The Apple Cult Is Dead

by Gregory Ng Jan 02, 2004

Apple lovers: we are not a cult anymore. Some say we are enthusiasts. Some say we are obsessed. There is certainly no doubt that we are loyal. But I hereby declare, we are not the minority anymore. Sure, we are still the minority in the purely factual sense of the word—Apple is indeed still trailing by double-digits in market share to their nearest competitor. But with the overwhelming success of the iPod, the ever present product plugs in the media, and the bombardment of advertising, we are no longer the small group of Apple lovers that we once were—attached with the stigma of being uncompromising, bull-headed, even stubborn! Gasp! The days of someone gawking at you on the train for pulling out your PowerBook are over. The days of feeling picked on by your PC using family at Christmas dinner are done. The days of your idea of a totally Apple office being shot down are dwindling.

I have seen a change in public perception towards Apple computers and other Apple products. As recently as last year, when getting into conversations about computers, people would say that Apple was inferior because it lacked significant software, it was difficult to network, it was just too darn expensive. And of course being a stubborn (admittedly somewhat irrational) Apple lover, I would come up with everything I could to counter these attacks. Guns a blazin” I would offer point after point until my opponent stopped fighting. What I failed to realize is that they didn’t care. They did not possess such fierce dedication to their computers. When I asked my father why he bought a Gateway, he replied, “It was the best buy for what I wanted.” That sounds fair enough right? But could you imagine, choosing anything else than an Apple product. I can’t. The biggest decision I made when buying my PowerBook was whether I wanted the 15” or 17”. I did not scour the sunday circulars for the best deals. I did not read up on reviews to compare models. I had and continue to have blind faith.

This year I have experienced a different phenomenon. People are not discounting Apple anymore for being different. They are simply accepting they don’t understand it. When showing my mother-in-law my new PowerBook, she was excited about it. She was not excited just to be nice to me. She was excited because an Apple Store had recently opened up and she was not recognizing the potential that a Mac could have for business and home use. She asked me to take her to the Apple Store and suggest what would be a good fit for her. Of course, I took her up on the offer and after 10 minutes I convinced her that a 17” iMac was perfect for their home. A cool thing was she knew exactly what an iPod was too. But the cooler thing was that she did not rule out Apple as the solution.

Apple is making huge strides in building their brand. It seems that good advertising and more importantly, flooding the marketplace with that advertising is working. And Apple has not compromised their vision and has not abandoned their K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid) mentality. Apple is in the mainstream more than ever before. Let’s reserve that “cult” word for the Linux users.


  • No Cult of Apple anymore? I’m not so sure. Every point you made was true, even my plant manager asked me about Macs the other day. People are beginning to see the Mac as a valid choice.

    But, come Monday and the keynote, me and a couple of Apple Culters will be squirriled in my office, getting the “up-to-the-second” news from Steve.

    We’re still rabid fans. We still groove on that Reality Distortion Field. We’re still evangelical about the whole thing.

    It’s still fun, too!

    Macca had this to say on Jan 02, 2004 Posts: 5
  • I agree Macca about the “Cult” still remaining.  I am a switcher who now understands.  I used to be so concerned about having Windows and now I can’t get enough Mac.  It’s not just a computer to me, it is a religion.  Mac World is a high Holiday and Steve Jobs is God.  Maybe I’m a little over dramatic, but lets face the facts, Windows users don’t care and have the support that Mac users have and that is what the “Cult” is all about.  All praise mighty Steve for ever and ever.  Amen.

    Tuju Crue had this to say on Jan 02, 2004 Posts: 15
  • I agree, Mr. Stern, on your statement that there are others who just like to use Apple products because they work.  However, I think that the issue is should also be whether an Apple person is a user through and through.  If you use a Mac but are not a follower of the company (i.e. because they work), are you a member of the cult?  Maybe!  Just because you don’t go to Church or Shull does not mean your not Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, what have you, no disrespect to any one.  Just because you own a Mac does not mean you have to follow.  But if you own a Mac, you are a member of this religion.  Think about it!

    Tuju Crue had this to say on Jan 03, 2004 Posts: 15
  • Go to a Mac User group Meeting. Talk to a Mac consultant, whose life revolves around the Mac. You’ll find the cult is alive. Windows bashing and evangelizing the Mac advantage to anyone and getting insulted by Windows advocates who don’t know the Mac. Switchers like Tuju have seen the light from Steve Jobs enthusiasm rub off. He’s joined a friendly group of people who ENJOY using their computer of choice, rather than Windows users forced to use the box plopped in front of them. I would rather hang with the creative types using Macs, rather than the boring paper pushers in the grey world of unfriendly Wintel. How much is 60,000 viruses worth? Yes Macs cost more but they are so worth it. No other product has such loyal users. 20 years and no regrets.

    BradMacPro had this to say on Jan 03, 2004 Posts: 4
  • I think that you’re mostly right.  Although the group of Apple users is growing that does not mean that people who switch do not become as adamently committed about their Apple’s as are the people who “converted” them.  I do not know anyone who has bought an Apple and not loved it and become passionate about it.

    cpbjr had this to say on Jan 05, 2004 Posts: 2
  • A few things…
    1) Should Macs become a larger portion of the computer usage world (huh?), doesn’t it stand to reason that we’d start getting viruses too?

    2) Wintel die-hards will still always trash-talk us on the inability to upgrade Macs or custom-build them (not that we need to!).

    3) Wintel users in general, even if they somehow manage to respect a Mac, will still fall back on, “I don’t understand it,” or “The Mac makes no sense to me. It looks different.” That second one is my favorite because navigating the contents of your computer and setting said machine up are so simple, from the Classic OS to the latest incarnation of OS X.

    I saw these fake switch ads that, admittedly, were funny… But some were out of date. This guy was complaining about moving things from removable media to the desktop and not having it make a copy. What was he using? OS 7?!

    Waa had this to say on Jan 05, 2004 Posts: 110
  • I agree with cpbjr that people who switch to Macs always become fans, if not fanatics. If you tell a Mac fan there are rumor websites out there - their face expression shows piqued interest, and not a raised eyebrow that says “man, you need help.”

    Linux users don’t love their OS. They simply love the idea of it.

    mac users that switch to PC do so because they never became fans of the Mac. They were more like fair-weather fans… while the dedicated ones stuck it out through the dark years of the 90’s. Much like Red Sox fans - gluttons for punishment I guess.

    With that in mind, I feel trepidation on the eve of Macworld SF this year - because I want Apple to smash it out of the park and announce a low-end iPod that will become the second-coming of the Walkman. I want Apple to become vernacular.

    But in my heart, I do not know if they have it in them. And if it does happens in the end… will Apple feel so special if they stop being an idol for a cult of fans?

    Nathan had this to say on Jan 05, 2004 Posts: 219
  • The “Mac” myths are certainly dying when a dedicated PC friend of mine gets an iPod in his Xmas stocking and moans about his PC not having a firewire card installed, instead of blaming Apple for not supplying one with the iPod.

    Times have changed.

    Mr Underhill had this to say on Jan 05, 2004 Posts: 4
  • Why the hell should Apple supply a FireWire card?!? If PCs can’t get with the times and come equipped with FireWire ports, then it’s THEIR problem, not Apple’s.

    People are dumb.

    Waa had this to say on Jan 06, 2004 Posts: 110
  • Waa, you should read Mr Underhill’s response again. I think what he is saying is that his PC friend was upset at his PC not Apple.

    Gregory Ng had this to say on Jan 06, 2004 Posts: 54
  • Heehee. Oops. Sorry.

    Waa had this to say on Jan 07, 2004 Posts: 110
  • Page 1 of 1 pages
You need log in, or register, in order to comment