin wires around their arms further to prove their devotion, others wearing the jet black polo neck surplice of the higher orders, all of them reverently gathering to hear more from the Book of Jobs even if the Be-Jeaned One Himself is no longer existent in this earthy realm having taken Himself to the Cloud and appointed one Tim Cook as his successor.
Yes, tomorrow Apple hosts another one of its "events" at its favourite cathedral-like theatre near San Francisco. It sent out teaser invites saying "what do you mean we're a money-making cult with a walled-garden approa ...". Sorry, the invites actually say: "We've got a little more to show you." That "little more" is widely expected to be the smaller version of the iPad – the so-called iPad Mini, or the iPadlet perhaps, or the iMnotbuyingyouanotheriPadiPad, which is how parents will see it.
Holding their iPhones aloft with one voice the congregation will intone: "I pledge allegiance to IOS and to the Blessed MacBook product line, peace be upon its high retina screens -" Then they will intone the 10 iCommandments: "Thou shalt have no other iPods before me"; "Thou shalt not covet thy Neighbour's Non-Apple products"; "Thou shalt worship no other company other than The Company"; "Thou shalt not make any graven images, particularly if they are Samsung"; and the most important one of all: "Thou shalt not commit Android."
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While a giant screen shows the live tweets from Stephen Fry – one of the faith's earliest disciples – the congregation will reverently circle a giant iPad in the middle of the theatre. But the peace of their slow, silent walk of adoration (the iPlod, as Fry affectionately calls it) is broken by a scuffle at the back of the auditorium. Someone has been seen with a Nokia Lumia! Running Windows!! "It's just until the contract runs out," the owner cries. "I'm going to switch!" But it's too late and he's thrown out on to the pavement.
He's lucky. Out by the Grand Canyon there's a group of polo-necked devotees, peering into their iPhone 5 screens and scratching their heads. "It says the Golden Gate Bridge should be here. Are you sure these maps are right?"