The world of the 21st century is comprised of many religions; some ancient and some modern; some that are inclusive, some exclusive, and some that come with a price tag. Is Apple a religion?
Religion is a cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements.
One can make that argument, of course, thanks to Lord Steve Jobs and the Apple Store Shrines throughout the modern world. To many, Apple is the one company technology company that puts a positive spin on the customer experience.
Adherents, well wishers, critics, and certified members of Apple Inc journeyed to Cupertino, CA to witness yet another Apple Special Event. If you love Apple hardware and software you will be surprised at the lack of both. Apple is hardware. Apple is software. Apple is Services, too, and nothing made that change more obvious than the Event.
Members of the world’s four major religions and more than 10,000 others that populate the earth actually subscribe to a set of beliefs; all similar, yet all different. Apple’s future will remain hardware and software and Monday’s Event made that crystal clear, but the Holy Trinity is established.
There is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion
That means we have free reign over a definition, true religion or otherwise.
Apple is hardware, Apple is software, and Apple is Services. Yet, oddly enough, and much like many of the world’s religions which cannot agree upon specific tenants to worship whatever God is available, members often have the option to subscribe to various beliefs. Apple’s growing cadre of Services is subscription based in many ways.
Just like religion.
Apple has always had cult-like personalities to inspire the masses of customers. Apple has a divine logo. Apple has over a billion satisfied spiritual adherents. Apple has shrines where members who subscribe to the church that Jobs built can congregate.
We may be members of the mass of humanity, but we– Apple customers– subscribe to the notions of privacy and security, usability and experience, and though we come from many walks of life, we belong to a class of people which exercises free will all too frequently.
Religions have sacred histories and narratives, which may be preserved in sacred scriptures, and symbols and holy places, that aim mostly to give a meaning to life.
Is that not similar to Apple Inc?
OK, maybe Tim Cook’s Apple does not give meaning to life, but the company’s products help to make modern life easier. Do you have faith when you visit the Genius Bar in a nearby Apple Store? Do you have trust that Apple will provide you with a quality product that looks and feels and works in a superior manner vs. other
Religions may contain symbolic stories, which are sometimes said by followers to be true, that have the side purpose of explaining the origin of life, the universe, and other things. Traditionally, faith, in addition to reason, has been considered a source of religious beliefs.
What about that Holy Trinity again?
Hardware, Software, and now Services. All work in harmony to help Apple’s customers attain to salvation– saved from the confusing array of technological platforms that seek to divide and conquer. In an ever growing need to differentiate itself from other technology religions, Apple’s Services needs Software. Software needs Hardware. Hardware needs Services and Software.
Apple made that Holy Trinity obvious with Monday’s announcements of Apple Card, Apple News+, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade. The circle is complete. Hardware. Software. Services.