(maybe this will become a short blog post or edited for a better size and meaning)
Who buys an iPhone or Apple product are buying them not because of Apple and not even because of the awesome Steve Wozniak. It's the other Steve they are looking for. Someone they learned to trust and identify.
Brands are only really valuable when people can humanize them. See them as a friend.
So why don't we simply do just that? Why nobody associates Mc Donald's to Ray Kroc, Coca-Cola to John Pemberton or Rolex to Hans Wilsdorf? Will Apple survive through the icon's death for that long as well?
Maybe that's precisely why. When the company gets big enough, anyone can create an identity in it, identify the pattern and repeat. Make it immortal, so we won't miss it when the actual creator dies. Walt Disney and Elvis still live long after death.
In any case... I'd just like to see more humanised smartphone models / brands so I could find someone to follow... For one because Apple did lose theirs, for two because it was never my ideal and for three because when I do find one, I'd like to be able to follow the person, even if they change brands / companies, until they may become an immortal brand, if I get that lucky!