If you’ve ever gotten the impression that fans lining up for iPhones may be more excited by the devices than their religious tradition, you may be right. According to one anthropologist who spoke to TechNewsDaily, the fervor surrounding Apple product launches, such as the one on October 23, is similar to that of a religion.
Kirsten Bell, an anthropologist at the University of British Columbia in Canada who has studied messianic movements in South Korea, analyzed a series of launch event videos and concluded that the atmosphere resembled a “religious revival meeting.”
She pointed out the proliferation of “sacred symbols,” including the Apple logo, the fact that the events are relayed via “Scribes” or journalists rather than broadcast publicly and the way that a corporate leader “addresses the audience to reawaken and renew their faith in the core message and tenets of the brand/religion.” Additionally, Apple is selling a lifestyle, not just a product, she said, and the brand, like many religions, places an emphasis on the story of its founder.
While Bell admitted that the comparison was superficial, since Apple’s goal is ultimately to make money, several commentators jumped on the comparison. CNET’s Chris Matyszczyk joked that the news was “painfully unsurprising,” for instance.
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