BBC: Why fans are so 'devoted' to Apple

BBC: Why fans are so 'devoted' to Apple

Summary: A BBC documentary last night claimed that many Apple fans' brains react in the same way to the company and its products as they do with religious imagery.


It seems the once unsaid has finally been said, and seemingly proven at the same time. Apple is 'like a religion', and there appears to be at least a first draft of evidence to support the claim.

There is a reason why Apple fanboys and fangirls are so devoted to the organisation. Scientists found, as broadcast in a BBC documentary last night, that the Apple brand plays directly with the religious centers of the brain.

"The results suggested that Apple was actually stimulating the same parts of the brain as religious imagery does in people of faith", said Alex Riley and Adam Boone, producers of the BBC series.

One religious leader, the Bishop of Buckingham in the United Kingdom, even aligned the corporation with that of a religion.

Maybe now we will know why Apple fans appear to be difficult to be dissuaded from any criticism the company faces; even in light of great controversy.

As an atheist, at least I find answers for myself in this. It answers why I am neither for or against the company, its products or its services. I feel as connected to Apple as I do with God, or any other company: none.

But one should always respect others' beliefs and alliances; in tech and otherwise. It doesn't matter which operating system you use, the type of device you own or any allegiance you feel towards a particular brand or product.

While I may be critical of the company, its products and its tactics, perhaps it is masking a burgeoning desire to own the entire range of iProducts. Or not, as the case is most likely.

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Topic: Apple

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  • Sheep

    Are you insinuating that Apple fan-boys are just sheep following in the flock and believe everything they are told? I would have never guessed that *groans*.

    It's about time these idiots get a real dose of truth... (Apple != (safe|secure|better) && Apple ==(expensive|fluffed|"run by a bunch of computer Nazi's"))
    • RE: BBC: Why fans are so 'devoted' to Apple

      @beidsvold : that also applies to the microsoft fanbois. all religions are full of fundamentalists and those which see sense (although still worship their company gods).
      I wonder if they are going to be spirited away on the 21st like the christians? better hang around their places to pick up all the spare kit that will be available when they go to meet their invisible friend in the sky.
      • Microsoft users are normally not fanboys.

        I don't like apple & linux, but I took half time criticizing ms, just like today: why in the hell MS didn't support 64bits oledb providers for oracle & Access?
      • RE: BBC: Why fans are so 'devoted' to Apple

        @deaf_e_kate Except that statistically, there are far, far fewer MSFT fans, even though MSFT product users outnumber the Apple users 9 to 1.

        I'd argue in the Microsoft case, it's more a small group who WANT to be in a tech religion and not finding one (or not wanting to be in the most obvious one), went with the other side (kind of like Satanists, if we must beat the dead horse a bit further, who clearly must realise that Satan has no love or even interest in them and will gladly swindle them because you know - he's EVIL)... other than Microsoft actually successfully cultivating a cult.

        In some ways, the Linux fans are closer to religion than Microsoft ones.
      • RE: BBC: Why fans are so 'devoted' to Apple

        Well, think about this: When college students and 20-somethings talk about their childhoods, Apple products are often the mile-markers. It???s not just because many millennials are dedicated consumers. It???s partly because Apple grew up alongside them. I do think that is exactly why they are so devoted to Apple. - <a href="">Reiseangebote</a>
    • Microsoft users are normally not fanboys.

      @FADS_z: you must be joking - they may pretend not to be but they defend a badly designed OS to the death in these forums. You'll also need to go back through the history of MS OS's to see how people defend the indefensible
      • Excellent example

        You're an excellent example of an irrational fanboy. You claim Windows is a 'badly designed OS', but you probably haven't got the first clue about OS design.

        All of the main-stream OSes (Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Unix) use fairly similar designs, and nobody with a clue would describe any of them as 'badly designed'.
      • Excellent example

        "All of the main-stream OSes (Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Unix) use fairly similar designs"...

        yea right. maybe your to young to remember which OS had login screens you could exit to the desktop with the escape key, which OS executes files based on their extension causing the explosion of virus, spyware and malware, which OS applies plasters to the cracks in their OS instead of designing the problems out as OS's do.
        Mac OS, Linux and Unix use similar designs and they are safer, Windows is the odd one out and a lot less safe.
    • Must be true, BBC says so

      Funny reading back over a decade of ZDNet talkbacks. Seems the MS fanboys have found to have held the more delusional position.
      Richard Flude
      • How can the delusional

        @Richard Flude

        identify the delusional?
      • They might use what they've posted

        "The cut throat competition in an open market will cut cost and expand volumes. High volumes will attract developers. Apple's margins and volumes will slowly decline until apple is a low volume niche player. As a niche player, developers will leave and the platform will slowly die. Content distribution can ameliorate this to some degree, but Apple does not own content. Again price competition and volumes will mean that the dominant platform will probably win in the end. You can not sell a lot of content into a niche market."<br><a href=";1_85664_1623848" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">;1_85664_1623848</a><br><br>Economister talking about Apple, less than a year before they overtook the MS giant in revenue, then profit to become the third largest company by market capitalisation in the world.
        Richard Flude
  • Blasphemer!

    Actually, I have it on great authority that there is absolutely no religious link between Apple and its customers.

    That's one BBC opinion vs another .. no proof was given in either case. (BTW, I read the link .. pretty hokey science, if you ask me. Or at least the analysis of the scientific evidence is hokey. I'm sure viewing porn or any other visual stimulation that released brain endorphins would give the same brain scan result)

    Oh .. just a bit of editorializing on my part. Lose the graphic, Zack. A rule of thumb to use. If you're unwilling to use a graphic of "The Prophet" to support your opinions than don't use any other religious imagery. Otherwise, at best, your just naive .. at worst .. your simply gutless.
    • I don't doubt the report

      Apple isn't the first brand to have such loyalty, but alot of it has to do with the marketing. There are many parrallels between the way religion is "marketed", and the way Apple markets.

      It's funny that alot of us in the tech sector can break down any item from Apple or it's competitors and point out good and bad things about both, yet will be tod that "we just don't get it".

      Same thing is said when people break down religion, too. :(
      Will Pharaoh
    • RE: BBC: Why fans are so 'devoted' to Apple


      You suck.
      • Yes .. you are probably justified in stating that opinion


        In retrospect, if I were to redo my comment, I would change it's title. Although technically, the word I used accurately applied it's definition to the subject matter, to ignore it's inflammatory nature is a mistake that I wish I could correct. We all make errors in judgement and I'm no exception to that observation.

        Still, my use of the comment title word is the only regret I have. I'll stand by my other statements.
      • RE: BBC: Why fans are so 'devoted' to Apple

        @Rigel.628 Be nice. No need for that kind of remark.
  • RE: BBC: Why fans are so 'devoted' to Apple

    It's simple Zack, Apple's products do (largely) what they say they'll do. Now sure, there is a degree of "positive spin" in Apple's marketing (it is marketing after all) but the product do resemble what was portrayed quite well.

    This isn't true of most IT products. The PC OEMs don't care about user experience, they could, but they don't. So they ship machines with all kinds of sketchy software installed, they don't care enough about the industrial design. In short, they do a pretty poor job. Now you can go buy a premium product from them, and that will be FAR better, everything works better, but these machines are expensive. But you ask someone who's bought such a machine if they want something by someone else and you'll often find something like "religious devotion".

    So why does Apple inspire such customer loyalty? Because most of the PC OEMs have engaged in a "race to the bottom" and sacrificed "user experience" long ago.

    The remaining group are those who'd never buy a "built" system, they always want to build it themselves. Is this cheaper? (No) So why do they do it? Because most people can do a better job building a computer and installing the OS than the average OEM, and will spend proper money on components that are important to them. It's another symptom of the same issue Zack. The OEMs build grotty computers most of the time.
    • RE: BBC: Why fans are so 'devoted' to Apple

      @jeremychappell PC OEMs don't care about the customer experience? IF that were true their customer satisfaction ratings would not have been going up over the last couple of years.

      As for building a system costing less than a prebuilt OEM system, you're off the mark there unless you only consider low end equipment.
      • RE: BBC: Why fans are so 'devoted' to Apple

        @Cyrorm Going up from where? But also, people seem to expect less and less from the PC... I suppose some of the boutique PCs do cost more than building it yourself (but you don't get what you want that way).
  • Yes...but WHY?

    This begs the question...WHY do Apple fans respond that way? Is it just because of really clever marketing or is it because Apple continually delivers products that delight the customer? All the marketing in the world couldn't cause people to be blind fanboys if the products didn't deliver... if it could every company would be doing it. This kind of study and its analysis makes me think back to Bill Clinton's 1st presidential election campaign whose internal mantra was "It's the economy, stupid!!"... in this case..."It's the products, stupid!". Stop confusing the cause with the results.