I think there was a time when people clung to their Apple products for the simple fact that they provided choice — an alternative to the PC lifestyle and feature set. Would I go so far as to point out that this article is right on there being potential for cult-like behavior? Yes, with select narrow minded souls who haven’t bothered to look around much lately. But most Apple fans are generally fairly grounded, in my experience.

The fact of the matter is that today’s Apple is NOT the same kind of company that it was during the Super Bowl showing of its 1984-based commercial. Today, Apple is interested in control because it seems it has discovered that when you lock in the users to an experience, be it a value-added one, the market share takes care of itself pretty easily.

Apple is a strong brand, based on a quality experience. Note that I did not say quality product. The fact is that the products vary greatly depending what you end up with. Apple TV is crap while the iPhone is pretty rock solid. But in both cases, Apple maintains a strong experience if you remember to use its Apple Care service.

But are Apple products better than the competition? Anyone claiming to have this answer is full of it. Simple as that. Apple “package sells” a unique experience that is all its own. Many people love it, some others, like myself, have mixed feelings, while others loathe it.

I have found Apple’s products to generally be pretty good. I may not like a specific UI layout or the way it does business in the 21st century, but overall, it honors its commitments made with its customers.

Do these things, bundled together, translate into the breeding ground for a Mac cult? Well, perhaps for a select group of old time users. But I believe that today most “newer” converts are just fans of the product experience and/or the knowledge that Apple Care provides to them. Apple controls the show. These fans know this and are totally fine with it. So long as the transparency remains, I don’t see Apple losing face any time soon.

[awsbullet:Return to the Little Kingdom]