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

BlackBerry smartphones are, as we know, a staple of large enterprises. Large enterprises aren't exactly known for their "difference" or their "diversity." (At least, not in the sense we're talking about.) Because BlackBerrys dominate the enterprise world, their users are likely to be conforming to one standard already--that of the business for which they work. This makes conforming to the BlackBerry "cult" even easier--after all, they "have to do it" for their job. Sure, in this case BlackBerry is piggybacking on the enterprises' established devotion, but they're still giving users a shared experience and a sense of unity.

BlackBerry: +1

Cult Trait #4: Indoctrination

Cults are usually based on a doctrine, a belief system, or a "truth" that is to be internalized by their members. Usually these systems are explicit, but they don't have to be.

While Google, Apple, and RIM may not have concrete lists of truths that they expect their users to subscribe to, there's no denying that Android, Apple, and BlackBerry users see themselves as part of very specific culture, perhaps even a religion.

Android users may not subscribe to the same beliefs as do Apple users, but they can be just as fanatic about them. Android users generally believe they are tech-savvy, smart, and practical. After all, they didn't fall prey to Apple's smoke-and-mirrors marketing techniques. Android users often cite the openness of the Android platform, and its hackability, as reasons for their devotion, implying they subscribe to Google's well-known philosophy of openness.

Android: +1

Apple users believe they are creative, artistic, and aesthetically discerning. In The Cult of Mac , Leander Kahney says that Apple users believe they are "creative technophiles," "independent thinkers," and "free spirits." In a recent unscientific survey by the Hunch Website, self-proclaimed Mac users tended to be more liberal, urban, and educated than self-proclaimed PC users. They also tended to be vegetarian.

Apple: +1


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