It's hard (nigh impossible) to rationally deny that there is a cult of personality growing around this man. But as much as this is self evident, I find it hard to accept the argument that Apple, or indeed the man himself have really cultivated this opinion.
It doesn't make a lot of sense to me that an individual who expends to much energy on selling you a product would divert our attention to himself - it seems to contradict the image that he portrays in his public speeches and keynote demonstrations. I don't see that there's a lot for apple to gain by glorifying one mortal man to the expense of the creative image of the company as a whole. Apple must after all survive without him eventually.
So look at this messianic image he has been given; the loss of faith in Apple when their Saviour is no longer in residence. Who's selling us the cross he's been carrying? It doesn't actually matter whether or not you approve of his methods, or if you're a fan of Apple products but you do have an opinion. It's a polarised phenomenon, you are in the 'love it' camp or the 'hate it' camp over Apple and their products and whichever camp you examine the opinion held is a strong one. It's hard to find any smartphone user who is ambivalent to the iPhone, yet easy to find someone who couldn't even tell you what the latest Blackberry model is called.
While this forceful formation of opinion is about salesmanship, I don't believe it's about selling the devices themselves. Who is the iMessiah's proselytizer anyway?
Well it's us, bloggers and columnists, reporters and commentators. We're selling the images of deification and devilry because of some combination of over-enthusiam, partisan tribalism and popularist hyperbole. We've created the caricature which we then hold on to for it's appeal - we've created reality TV, a skewed and exaggerated reflection of the truth, for the smartphone debate.
Something to ponder next time you're ready to wade in on this subject - at least, I'll be keeping it in mind.