Are iPhone users suffering from "Stockholm Syndrome"

Are iPhone users suffering from "Stockholm Syndrome"

Summary: OK, this is weird, but it's a great find by the folks at 9 to 5 Mac.


OK, this is weird, but it's a great find by the folks at 9 to 5 Mac.

iPhone users are suffering from delusion akin to Stockholm Syndrome, says Strand Consulting in a weird little slice of research released this morning by this particular team of generally anti-iPhone analysts.

In case you've unfamiliar with Stockholm Syndrome, here's a primer.

The piece makes interesting reading. Here are some highlights:

"One of the areas that has fascinated us the most, is the approach that Apple and the iPhone fans have had to the product, and the energy they have spent defending the product despite the shortcomings and limitations of both past and present versions of the iPhone."

"Simply put, Apple has launched a beautiful phone with a fantastic user interface that has had a number of technological shortcomings that many iPhone users have accepted and defended, despite those shortcomings resulting in limitations in iPhone users’ daily lives."

Note: Here's a direct link to the piece.

The piece then goes on to look at arguments put forth by iPhone fanatics:

The first iPhone was not a 3G phone: What do you need 3G for? You can easily use the iPhone without using a 3G network and anyway, 3G is not particularly widespread, so this is not a problem.

The phone cannot send MMS: There is no need to send MMSs, hardly anybody sends MMSs.

The iPhone cannot multitask, resulting in a great number of applications being unusable: The absence of multitasking is a deliberate design decision resulting in a faster UI.

You can only purchase the iPhone from operators chosen by Apple: Apple has spent a great deal of time and energy selecting the best operators for customers.

You can not install your own browser: The browser Apple has designed is so superior that you do not need any other browser on your phone.

While I have little doubt that there are iPhone users suffering from a tech equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome (which Strand Consulting suggests we should call "iPhone Syndrome"), it's far from being isolated to the iPhone. People feel the need to justify and defend their choice of tech. I love the tortuous logic that some people employ in order to feel they made the right choice.

Note: This isn't the first time Strand Consulting have written about the iPhone. Here's another piece that'll give you an insight into the way their minds work: iPhone the mobile equivalent to Paris Hilton.

What do you think? Is there a tech equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome? Is it something that iPhone users suffer from?

Topics: Smartphones, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Yesterday

    I was taking with one of the owners of the company I work for. Her Apple laptop had crashed, and wouldn't even start.
    Her question? "What did I do to cause this?"

    Ever hear a Windows or Linux user ask that?
    No other company comes close.
    • I have heard Windows Users say that.

      "Ok what did I do". Often times some mistakes happen from User error, others happen when there is a Driver or hardware related problem, and not limited to Apple products. Just a round of ABAer's.

      Microsoft could be used as an example for Stockholm syndrome as well. Something tells me with greater than 85% market share that users are all going to MS are not doing so simply by choice.
      • I don't think you understand...

        what Stockholm Syndrome is. It's not that Windows users have huge market share. The issue is that Windows users usually are delirious about the justification of their use of Windows.

        I think the iPhone is a great phone. With that said it has huge problems that keep me from using it. Interestingly, had MS released a phone with the same flaws as the iPhone that phone would be raked across the coals. But as an Apple product, it is loved by a small, yet vocal minority.
        • Problems or lack of features?

          I don't have any problems with my iPhone nor to be honest do I find
          myself missing any features and some of the features that others have
          demanded or complained about in the past that have been added to
          he iPhone I have yet to use or need like MMS and or copy n paste. I'm
          just glad to have them so people will stop posting about how horrible
          it is that they don't exist. Though I suspect these people don't even
          own an iPhone..snicker:P They just want to complain about

          You see for me it would be simple if the iPhone lacked a feature or
          features that I truly needed I would never have purchased it in the
          first place so when this article complains that we iPhone users don't
          complain about lacking features it is obvious we are smart consumers
          who know what we need and match a product that has what we need
          and want to our requirements and purchase accordingly. There is not
          mystery here and the article seems silly to me. You mean you
          purchased what you needed and are happy with it? How could that
          be!?! DUH!

          Based on my long history in tech support "IF" MS tried to come out
          with an iPhone it would have way too many features and a poor UI
          making the clunky packaging of "features" even worse and difficult to
          use. So it's hard to compare the two in that respect. MS is well MS
          and Apple is Apple.

          Pagan jim
          James Quinn
          • if you dont need copy n paste

            you aint using your iphone.. I think you are displaying symptoms of Stockholm.....
          • Lame.. now you think you can tell me how I should

            use my device. First there seems to be an assumption that you know
            what I need and now you assume to know how I should use it. And they
            call Apple users arrogant:P

            Pagan jim
            James Quinn
          • To be fair

            I think your original comment does show some signs of it, especialy the smart consumer bit.
            Bearing in mind apple dont advertise the limitations, they infact imply its the most advanced smartphone when it simply is not.

            The simple matter is that the iphone is slick but basic and if you extensivly use your phone then the iphone will not suit you, especialy as a laptop replacement.
          • @JDbukis

            Were there limitations in the first release of iPhone, yes. And the Second? yes. Anyone who knows anything about being a project manager would realize that during product development you choose what the capability of the device is going to be, so that you can go to market, make a profit, so then you can go back and insert those features in later. If you focus on every possible feature, especially trying to take it to market for the first time, the project could ultimately fail.

            Take Bluetooth on the iPod Touch for instance. ABAers said, "see they purposely crippled the device." Where I more or less saw it as being a project management decision where they new they wanted to add this capability, but due to project constraints, for went the addition of the bluetooth software module, and added it back in later.

            Some may view this as being appologistic to Apple, but it is not. There are several features that I would like to see added to iPod Touch, among them would be the ability to take photo's and shoot video.

            I would like to see native Exchange task management implemented without the separate purchase of a third party app for both iPod and iPhone.

            And for the WiMO users who would balk at the iPhone here is something I am glad that the iPhone is an iDon't. When I purchase an iPhone and connect it to my employer hosted Exchange E-mail, iDon't (pun intended) have to accept that my employer can enforce policies on my device. Meaning I still have control of my personal device.
          • Exhibit one for your perusal...

            James Quinn
          • Flamebait from Strand Reports

            To get more business and $$$.
            Reminds me of certain bloggers who want more hits.

            Usability beats features any day, e.g. the vast majority of web surfing with smartphones is with iPhones.
            Must be embarrassing for the competition who seem to be unable to construct something actually useful, easy and a pleasure to use.

            Android is showing great promise though. :-)
      • Why not?

        [i]Something tells me with greater than 85% market share that users are all going to MS are not doing so simply by choice.[/i]

        There are options...Mac being one of them.
      • I think you missed the point of the post

        With many Windows or Linux users, if an issue happens, many assume it's a Windows or Linux issue

        With Apple, the assumption was that she caused the error, as she never considered OS X was capable of crashing it's own.
        John Zern
    • that is so true

      One of my good friends bought three Mac's and one had to be returned not once, but four times to have its Superdrive replaced...and her MacAir died after she upgraded to Snow Leopard...and still she LOVES Apples! Truly bizarre! As for myself, I haven't gotten that far yet and hope I never will. I own several iPods and an iPhone and that is it. Unlike my friend, however, I have no desire to defend my iPhone what so ever. It is an incredibly fun and useful gadget BUT it is definitely flawed as explained by the article.
    • All the time???

      From tech calls to everything else, the user question themselves first
      more often than not.

      The amazing thing is the tech industry making people believe people
      that use Apple equipment are somehow different or never blame the
    • So what was the problem?

      I'm curious... Oh and I've been in the PC/Macintosh support business for
      over 20 years and I often hear users of both systems words to that effect.

      Funny thing is a lot of people even today don't consider themselves very
      competent when it comes to computer use one reason is that they have
      only a passing interest in the computer and wish it to be an appliance
      not a project to study but a tool to be used and not thought about
      beyond what it can do for them.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • The problem is....

        Passing users claiming to have 20 years of experience and talking a load of ?????
        • You are not very good at this are you?

          Pagan jim
          James Quinn
          • NOPE.... talking rubbish just isn't my thing

    • Yes, I hear that pretty much every day.

      And from Windows and Mac users. Have you really
      never heard that before?
    • Let's hear the rest of the story

      WAS it something she did or not? If it's a rare occurrence, which it sounds
      like this was, isn't it natural to wonder if maybe you did something to
      cause it? I think that reflects Apple's reputation for reliable, quality
      products (which OCCASIONALLY break).