Worming Into Apple’S Core: Devotion and Impatience Among Iphone Innovators

Iconic brands have the potential to take on sacral aspects that elicit consumer devotion and strong loyalty. Just a few weeks after introduction, it became evident that Appleā€™s iPhone was such a brand. This paper presents two sides of the iPhone euphoria. From the U.S. market, we present an interpretive analysis of the devotion, cultism and conflicted emotions among iPhone innovators. Not only iPhone devotees express elation with and admiration for the brand, the deity-like character of the brand motivates them to overlook flaws and to defend their faith diligently against doubters. In Asia, iPhone services were not available even a year after the product launch, and this spawned a gray market culture characterized by unauthorized unlocking of iPhone by rebellious hackers and the Robin Hood-like admiration of the rebels by lay consumers. The brand culture of iPhone is being shaped by intersections of these strands of devotion, desire, and rebellious co-creation.


Nikhilesh Dholakia, Julianne Joy Cabusas, Caroline Wilcox, and Emilio J. M. Arruda-Filho (2009) ,"Worming Into Apple’S Core: Devotion and Impatience Among Iphone Innovators", in AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8, eds. Sridhar Samu, Rajiv Vaidyanathan, and Dipankar Chakravarti, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 148-148.


Nikhilesh Dholakia, University of Rhode Island, USA
Julianne Joy Cabusas, University of Rhode Island, USA
Caroline Wilcox, University of Rhode Island, USA
Emilio J. M. Arruda-Filho, Amazon Studies Institute, Para, Brazil


AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8 | 2009

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