It's something that has been talked about for years, and now the author of a new book is trying to explain it: the idea that to many people, Apple is a religion.
In an interview with the creators of the film MacHeads, which itself examines the Apple branding and community phenomena, Buyology author Martin Lindstrom (see video below) talked about just how powerful that brand is.
"Apple is (as we've proven using neuroscience)...a religion," Lindstrom said in the interview. "Not only that--it is a religion based on its communities. Without its core communities, Apple would die--it is already facing strong pressure as the brand simply is becoming too broad (losing) its magic. What's holding it all together is the hundreds if not thousands of communities across the world spreading the passion and creating the myths."
To anyone who has followed Apple over the years, this is not too surprising. But it is interesting that an author like Lindstrom would be willing to codify this in some way.
It would likely be hard for some people, I would think, to be willing to articulate the link between religion and the Apple culture, but as the author points out, there are many similarities, especially when it comes to passion, commitment, and loyalty.
To be sure, there are other brands that have similar followings--but in consumer electronics those names are few and far between. And it often seems as though the Apple fans treat anything that comes out of CEO Steve Jobs' mouth as the true gospel.
I do wonder, of course, as have many others, whether this is a religion that can survive if its leader goes away. In other words, if and when Jobs is no longer at Apple's helm, can anyone step up and be the new prophet? Only time will tell.