Android, Apple, BlackBerry: Are they cults yet?

We consider a cult's markings and then look for similarities in the behavior of some tech companies and their fans

By Sarah Jacobsson Purewal, PC World |  Personal Tech, Android, Apple

Cults appeal to people not by beating them over the head with inane religious rants, but by focusing on--and exploiting--people's insecurities and feelings of being different. According to Atkins, cults don't only emphasize difference--they celebrate and promote it. They say to people, "You're different, we're different too."

That said, cults do not promote diversity. You may be different, but you're the same kind of different as is everyone else in the cult--and that kind of "different sameness" is encouraged and enculturated in the cult. This "shared experience" allows people to feel a sense of unity and community with other "different" members of society. And those other people over in that other tribe, well, they're just wrong.

Android doesn't encourage its user base to be homogeneous. It promotes diversity--not "sameness," as cults do. After all, its users are able to choose a variety of handsets that run the Android operating system on a variety of mobile providers. In fact, you can find a number of different versions of the OS itself out in the wild. The Android experience can only loosely be considered a "shared" one. Third-party developers can tweak just about every aspect of the Android interface, and individual users are able to customize their phones.

Android: +0

Apple's slogan is "Think Different." If that's not enough for you, let's not forget Apple's famous 1984 ad inspired by George Orwell's 1984, and Steve Jobs' corresponding introduction:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSiQA6KKyJo

And yes, Apple is "different," not "diverse." That's why the AT&T iPhone 4 is exactly the same (in terms of UI) as the Verizon iPhone 4.

Apple: +1


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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