Apple fandom is ‘religious belief’

In a documentary screened by the BBC this week, neuroscientists suggest that Apple fans see the company’s products in much the same way as religious people perceive their sacred icons.

They put Alex Brooks, editor of World of Apple, into an MRI scanner, and showed him a range of Apple and non-Apple products.

While he didn’t start suggesting that other vendors be burned at the stake, the scientists did find big differences in his brain activity when looking at the two types of product.

And when comparing the results with religious people, they saw a strong similarity with the brain activity people who were looking at symbols of their faith.

“This suggests that the big tech brands have harnessed, or exploit, the brain areas that have evolved to process religion,” said one.

Even the Bishop of Buckingham could see the parallel. He pointed out how the Apple store in London’s Covent Garden even looks like a church, with stone floors, arches and little ‘altars’ displaying the products.

And footage of the store’s opening last year shows a frenzy by staff and customers that’s every bit a match for the most fervent evangelical meeting.

The fanbois, one presumes, are lucky enough to be living in a pre-lapsarian world. No evil Android snake has yet tempted them, and their beloved Messiah has not yet booted them out of their fabled ‘walled garden’.

Secrets of the Superbrands is available on iPlayer in the UK until June 9; or see some of the highlights here.