Brain scans hint at why Apple fanbois are more loyal than Windows fans -- it's the power of religion

By Preston Gralla

Apple true believers are well-known to be far more fiercely loyal than Microsoft fans. And a BBC documentary may have an answer: Brain scans may show that their brains are stimulated by all things Apple in the same way that religious believers have their brains fired by religious imagery.

That's what the BBC documentary appears to say, anyway, in a very unscientific way. The documentary, titled "Secrets of the Superbrands," examines how so-called "superbrands" such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Adidas, and Heinz have gained their power, and what effect that has on consumers.

In an article written about the documentary, Alex Riley writes about the fanaticism of Apple devotees:

The scenes I witnessed at the opening of the new Apple store in London's Covent Garden were more like an evangelical prayer meeting than a chance to buy a phone or a laptop.

The article goes on to note that the exact same products available in the Apple Store were already being sold half a mile away. So why the fanaticism about being in the store? Here's what the article says:

I searched high and low for answers. The Bishop of Buckingham --- who reads his Bible on an iPad --- explained to me the similarities between Apple and a religion.

And when a team of neuroscientists with an MRI scanner took a look inside the brain of an Apple fanatic it seemed the bishop was on to something.

The results suggested that Apple was actually stimulating the same parts of the brain as religious imagery does in people of faith.

Obviously, this isn't real science. It wasn't a controlled experiment. No comparisons were made about whether Heinz beans or Adidas sneakers, for example, are stimulating the same parts of the brain as that stimulated by religious imagery. So this MRI scanning is as much stunt as it is truth.

 Still, there's no mistaking that Apple fans are far more fervent in their devotion to Apple products than are owners of Microsoft products. Is that the result of brilliant marketing, brilliant product design or both? You can be sure Microsoft is struggling to find that out.

FREE Computerworld Insider Guide: IT Certification Study Tips
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies