Apple's Most Devoted Fans Once Again Take Center Stage in a New Edition of 'The Cult of Mac'

Back in 2004, then-Wired editor Leander Kahney published The Cult of Mac, a photo-filled book containing an array of anecdotes about fans, collectors, and others with special connections to Apple and the Mac. While Kahney took the opportunity to add a chapter on the iPod when the book was published as a paperback edition a couple of years later, the book remains an interesting look at a time when Apple had only recently surfaced from its near-death experience of the 1990s.

As outlined by Kahney in The Cult of Mac, Apple may even have been saved by those devotees to the Mac, some of whom became an army of essentially unpaid evangelists seeking to convert over to Mac anyone and everyone who would listen. Some even went as far as to stake out CompUSA stores to educate or counteract clueless salespeople who only wanted to sell Windows machines and were uninterested in directing customers to the Mac section of the stores, while others shared their love for the Mac with the world through tattoos, stickers, vanity license plates, and more.

cult of mac 1 2

"The Cult of Mac" first edition (left) and new second edition (right)

Much has changed for Apple in the fifteen years since the original release of The Cult of Mac, with the iPhone launching Apple to its current position as a consumer electronics and lifestyle behemoth. No longer the underdog, Apple has attracted millions upon millions of loyal customers into its ever-expanding ecosystem of devices and services.

So now with 2020 right around the corner, Kahney has teamed up with David Pierini, a writer for Kahney's independent Cult of Mac site, to release a second edition of The Cult of Mac, another photo-heavy book that would fit right in on any Apple fan's coffee table. Rather than a revision or update of the original, the second edition of The Cult of Mac is more of a companion book, revisiting some of the same themes but introducing some new ones and sharing new anecdotes about some of Apple's biggest fans.

The coffee table nature of the second edition of The Cult of Mac is evident before you even open the cover, as the book itself is cleverly designed to resemble one of Apple's iconic MacBooks, wrapped in a silver plastic jacket with an Apple-shaped title logo on the "lid" of the book. There are even four black "feet" on the rear of the book to match those used on Apple's notebooks.

cult of mac 2 rear
Opening the front cover of the book continues the theme, as it reveals a MacBook Pro keyboard and top case with the inside cover serving as a mock display, complete with an overlaid "macOS" app window on the transparent plastic jacket sharing an introductory description of the book. The next several pages of the book including the Table of Contents gradually shift orientation, encouraging the reader to reorient the book from the landscape mock computer into a traditional portrait orientation. It's all cleverly done and a fun way to dive into the book.

cult of mac 2 open
The book itself is an easy read, broken up into short chapters and sections with lots of photos and artistic design elements. The book is about 200 pages and I read it cover to cover in just a couple of hours thanks to the emphasis on visuals over text, but the layout makes it easy to just pick up the book and read a few pages here and there.

cult of mac 2 collectors
Following a brief introduction, the second edition of The Cult of Mac tackles "The Line Sitters," those who camped out for days ahead of a major product launch, sometimes in an effort to be first to get their hands on Apple's latest devices and other times just for publicity. Subsequent chapters look at the way Apple fans have paid tribute to Steve Jobs, collectors and museums dedicated to Apple's products, those in music and photography who have found inspiration from and utility in Apple's devices, and those who repurpose old Macs for products such as jewelry, aquariums, and more.

The book wraps up with a look at those dedicated Apple fans whose obsessions date back even further than the Mac to the Apple II family, as well as a quick trip around the world to look at fandom in several different countries, including an iPad magician in Germany, the Russian and Ukrainian luxury ‌iPhone‌ markets, and users in the Middle East who use special cases to carry multiple iPhones for work and personal use.

cult of mac 2 museums
Overall, the second edition of The Cult of Mac is an enjoyable read which, like the original, treads some different ground compared to the many Apple-related biographies and histories that regularly hit the bookshelves, including Kahney's own biographies of Jony Ive and Tim Cook. It's also a contrasting type of coffee table book compared to product-focused ones like Apple's own "Designed in California."

The Cult of Mac, Second Edition debuts December 17, and it's available for pre-order now at Amazon in hardcover for $39.95, or if you don't have a need for the physical book you can pre-order the Kindle edition or Apple Books edition for $23.99.

Popular Stories

Apple Intelligence General Feature

Apple Intelligence Features Not Coming to European Union at Launch Due to DMA

Friday June 21, 2024 9:44 am PDT by
Apple today said that European customers will not get access to the Apple Intelligence, iPhone Mirroring, and SharePlay Screen Sharing features that are coming to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac this September due to regulatory issues related to the Digital Markets Act. In a statement to Financial Times, Apple said that there will be a delay as it works to figure out how to make the new...
iOS 18 on iPhone Feature

Everything New in iOS 18 Beta 2

Monday June 24, 2024 12:52 pm PDT by
Apple today released the second betas of iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 to developers, and the software adds support for new features that Apple is working on, plus it tweaks some of the interface changes that have been made in the updates. Apple will refine iOS 18 over the course of the next few months, with multiple changes and refinements expected from now until September. We've highlighted...
Apple WWDC24 Apple Intelligence hero 240610

Apple Explains iPhone 15 Pro Requirement for Apple Intelligence

Wednesday June 19, 2024 4:48 am PDT by
With iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple is introducing a new personalized AI experience called Apple Intelligence that uses on-device, generative large-language models to enhance the user experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These new AI features require Apple's latest iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models to work, while only Macs and iPads with M1 or later chips will...
amazon echo dot

Amazon Could Charge Up to $10/Month for Alexa

Friday June 21, 2024 2:55 pm PDT by
Apple competitor Amazon is working on a revamp of its Alexa assistant, and the new version could cost up to $10 per month, according to a report from Reuters. The upcoming version of Alexa will support conversational generative AI, and Amazon is planning for two tiers of service. There will be a free tier and a second, premium tier that is priced at $5 at a minimum, with Amazon considering...
top stories 22jun2024

Top Stories: Apple Watch X Rumors, New Final Cut App for iPhone, and More

Saturday June 22, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
The avalanche of news coming out of WWDC earlier this month is finally starting to slow, but that doesn't mean there wasn't still lots to talk about in Apple news and rumors this week. This week saw some additional rumors about the upcoming Apple Watch models, the release of major Final Cut Pro updates, the launch of Apple's annual Back to School promo in the U.S. and Canada, new...

Top Rated Comments

69Mustang Avatar
59 months ago
It wouldn't be a tribute without this guy. :D :D


Attachment Image
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
trainwrecka Avatar
59 months ago
I loved converting people to the Mac back in the day... I don't do it anymore. Both OS X and iOS are more confusing than ever. The road to simplicity has become a complex wormhole. "It looks better." has replaced "It looks better AND functions better." It may very well function better than anything else on the market, but now the nagging feeling of "I can't wait for them to fix this" is everywhere.

Anyway, back to waiting on iOS 13.3 to disable my never used, but marked frequently used Memoji stickers.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
v0lume4 Avatar
59 months ago
Big yikes. Let's not forget what we're talking about here. A corporation. It's totally cool to like a product. It's totally cool to go to midnight releases, etc. They're fun! But at the end of the day, it's a problem when you're basically treating a company like a sports team, like your tribe. You pay them thousands of combined dollars for their products. And you follow them blindly... why? So you can pay them thousands more? They're a business. This goes for any company, by the way.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Analog Kid Avatar
59 months ago
I'm waiting for them to release The Cult of MacRumors: Book of Trolls. It'll need to be a multivolume release.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sideshowuniqueuser Avatar
59 months ago

I loved converting people to the Mac back in the day... I don't do it anymore....
Same here, being an IT professional, I'm often asked what laptop to buy, and I used to always say Mac hands down, but now I'm like, well, look for a second hand 2015 or older MBP or MBA running High Sierra... or just buy a new Windows laptop, Microsoft, HP, IBM, Dell all seem to make nice ones...

...and yeah sure, maybe the 16" will change this, but I will give it 12 months to see what issues surface first, and to give Apple time to iron out all the stupid Catalina bugs, before recommending it. And then only to stonkingly rich people - buying a brand new MBP with enough RAM and SSD to cover your imaginable near future needs is ridiculously Apple taxy.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
turbineseaplane Avatar
59 months ago
We could probably have a forum subsection here called "cult of Mac"
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)