Imagine. You're the world's biggest boxing fan.

You're lining up to get tickets to the most anticipated bout of the year.

You say g'day to the bloke behind you in the queue.

Then you realise, it's Muhammad Ali.

If you're into soccer, imagine it's Diego Maradona.

Basketball. Michael Jordan. Cricket. Don Bradman.

Stage plays. William Shakespeare. Opera. Luciano Pavarotti.

Computers. Steve Wozniak.

And that just happened. Right here in little old Brisbane, Australia.

Apple fans queuing to buy an iPhone 5 were joined by the man who invented personal computers.

Let's be honest, if you didn't know who he was, Steve Wozniak probably wouldn't have stood out.

Just another bloke, dressed for comfort, with his own fold up camping chair.

Steve Wozniak lining up for the Apple iPhone 5 in Brisbane on Friday 21 September.
But the buzz rippled through the line, all the way out, into the carpark and around the corner.

People further back weren't sure if it was just a rumour. Those up the front knew it was real.

They knew because the bloke, who calls himself Woz and is worth an easy $100 million, was incredibly generous.

Not in an extravagant Oprah Winfrey 'everybody here gets a free iPhone, aaaaaaand a new car!' kind of way.

Woz chatted with the Apple fans about the birth of the world's biggest company. He told them stories they may have heard before, but never from someone so intimately involved.

He was generous with his time and his experience. Not only with the hundreds of others waiting in line, but also with a certain Blackberry toting reporter.

What I really wanted to know was his thoughts on the future of the company he founded with Steve Jobs.

It's almost 12 months since Jobs died. 5 October.

Apple's latest offering has already faced plenty of criticism. Particularly over the iOS 6 switch from Google maps to Apple's own, flawed version.

A new connector pin has reinforced one perception that while Apple may pride itself on making consumer friendly products, the company isn't always friendly to its consumers.

Is the new iPhone sufficiently different from its predecessor to arrest the rise of Android smartphones?

Is this the beginning of the slide, for the world's most valuable brand?

Interestingly, the company's co-founder believes the Apple culture that helped build a business monolith, could also bring it unstuck.

Steve Wozniak believes Apple will continue to innovate, regardless of the cost.

"It could get to a point in time where innovation isn't really the road to success," he says.

"Apple will probably remain the innovative company anyway."

"Other companies may even surpass it just because Apple is trying to be innovative," he concludes.

In an industry, where the mantra has, until now, been 'innovate or perish', it's a bold statement.

Then again, Steve Wozniak had the foresight to see a personal computer in every household.

And you get the sense he won't be too upset if Apple is overtaken by an upstart rival.

After all, as he told a packed room of Brisbane's business leaders, he never wanted to be a businessman. He's happy being the engineer. The inventor. The creator.

He even knocked back a dying Steve Jobs, who asked him to return to the company.

"I know who I am."

Follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelCoombes

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