As the iHordes descend on Apple Stores en masse, it seems like these days everyone is a fanboy. That’s as maybe. There remains, however, a hardcore group of obsessives whose ardour crosses over from fandom into something a lot odder and extreme. And more often than not, a little bit frightening.
Here, we name the most committed, most single-minded Cupertino apostles whose devotion to the Book of Jobs is nigh-on boundless. However iPhone-fixated you are, you've got nothing on this lot...
1 Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry was famously the second person in the UK to buy a Mac (the first was his chum Sci-Fi author Douglas Adams). And that single, fateful buying decision was the start of an enduring love affair.
For the record we're Fry fans. But in keeping with most British thesps, he's never been one to hold back where a moist, waxy gush will do. And that goes double when he's expressing his Apple-love.
His description of the iPhone 4 as a “masterpiece”, as though it was a great piece of art and not just a very useful, brilliant gadget is just one instance. He wasn’t done there, though, going on to laud it as an “object of rare beauty” in a rapturously OTT review for the Graun.
I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, especially when the one doing the misty-eyed male-gazing is as crazy-in-love with Apple as Beyonce is with Jay-Z. The thing is: I’m no aesthete, but even I can see that the iPhone 4’s boxy edges were actually less sexy than the curvier iPhone 3GS.
2 Chinese iTeen
Back in June, an unnamed Chinese teen hit the headlines when she offered up her virginity on Twitter in exchange for an iPhone 4. After her father refused to shell out, she posted a picture of herself on the micro-blogging site along with personal details with a proposal so indecent it made Demi Moore look like Brief Encounter’s saintly and chaste Celia Johnson.
It’s often claimed that buying an Apple gadget is something of a Faustian pact, as owners find that before long they're sucked further and further into Apple’s eco system until their very being is the property of Steve Jobs. That’s up for debate. But we’d rather people sold their souls than their bodies.
3 Greg Packer
Greg was the first in line to buy an iPhone 4 at Apple’s flagship New York outlet. And he'd waited three and a half days in the clammy June heat for the privilege.
Packer would’ve been higher up in our fanboy list if he wasn’t so ready to shower his love on other brands too. He’s got form when it comes to queuing in line for new gadgets, having also been first in line for the PlayStation 3.
Asked about how people react to his habit, the uber-fanboy said his parents thought he was nuts. They’re not alone.
4 Cupidtino users
Wishlists and profiles on online dating sites are generally samey to the point of being nebulous. After all, who doesn’t want a comrade in arms with a GSOH? Is there anyone who doesn’t like ‘long walks along beaches’ in the right circumstances?
Head to the brilliantly monikered Cupidtino, though, and there’s none of the above. The site is aimed at helping owners of iPhones, Macs and iPads find like-minded individuals to date. That means that compatibility is calculated by the similarity of users’ iTunes playlists and their favourite apps.
You’re also prompted to list the Apple products you own. We’re guessing this is Macoltytes’ sneaky, typically tasteful way of flaunting their salary without being so crass as to write it down in cold, hard cash.
5 Alex Brooks
Secrets of the Superbrands was a fantastic documentary that examined the techniques leading companies use to foster brand loyalty. The star of the show was Apple superfan Alex Brooks.
In the name of science, presenter Alex Riley showed his namesake iPhones and other Apple kit as well as gadgets made by other tech makers. He then monitored the activity in his brain with an MRI scanner.
Incredibly, the tests revealed that when it was an Apple device in his sights it triggered the same excitable reaction in the part of his noggin that religious people experience when shown articles relating to their faith. Never has the name of fansite ‘Cult of Mac’ seemed more apt.