12/16/2009 1:15:00 PM
IPhone users have Stockholm Syndrome
Apple iPhone users could be suffering a form of Stockholm Syndrome, according to telecoms consultant Strand Consult.
A report by the company said iPhone users’ loyalty to the device, despite its shortcomings, is akin to that shown by hostages towards their captors – a term dubbed ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ by psychologists.
The report, entitled How Will Psychologists Describe the iPhone Syndrome in the Future?, examines users’ commitment to the iPhone.
It states: ‘Simply put, Apple has launched a beautiful phone with a fantastic user interface, which has had a number of technological shortcomings that many iPhone users have accepted and defended, despite those shortcomings resulting in limitations in iPhone users’ daily lives.’
The report said the arguments used to defend the iPhone ‘reminds us of the famous Stockholm Syndrome [where] hostages reacted to the psychological pressure they were experiencing by defending the people that had held them hostage for six days.’
The report looked at 20 arguments that it claimed ‘various hard core iPhone fanatics’ use to explain the handset’s shortcomings. These included arguments in support of ‘phone quality’ and in response to the accusation that it is a ‘low technology phone packaged in a sleek design’ (see below).
John Strand, head of Strand Consult, said: ‘iPhone customers are so loyal that I don’t think there is another product or manufacturer that has such loyal customers as Apple – apart from maybe the local drug dealer.’
His report prompted hundreds of emails, many from outraged iPhone users, defending the device, ‘which again proves my point’, Strand said.
Arguments used to defend the iPhone’s shortcomings
• The first iPhone was not a 3G phone: ‘What do you need 3G for? You can easily use the iPhone without using a 3G network and anyway, 3G is not particularly widespread so this is not a problem.’
• The iPhone is a low technology phone packaged in a sleek design: ‘Apple has taken the combination of the design and user interface to the next level; therefore the technological specifications don’t really matter.’
• The quality of the phone is poor, calls are often interrupted and network coverage is poor: ‘It is a good phone, these problems are due to the operators’ networks and not the handset.’