Apple lovers vs. Apple haters is a common theme on the tech forums. Some think that there is a consumer psychology dynamic at play, that turns us into Brand Evangelists or Brand Talibans. Two American academics, admittedly new media academics, Heidi Campbell and Antonio La Pastina, take a different tack in comparing Apple to …
That site is funny, no matter what PC people might say -- I'm very liberal, practically an anarcho-socialist, but I don't like PCness for its own sake. And I'm white (at least until people hear my accent). And I don't care what color/species/gender/nationality/OS preference (see, going back to the topic there) the guys who write that comedy site are, I still think it's (usually) funny.
Anyway, the site is not *exactly* about white people in general. It's about *American* while people; just see the entry on World Cup to see what I mean...
Being offensive is not cool, but being overly sensitive is so irritating...
in my office
I know a mac evangellist who's also a harcore christian. The way he speaks about both is pretty much the same. Mind you, I know linux evangellists who are the same.
As far as I'm concerned, I steer clear of macs partly because of the cult like following and partly because from my perspective, they're shite these days.
"Do try to avoid name calling"
Good luck with that
There might be something in this IF Apple or their products were perfect. But they're not. They make mistakes, and their products have flaws. However on balance their products are sufficiently less problematic and more inspired than their competitors that people like me choose to use them rather than those of their competitors.
But if there were better alternatives I would switch to them in an instant. What is frustrating to people who defend Apple is that there are a small coterie of people who oppose them seemingly out of prejudice or misplaced principle rather than on a basis of fact, and the illogicality and lack of objectivity of that approach exasperates people and leads them to defend the truth.
But once again I would reiterate that Apple are NOT flawless, divine or virtuous - just somewhat less flawed (for a very successful corporate entity) than many of the alternatives.
PHONE != MAC OSX
The iPods, iPhones and iTampons run by the evil iTunes are a totally different section of the apple religion to MAC OSX.
Think CoE vs Rome or 'Freedom' vs 'Do what your told' or Cool (osx) vs not cool (iTampon)
Thankfully there has been no trouble between the two camps yet. We dont want a Northern Ireland of the Computing World.
Actually its a lot easier than that - its normal computing VS money making.
As a long time Mac user with an Android phone, I tend to agree.
It is, however, interesting to note that the evangelism of the Mac community fifteen years ago (yes, I'm a LONG TIME Mac user) was based upon entirely different circumstances to the current iPhone zealots. System 7.1 was, from a purely objective angle, much more stable and far easier to use than Windows 95, let alone 3.1, and those of us who had 'seen the light' wanted to 'spread the word'. In non-religious terminology, the old Mac fanbois wanted to show their friends that there was a superior alternative to the ubiquitous Microsoft-based PC. In return, Apple acknowledged that customer support was the company's biggest asset.
The modern iPhone fans are in an entirely different situation. The iPhone is pretty universally regarded as the best general use smartphone on the market, and has a massive market share. The way that Apple controls the platform, however, is very worrying, and runs against the "our customers are our biggest asset" attitude of old Apple. While some aspects of the model are defensible – the monopolistic App Store which enables quality control; Apple's refusal to allow apps to use geolocation purely for advertising purposes – others are clearly not – the rejection of apps because they 'replicate functionality'; the refusal to allow apps to use geolocation for adverts UNLESS Apple's own iAd advertising services are being used.
The curious difference between the former and latter religions is that the old Mac lot wanted to show the world that there was something better, while the new iPhone lot want to deny that there is anything wrong with the product at all. There is no holy war yet, but if Apple tries to apply the iPhone business model onto the Mac platform, the old Mac evangelists will break from the church and seek refuge in... the synagogue of Ubuntu, perhaps.
Upgrade your spell checker
It keeps replacing the "n" in "Cult of Mac".
Its just the internet
I think the internet whips everyone up into a frenzy due to the relative facelessness of it.
Some of the things said on here (and this is a polite and jovial place) would never be said face to face, but because its the internet you can have a full blown argument about something and you never have to look the other person in the eye. This just encourages tribalism (as someone above me said, no not God, in the forum!).
Plus I also think people with poor social skills use the internet as a way of forcing their opinions on others, you can sign up shout something you believe in and then disappear. By this I don't mean everyone on the internet but the trolls of discussion boards and flamers and all that. Gamers forums are notorious, WoW seems to be riddled with people like that.
Also because of the relative time between posts people seem to get hung up on the smallest differences in products, magnifying to silly proportions.
Mac user values exist?
sure they exist ...
... the ones I find tend to be of the sort that make me want to ... scream ...
like just because its a mac means you've got professional results guaranteed in the box regardless of the complete noob status of the user
like just because the o/s its "easy to use" means the operator is somehow superior - regardless of the complete lack of experience and understanding of the discipline at-hand
like just becase there's garage-band the user is some audio-guru or somthing ... purlease
now I realise the potential for flames in reply to this, so let me justify this. Of course the above are dumb-assed points of view, and yes I also hear these from win & linux users ...
... but nowhere near as often as I do from the Jobsian brigade ...
... infact, I'd expect a knock on the door on a saturday morning - f*ck me its a fanboi with a iPad brochure : asking if I'd like to reconsider my views on the world and how much better life would be if I'd become part of the church of St Jobs. Just as with the real religious nutters, although its satisfying to destroy their arguments in seconds with even the flimsiest of logic ; they rarely have the power of reasoning to keep-up with the argument ... and inevitably choose flawed logic (and now flawed products) swallowed direct from the Cup(ertino) over any notion that they may, just possibly; be wrong ... or god forbid, spent a little too much money on their erm lifestyle computing choices ...
... so shoot me for being a cross-platform anti-zealot ...
You might like to consider that 99.9% of Mac users were Windows users first, which is why they now prefer Macs.
As for the rest of your juvenile and uninformed rant, your OS is a poorly disguised homage to OS X. This should tell you everything you need to know about your particular "lifestyle computing choice".
Why the iPhone truly became devine
It was easy to use, had a responsive interface, and a wide array of cheap or even free apps. It quite simple blew it's competitors away. It's only in the last year or so that other manufacturers have caught up, with many taking their lead from the iPhone design.
I'm not saying it wasn't, or still isn't, without its faults. Even ignoring the aerial issues there are missing features and annoying restrictions. But it's still a joy to use.
Almost ... almost
Quoth: "It was easy to use, had a responsive interface, and a wide array of cheap or even free apps. It quite simple blew it's competitors away."
Yes - and no. This doesn't really answer the question, since far from everyone found the UI responsive OR even useable, not everyone found it easy, and quite a few people found that the apps available didn't cover their needs.
No device fits everyone - but THIS device, for some reason, has been hyped up to do so - and people, including those who ought to know better, was and is falling for it ... so yes. Somehow the iPhone became a fetish.
I still wonder why ...
hating Microsoft and loving Apple...
is like despising Stalin but having a soft spot for Chairman Mao.
could be on a t-shirt
Although I think Mao may sell more t-shirts but, for me, the Stalin tees seem to have that certain joie de verve, in that heavy domineering evil sort of way. Most of the Mao shirts have him with that grandfather-esque look what with that hair or the hat. That said, Che sweeps the floor with both of them on this side of the pond.
Mine's the one with Jimmy Carter on the back.
Not name calling per se..
But that was about the longest, driest, most pretentious way of saying 'Hey, some people are fanboys' that I have possibly ever read. what a waste of electrons.
so i am rather...
...patrial to the sportswear brand Adidas. but i am also swayed by good bargains, of which Adidas items generally aren't, thus i buy a lot of other brands. does this make me a brand-slut? or some kind of religious floozy?
No, not at all
it makes you a chav
Why does religion have to come into it? Certain products just have that little 'extra' that makes you want them. I guess it's a combination of outstanding design coupled with excellent performance. Perhaps the makers of these products have put a bit more love and care into them. Or maybe it's just clever branding. If it is, then it certainly works on me. Some of my fav's: Car = Ferrari, Motor bike = Ducati, Camera = Leica, Binoculars = Carl Zeiss, Cigar = Cohiba, Flashlight = Zweibrüder, Watch = Lange und Söhne, Wallet = Louis Vuitton, Pen = Caran d'Ache, Pocket Knife = Victorinox, Tent = de Waard, Computer = Mac.
...you do realise you've just listed a bunch of things that are, shall we say, a tad overpriced and overhyped? That don't do their job any better (and sometimes do it rather worse) than any number of alternatives that are built to equally high standards (if not higher), but cost significantly less? In fact, things that are, in some cases, a bit crap considering the overinflated price?
All of which means you're pretty much making yourself look like the textbook definition of the clueless brand junkie that some (many?) Apple haters use as justification for their own religious hatred of all things Jobsian.
Please tell us all that you were being ironic...
Aww be fair - Victorinox mostly aren't overpriced or overhyped. And they seem to be built well.
I just don't get this zealotry
I got my first Mac about 4 years ago and it seemed pretty nice at the time, but the more I use the thing the slower it seems to run. This is one of the things I hated about Windows and was hoping to avoid. Nowadays I seem to get spinning discs or jumping icons.
Perhaps I expect too much out of my hardware. I'm usually running with dozens of tabs open in Chrome and my wife leaves scores of tabs open in Safari. Several pages documents. Transmission. PS3 media server. Numbers. iTunes. etc. Have pretty much given up on Firefox as it seems to regularly hang, and anyway gobbled up huge amounts of memory. I've got 4 Gbytes in the thing so you'd expect it to be able to go a few weeks without a reboot.
Back in the day, on the Amiga, the philosophy was that you should never have to wait for the computer..... I'm still waiting.
I don't quite follow.
Are you disappointed that your four year old machine is struggling to keep up with the latest software?
Or are you surprised that when you run more stuff your machine gets slower?
You do understand that those problems happen on every machine and OS, don't you? I mean, Macs are nice but they're not magic; they don't have infinite resources.
Hmmm, fours years ago your alternative configuration would have probably been a 32-bit XP machine, which would only have been able to see 2.75Gb of the 4Gb you have in your machine, which wouldn't help. Either way, you are asking a fair amount of this machine and I'm not sure you would have had any better results with anything else.
I know that Chrome has a separate process for each tab, so tends to be more resource hungry. Transmission is pretty resource hungry by default unless tuned (particularly if you share a lot of stuff) and the PS3 media server re-codes on the fly, which can also be resource hungry.
Essentially, there are a number of things that could be causing your slow machine and would cause the same problem with any OS.
If you haven't already tried it, stop using one program at a time for a day or so to see if things improve. You might find that it's only one thing causing the problem.
It's a sad reflection on the state of society...
that people have to "identify" with a group of other people who have bought the same tool as them. What's next? Can I join the 5/16" Whitworth Spanner Users club? If so, do they tolerate the presence of people who use <SHOCK> metric spanners?
Phone - tool
PC - tool
Games console - tool
People who bang on about how much better theirs is than any others - tool.
BSW (British Standard Whitworth) Spanner Users club
I'm a member of the 1/4 Whitworth club.
Believe it or not heavy duty battery clamps truck/car can come with 1/4 BSW bolts
You can tell because 1/2 inch does not fit well nor does 13mm.
coz 1/4 whit is 13.335mm or 0.525 inches.
Not sure why I assume the old 1950/60's machines are still running and turning out bolts for the clamp makers in India
Style over substance
The Apple difference is that it values style over substance. Compare any Apple product (computer, phone, music player, etc) against a non-Apple device of comparable performance. The Apple version will usually be between 25% and 75% more expensive.
Apple have always, since the first Macintosh computers, been visually-oriented - they invented the Graphical User Interface which was then copied by Microsoft to become Windows which has destroyed the productivity of computer professionals the world over. And just look at the "Get a Mac" series of ads - they portray the creation of a photo book as the world's highest achievement, while the running of a spreadsheet (which may even do useful work for a business near you) is treated as an activity for desperate losers.
If there's any common trait among users of Apple products, it's an eye for style and a weakness for group-think. Apple is on par with the makers of luxury cars, designer clothes and contemporary art.
No. No! NO!
"they invented the Graphical User Interface "
For the love of God! This is why I find Mac evangelists irritating, because they espouse lies like this one.
Apple did not invent the Graphical User Interface.
Now write that out 100 times!
The real shame is that I like quite a few Apple products but I could never bring myself to buy one because I can't bear to be associated with the lies. I guess that means that I have some sort of problem :)
re. Style over substance = faith over fact!
"they invented the Graphical User Interface"
No they didn't!!!!!!!
If anyone did, it was probably Xerox.
This is the myth of Apple, and just like a religion, the thinking that arises isn't even based on anything Apple have ever claimed. In the future, we're likely to have people thinking Apple invented the mobile phone and the MP3 player.
Brimming over with wrongability
@Alex Rose: "For the love of God! This is why I find Mac evangelists irritating, because they espouse lies like this one."
Except that was said by someone using the Tux icon, and an obvious Mac hater. Care to take that back?
"they invented the Graphical User Interface"
I don't care -- I also don't care about who invented the mouse, the wheel or the pizza. I just use them.
Care to take it back?
Not until you actually have the guts to post under your real name.
Most non-geek people I know absolutely do believe that Apple invented the MP3 player (except they are all called iPods regardless of manufacturer, didn't you know?). They get really confused when I say I had an MP3 player made by a company called iRiver years before Apple came out with the iPod, because Apple own the rights to putting little 'i's in front of other words.
Xerox Alto was first; then the Xerox Star workstation
Some of the geeks aren't any better
"Most non-geek people I know absolutely do believe that Apple invented the MP3 player (except they are all called iPods regardless of manufacturer, didn't you know?)"
You can sort of understand that thinking since it was probably the player that launched the mainstream take-up.
But geeks can be guilty of that too, I've see people in these very forums claiming that Apple stole the idea of virtual desktops from Linux and that MS stole the idea of the GUI OS from Apple.
In a similar vein, whisky not Scottish, ice cream not Italian and motor car not invented by Ford.
I'm not sure it matters that much in the real world, though.
I'm Technology Agnostic thanks...
Windows monkey for day to day - Windows 7, .NET development etc ...
Linux for crappy old laptops for Grandma so she can email and Facebook without me having to de-virus every 2 weeks...
And I got an iPhone 'cos Android phones just weren't anywhere near the iPhone at the time... 18 months left on contract and it'll depend on who's the best at upgrade time... But I use Cydia out of principle...
Zero brand loyalty from me! :)
"But I use Cydia out of principle..."
But there's no religious element to it....
Talk about implicit religion
Isn't Windows the most implicit of all religions then? Why is it norm to believe that a computer has to have a C: drive and a "registry" and a Start menu? Why do you need to be a religious fanatic if you believe that computers existed before Microsoft and will exist after it and that most of what we know about them was invented before the famous law-school drop-out got interested in them (even if he didn't bother to study the background)? And make your choices using your knowledge, not based on either the choice of "everyone else" or a cult?
Ah, the "you're just the same" argument...
...often used by religious types when describing atheism as just another type of religion. Windows users rarely evangelise, usually because a. they don't think Windows is anything special, b. because they probably use Windows because its a default at work, and c. most importantly; they just don't care. I doubt more than a handful of Windows users hang on Steve Ballmer's every word (except for the comedy value) and I REALLY doubt the CEO of Microsoft could get away with selling a sub-par product by blaming its users for the way they use said product. This is what identifies Apple as a cult; the blind acceptance of the teachings of a charismatic leader when he lies straight to your face.
An Act of God?
Where I live we don't often get lightning, but when we do it usually hits power or telephone cables.
This would frazzle about 20 peoples modems. PC users could buy a £20 card and replace it in 30 minutes but the iMacs had to be sent 300 miles away to get fixed at great expense.
I always told prospective buyers that a generic PC was like a Ford Cortina, cheap parts available everywhere.
It's not just the purchase price but the running costs that decide my lifestyle choices.
Mac user values
Of course Mac users have values. They start at about £430 for an iPad and go up to the skies and heaven above, just like the iPhone and Saint Jobs!
"'I'm a Christian, If you say 'I'm a Christian,' people will expect you to have certain values"
That's a stupid point to start with given how much different types of Christians argue with each other. If you compare quakers to gun-nut evangelicals I don't think you could find many similarities in their values or outlook.
I think this sort of research...
... identifies those sort of people who are the hardcore evangelists of all things Apple. Just as there are the hardcore evangelists of all things Linux, Open Source, Climate Change, etc.
For those people (and im sure we've all come across them) this is actually a pretty good understanding and covers things pretty well. However, the majority of people in the world do not end up in one of these categories, at least not for various electronics. We just buy the products that we a) think will do the best job, and b) that we can afford.
I would categorise most people on a site like El Reg to be primarily in this second category, although check any thread on the site that is about Israel, Google, MS, Apple, climate change, etc and at least one or two rabid fanatics will appear. Its those people's responses which respond to the type identified by this research...
Rather than religion
I think it's closer to lifestyle choices - militant vegetarianism, political activism of any stripe, etc. - that become the individually defining characteristic to certain personality types.
Apple fanatics get it extra easy because it just requires dropping a little extra cash rather than committing to long-term sacrifices in comfort and convenience
And +1 to the "most of us don't care whose name is on the box as long as we can do what we want to do on it" comments.
The fragmented Churchs of Nokia, Moto and the like
The funny thing is, i remember all too well how people boasted about their N-this or N-that phones years before and after the iPhone launch. Apple's advantage is having a single product brand name instead of a miriad of names and letters+numbers codenames. It makes for a better monotheism.
I'm just an ordinary Apple user - Macbook pro, iMac, mac mini, wireless thingumies and 2 x iPhones in the house
but a religion? no.
They're tools. Like my AEG range cooker, or my Bosch fridge - I just like how they operate.
I like the idea of an iPad, for example, but I can't think of a need I have that it would fill, so I don't have one.
And if they stop operating the way I like, I'll get something else to replace them
Apparantly something needs to go in this box
"Apple as a religion"...
...Is primarily pushed by media such as the Register who hope to boost their hit count, attracting both enthusiasts and detractors by publishing inflammatory 'news' items.
I and my IT colleagues where I work use Windows, Unix, Linux at work because we have to. We use Windows, Unix, Linux or an Apple OS at home for various reasons, not least being financial. I haven't come across anyone using an OS for reasons of blind faith.
Friends who are enthusiasts of Ford or Dodge cars, for example, are not considered as cultists, even if we consider them mistaken. There is no reason to extend the religious analogy to OS enthusiasts of any preference unless the purpose is merely to imflame.
When I switched from Windows to a Mac about 4 years ago. It was such a revelation, a relief. I'd spent the last 20 odd years saying they where overpriced rubbish, no good at all because you couldn't play games on them. After all what else could you do with a computer apart from MS Office? A very blinkered view I'll admit. But it was a revelation, I no longer had to fight a system that was such a security risk, so unreliable, so prone to just give up and crash. It just worked. So I thought I'd tell other people of my experience, so perhaps they could benefit too. The responses I got where all too familiar, Fanboy, more money than sense, ridicule. I had become what I had spent years laughing at. I had crossed the divide. But Apple have now become a mobile entertainment company, and some of the criticisms that I could level at MS, I can now level at Apple.
All my friends who poo poo'ed Macs now have IPhones and MacBookPro's, I don't. I have an old Samsung phone from 2000. I like to buy reliable kit that will last, and in that respect Apple have not failed me. (ooOH tempting fate). You'll always have fashion victims in this life. My sister in law has an IPhone, but has never learnt to use it really, but now she thinks that she is "IN" so that when she gets her phone out from her designer bag, or her designer clothes, she can feel smug in her superiority (NOT). She now wants a BMW X5 4x4 monster. God save me from these people!!!!
The only similarity to a religion is that people who find something that is different and benefits them, like to spread the word. Its altruism. "I'd like you to benefit from my experience". I could never happily go back to Microsoft, they've lost their way, forgotten that the consumer pays the bills.
My 2 cents...........
What constitutes an Apple user?
What constitutes an Apple user? I've got an iPod and I love my iPhone 4, but I wouldn't own an iPad or an OSX desktop/laptop device if you gave it to me for free.
Jesus Phone - no, swearing please
many swear using the word "Jesus",
since the antenna debancle "Jesus" is now use even more often
no wonder they think it is religious , easy mistake to make!
You want a religious narrative too
Then why not quote from the beginning, when st.Eve Tempted man with an Apple.. (is that the book of Jobs?)