I Chose the iPhone, You Chose an Android Phone — So What?

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Readers, let’s have a conversation. First, some basics: I am an industry and market analyst who studies personal technology. I am not a journalist. I write an opinion column here for TIME’s Techland section. I am not a paid spokesperson for any product or company — never have been, never will be. I invite you to join in the conversation which will follow, but please do so respectfully and please read the entire article before commenting.

(MORE: Check out Ben’s past Big Picture articles)

I chose this column title for a reason; to hopefully pique your interest. I’d like to make a point and then discuss it. If you’ve read any of my columns you know that I have no problem mixing it up with commenters as long as they are willing to engage in mutually beneficial discussion.

A Disturbing Trend

I mostly do private analysis for the clients of my firm, Creative Strategies, Inc. A little over two years ago I started writing columns in the public sphere. I try to cover a multitude of topics relevant to a readership more broad than the executives who read my analyses. And yes, if you have followed much of what I write, you know that I do write about Apple quite a bit. My firm has a history of studying Apple (and the rest of the computing industry) from the beginning, and Apple’s current role in the personal technology realm is of interest to us and many others.

The trend that is disturbing is the mud-slinging I notice in comments on my columns and many others all over the Internet between Apple enthusiasts and Android enthusiasts. I write a pro-Android column and the comments go crazy. I write a pro-Apple column and the comments go crazy. I see harsh name-calling, criticism, generalized statements, snap character judgments, and a host of other things. For what? All because someone likes one product over another.

Personal Preference Is Personal Preference

What really stumps me is the desire to criticize others’ choices of personal technology products. It’s as if one person choosing a different product is going to drastically alter the quality of life of another person.

Should we harshly criticize those who like different music than us? Should we criticize those who buy different car brands than us? Should we criticize those who like different foods than us?

I understand that personal technology is just that: personal. Because of that reality, there will be emotions attached to personal preferences. But in the grand scheme of things, forming harsh judgments about others simply because they like different things than you is childish at best.

Some people choose Coke over Pepsi. Some people choose Honda over Toyota. Some people choose vanilla ice cream over chocolate. Some people choose iPhones over Android products. This is not the end of the world. Yet some act as though it is.

Human beings are interesting. We develop specific likes and dislikes based around personal tastes and preferences. We dress certain ways, like certain types of food, value certain experiences over others, and make purchasing decisions based around these preferences.

All of this applies to technology as well. Why someone chooses a particular tablet, smartphone, notebook, desktop, MP3 player, or TV all revolves around personal preference. For some, the lure is price. For some, the lure is a specific technology or feature. For some, it’s the overall experience. For others, it may be convenience.

(MORE: Innovation in a Sea of Sameness)

Perhaps even for some, familiarity is just as valuable to one consumer as a cutting-edge spec is to another. The bottom line is that not all people value the same things. Not all people make decisions the same way. Understanding this is actually the key to making products relevant to the market.

Call it Market Segmentation 101, but it’s not wise for a company to try to make products that appeal to everyone. The idea behind making products of all shapes and sizes is to evaluate the tradeoffs associated with focusing on certain features and to target specific segments of the market. The key is to appeal to what each segment of the market values. The same is true with consumer purchasing, as consumers evaluate the tradeoffs that matter most to them and then make an educated decision.

Knowing What’s Best for You

I hear a lot from the Android camp that the iPhone is not the best smartphone on the market. I hear a lot from the Apple camp that the iPhone is the best smartphone on the market. What is the best is a fundamentally subjective statement. What is the best product for me may not be the best product for you. What is the best for my grandma may not be what is the best for my daughter. What is the best is defined by me and what is important to me according to my personal preferences.

What matters most is not which technology has the best specs or the most features. What matters most is that each consumer gets the right products to fit their needs. And the profound truth is that not every consumer will choose the same products. This is OK.

Contrary to popular belief, consumers are not stupid. More than 80% of consumers research products online and with trusted sources before they buy. Every major retailer I speak with understands that today’s consumer is more educated about products now than at any point in history. People know what they want, and more importantly, why they want it.

(MORE: Why It’s Unnecessary to Completely Reinvent the iPhone Year After Year)

When it comes to fanatics, so what if people stand in lines to wait for Apple products? People also wait in line for concert tickets. So what if Apple has loyal customers? So do many other brands. So what if people choose to spend a little more money on Apple products? So do people who choose to eat at gourmet restaurants over fast food joints.

It all comes down to what you value, and your consuming mentality will revolve around those values and those preferences. Not everyone values the same things. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that.

In general, we would all be better off if we learned how to disagree well. Politely agree to disagree and understand that it’s perfectly fine for people to have different interests, tastes and personal preferences. It makes the world a more interesting place.

Ben Bajarin is a principal at Creative Strategies Inc., a technology-industry-analysis and market-intelligence firm in Silicon Valley. He contributes to the “Big Picture” opinion column that appears every week on Techland.

126 comments
GH
GH like.author.displayName 1 Like

"Some people choose Honda over Toyota."  That's fine, no problem here.  But if Honda spent many millions suing Toyota for infringing on its patent because Toyotas have round wheels, I'd have a problem with Honda.  If Honda insisted I use a special kind of gas and oil, that only they can sell or license, I'd have a problem with Honda.  

 Interestingly, I was a major Apple fan back in the //e days, when Apple was a force for openness and innovation against that huge monolith IBM.  Now Apple IS the huge monolith, using lawyers instead of engineers to attempt to squash any competition.

ChikuMisra
ChikuMisra like.author.displayName 1 Like

why would someone devote an entire article to critcizing the critics of other people's decisions.  you're only giving them attention like they want and perpetuating their idiocy.  of course, anyone with a brain couldn't care less what others do, so long as it doesn't affect them or harm anyone.  the people who sit around criticizing the iphone or a japanese car obviously have lives so bleak and uninteresting that they pass their time attacking an inanimate object.  rather than deeply analyzing them as if they are so fascinating or remarkable, just ignore the idiots and enjoy whatever particular gadget the modern age has brought you.

xuinkrbin.
xuinkrbin.

Exactly, I never understood why Some throw around the phrase "Apple Fanboy", for example, as if You are not supposed to like the product You bought. If such logic were sound, and it's not, I would expect People to also be using phrases like, "Playtex Fangirl", "Jif Fanmom", or "Husqvarna Fangrandpa". But They don't. Why? Because the premise, "You actually like what You bought and are satisfied with that purchase; therefore, You are an unthinking Slave," is flawed in almost every way of which I can think.

VictoriaSutherland
VictoriaSutherland

@xuinkrbin. People usually throw that term at other people who are completely loyal to Apple's products. It'd be like if someone offered me a tissue and I wouldn't accept it because I'm loyal to Puffs.

When you are called an Apple Fanboy, it's not that you just have an iPhone and you like it; it's that you think it's the best device even when it won't perform so many things you want it to because, unless rooted, it's incapable. Even though it disappoints you, you stay loyal to it and defend any criticism it receives. That is an Apple Fanboy.

SwiftrightRight
SwiftrightRight

You think apple and Android fanboyism is bad you should check out Star wars Vs Star Trek fans. There use to be entire threads about stalking and killing fantasies that were disturbing to say the least.

genuinemach
genuinemach

Apple makes me feel kind of morally conflicted. I grew up with old Macs at home because of the company where my dad worked (it has since gone out of business--it was largely visual/creative-oriented so that's understandable) and I mean OLD: MacOS 6.x, 7.x, 9.x.... that's the thing, they kept breaking down, it was doubly frustrating because my dad's so DIY yet it seemed pretty obvious to me (as a kid) that we'd have to dish out a lot of money to repair these issues. Instead he kinda half-arsed it, would assume he fixed one problem on instinct and was like "OK all better now." Kinda reminds me of the problem with our healthcare system in the US. Lol.... Anyway, in jr. high/high school eventually I just picked up on Windows and found it far more intuitive (and despite what everyone kept saying, easier to maintain without regularly breakdowns that bring you close to a breakdown yourself...) 

I think a lot of their business practices are unethical and there's evidence recently that my personal (contemptuous) feelings about Jobs were not far off (like, an ex-GF admitting suspicion he might have a problem with narcissism.)

I tend to find a lot of Unix/-like systems personally frustrating because of all the knowledge and skill it takes to do things (like, for example, "rooting" an Android phone--I had to also look up what "rooting" is exactly, it didn't fully click until they made an analogy to Windows Admin. access.) I have an Android now, though. I think it's the best of the "Big Three" (what I call Microsoft, ["vs.]" Apple, ["vs."] Google), as far as balancing "form" with "function(ality)", I also prefer Google's business practices... if I didn't struggle with computer software/programming to the extent I did when I took intro-level (university) computer science (I feel like I wracked my brains out for a B... or was it a B-....B+? Don't remember lol), I'd probably be working for them. 

For anyone who's read my comment and gotten this far without blowing up on me... the point is that none of this justifies self-righteous indignation. At least not expressed outwardly. Most if not all of it is unfounded. It's kind of like with religion, or religious sects: Feeling like you're emotionally and/or morally aligned with someone, some entity (like a business)--which usually by extension would mean you're morally maligned with (an)other(s)--leads people to take things personally and act out. Not doing this is called maturity. (?)

Steppa03
Steppa03

I fundamentally agree with the idea that personal choices are personal choices and just to be open, I tend to prefer Android over Apple. Still, this article doesn't address two MAJOR factor that plays into the debate. First, a smartphone is unlike any other purchase consumers make. It is certainly more valuable than a soda, more useful than a car (with more features I might add) and lasts a lot longer than ice cream. The debate has partially emerged because of the significance smartphones have been given in our everyday lives. The more significant the product, the more it will be discussed.

But second, the "attack ads" on television for both of these platforms are severe. Remember the Mac v. PC campaign? Apple's the cool hip kid and Mac is the stuffy business guy. All of a sudden it's not just about personal preference. Your personal preference is telling the world what kind of person you are. And to some extent, consumers accept that notion. I believe because smartphones are so ingrained in our lives, we identify with them unlike any other product. I feel like I can't turn on the TV without seeing at least one Samsung ad criticizing Apple and one Apple ad attempting to state its superiority to other phones. You think people got riled up about the presidential campaign? Smartphone attack ads have been going on for YEARS!

But I said all that to say this: I totally agree with Ben. It really doesn't matter which phones you choose because in the end, the debate isn't really about phones anyway. It's about the consumers.

DarrenHanes
DarrenHanes

Hey keep in mind... you can choose the Iphone if you like cookie cutter phones.. or you can go droid and have a wider range of manufacturer designs. I would choose the options over the cookie cutter anytime!

nmcar
nmcar

I do not care who makes the best device, but I believe its vital that many companies compete to create better devices. That's why I wish all companies success so that they can bring better and more affordable products to consumers. As the author states, one product might be the best for certain people. Many people buy the status some trademarks have, and they do not care much about the features of a product. I have used both iOS and Android devices and I like both. Both have their strengths and weaknesses.

johntabita
johntabita

Coming from the graphic arts industry, I remember the same type of debates over Mac vs. PC, complete with the name-calling and character-bashing you've described.

The desire to criticize another's choice is more about justifying ourselves than the fact that others like a different brand. We want to be assured that the choice we've made is the best one. And the more we're personally attached to the product or brand, the more likely we'll be to defend our choice and criticize another's. 

That causes us to often add new reasons and justifications to support the decisions we've already made--hence the name-calling, criticism, generalized statements, and snap character judgments your spoke of. It's much easier to tell ourselves that the other person is a mindless fanboy or fandroid than to entertain the thought that perhaps we bought the inferior product.

Take car enthusiasts, for instance. Have you ever heard the Chevy lover's acronym for F.O.R.D? "Found On Road Dead" and "Fix Or Repair Daily." Unfortunately, this type of behavior is not so much "childish" as human nature. 

SamuelSatter
SamuelSatter like.author.displayName 1 Like

I was an iphone fan from day one. Personally, I found the iphone 5 disappointing. Cheap, anodized aluminum, other than it being a half inch taller, it was identical to the iphone 4. I did a LOT of research, and bought a garnet red Samsung Galaxy S3. Its been one week and the phone STILL amazes me! Every aspect of the phone can be cusomized right out of the box, no jailbreak necessary. I think Apple had be brainwashed, gald I got over it.

www.is-privacy.tk

JohnZimmerman
JohnZimmerman

We need something to fight about.  The author discouraged Apple/Android battles in these comments, so what shows up?  Battles over who is more neutral.  Battles over who can make the most clever sarcastic jab.  That's the way it works on the internet :-)

But really, there are significant differences between iPhones and Android phones.  Objective differences.  It's more than "personal preference."

Skinny_Woman
Skinny_Woman

 How DARE you spend your money buying a phone for YOUR use, that I wouldn't buy for MY use.

We have to all be the same.  We have to all like the same phone.  We have to all buy the same phone.

You have to change what you like... so that it exactly matches what I like.

Understand now?

JohnDoey
JohnDoey

I really reject the idea that iPhone or Android is Coke or Pepsi — they are Mac and Java. That is very, very different.

Before you go to buy a phone, you have to understand that an Android-based phone is a traditional phone with added Java applets and added multimedia features, and an iPhone is a pocket Mac, it is a Mac with the mouse user/app interfaces removed, and touch user/app interfaces added. The core OS and even the apps are still from the Mac.

So if you are going to be 80% calls/texts and 20% everything else, then an Android phone may be right for you. But if you are going to be 20% calls/texts and 80% everything else, you are much more likely to be happy with an iPhone, because you won't run out of apps, music, movies, and you will have real, world-class Mac-heritage apps, not baby Java apps. If your app use is 80%, you will also benefit from zero viruses and malware, you will benefit from regular OS updates that enable apps to do new and exciting things that they couldn't do when you first bought your phone.

So iPhone or Android is less about the devices, it is more about the user. It really matters to decide if you are going to use your next phone in the same way you used a phone in 2005, or if you are going to use your next phone as your primary personal computer. If the latter, iPhone is currently your only choice.

romXXII
romXXII

@JohnDoey see, yours is the kind of comment that sparks the nonsensical debates the article discussed. You make an assumption that just because Android apps are coded in Java, that they're "baby" apps that can't do what IOS can. Surprise, nearly every popular app in the Apple Store can be found in Google's, and they're every bit as functional, if not more. I've got Viber, Skype, a ton of games, cloud services like DropBox and SkyDrive, hell, everything you can find on IOS, and possibly some you can't.

As for using a phone as a primary personal computer, I don't know about you, but my computer lets me multitask; can you do that on your iPhone? My Android, on the other hand, lets me view two different apps on split screen, while running a video PIP. Tell me that's not using it as a "primary personal computer."

Skinny_Woman
Skinny_Woman

> So if you are going to be 80% calls/texts and 20% everything else,

> then an Android phone may be right for you. But if you are going

> to be 20% calls/texts and 80% everything

I wish life was so simple, so we could base our purchase on "do you call or text or use apps" more.  

We all do various things with our devices at various times.  It changes day by day, hour by hour.

iOS and Android both have 100,000s of apps more than you will ever need.

Neither one is "a Mac" nor "a PC", nor should they try to be.

It's ok to be a "handheld computer" in its own right.

DaytonMDJohn
DaytonMDJohn

Ben, great article, you hit the nail on the head.  

iPhone repair shop
iPhone repair shop

Each and very product is good in all spheres but the sales totally depends upon the humans liking and disliking. Some like using iPhone and some are die heart fans of android and the fight continues.

Brian Melton
Brian Melton

"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong," Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson, in the book, which hit shelves last October."I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this," Jobs said.

 

Statements like this make choosing Android invariably easy. 

I also VALUE the option to change my phone as I wish, ie; different launchers (Go Launcher, Nova Launcher) as well different SMS systems. 

I owned an iPhone 4 and it was a great phone. It worked and did what it was supposed to do. The same as my Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

I feel people get caught up in the "Android" vs Apple argument when in reality companies such as HTC and Samsung are allowed the usage of an open sourced OS and edit it as they wish. So in reality you should be comparing HTC Sense vs TouchWizUI (Samsung) vs MotoBLUR vs iOS.

It's hard to compare "Android" vs iOS because of the fragmentation of the "Android" OS. That is one area Apple clearly wins. iOS is iOS (unless you run an outdated device that cannot run the current software)

I support Google because Google appears to moving mountains to bring the world as much unbiased knowledge as possible and uses our devices to determine what we like while offering consumers new data based off our previous inquiries. 

Skinny_Woman
Skinny_Woman

> I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this," Jobs said.

> Statements like this make choosing Android invariably easy.

Really?  I buy what I feel *WORKS* best for me.  I couldn't care less about the inner bickering that goes on between companies.

Before you buy a car... to you research all the inner feelings of all the heads of the car manufacturers, too?   Sheeses.

I simple "buy the best car for me" instead. It's far easier.

PeterBlood
PeterBlood

When you say "Statements like this make choosing Android invariably easy" you then also support a company that stole from Apple ideas for Android (which had looked entirely different) while Eric Schmidt was on Apple's board, an immoral evil act.  Understand why Jobs wanted to go thermonuclear and just maybe you might be a tad more sympathetic unless you are one of those who feels patents should be tossed aside and everyone can literally steal from everyone else with abandon.  Whether or not they have spent millions and millions on Ramp;D to invent a whole new thing.  

When Jobs said the Picasso quote "Great artists steal." he and Picasso meant to look through the scrap heap of ideas and take things and turn them into something wholly new (Picasso never literally copied either).  Samsung and Google have not done that, they took the low road, they copied near exactly.  So since you are basing your belief in Google on some kind of moral ground because of your objections to Jobs nuke statement, I suggest you look a little closer.http://www.google.com/imgres?q=Before...

robtmiley
robtmiley

I'll never buy another Apple product and right now we have 2 iphone 4's 2 iPods and 1 iPad but as they give out, we will replace them with the competition. Apple does not care about their customers. Look at what this new iPhone 5 under Tim

Cook has brought, a bad decision about doing away with Google Maps. Now read

the stories coming out now about how the new iOS 6 has a "Purple

Haze" issue with it's camera and how it does not let some people connect

to their wifi system and now stories coming out about how iPhone 4 and 4s

owners are complaining about accelerated drain from the new iOS 6 as well. This

is just bad hardware and software, that is all it is and not worth the money

for inferior products just to be part of the club.

My wife and I have bought 2 each of the 3GS about 6 months after they came out

and we loved them, we then bought 2 each of the 4’s about 3 months after they

came out, of our 4 iPhones we bought them all in Singapore over the Singapore

Apple website and whenever I went to Singapore I would pick them up at our

apartment. I did ask on both purchases if I could have it fixed in Jakarta (our

main home) if we had problems with them. Both times Apple's Singapore staff

told me yes they could fix them in Jakarta. It was not true.

After only one month my wife’s iPhone 4 stopped working. I contacted Apple many

many times and it took more than 6 weeks to finally have Apple to repair the

phone free of charge even though it was under their so called warranty.

When I made complaints to Apple Singapore about this and climbed up the

complaint ladder in Singapore I was told by the last Apple Singapore staff that

he was the last one I could complain to, no one else was higher in the

Singapore office even though he was only in Customer complaint division. LOL.

Again more Apple lies. I was given very bad information by the Apple employees

for the repair for the phone and the arrogance I received exceeded anything I

have been submitted to by any other company in this world.

Have you ever tried to contact Apple via email? I then searched the net and

emailed the only email address I could find, media@apple.com. Then I was

contacted by Apple SE Asia and they refused to responsibility for their staff

and the way I had been treated and then the staff got really arrogant and did

not care that I was grossly misinformed, it was arrogance extraordinaire and I

could not get her iPhone 4s fixed in Jakarta but had to make a trip back to

Singapore to do it.

No longer will we financially support Apple, they only want money now for

untested inferior software and blah products like the iPhone 5 that is still

playing catch up to the Samsung Galaxy S3. The home button is crap already on

my wife’s Apple iPhone 4 so yesterday she got her new Samsung Galaxy S3, she

loves it and easily transferred all data and contacts over from her Apple 4

with the Samsung software.

If you want to really let Apple know how you feel about these injustices done

by this arrogant company then contact these people:

Jayesh Kamath jayesh.k@apple.com Janine Beach jbeach@apple.com Frank Teo

frank_teo@apple.com media.help@apple.com Shelley Reid sreid1@asia.apple.com

media@apple.com

vxraptor
vxraptor

Not blaming customers of either side, this hysteria of "mine is better than yours" was created by the Companies themselves, and Apple to be specific. If you recall in 2007, Steve Jobs while introducing the iPhone actually chose to show 4 other phones from other brands throwing cheap shots at them while presenting the iPhone!! Is this ethical? He started this "mine vs yours" argument in the first place!!

Coming to customers exchanging tirades over their 'beloved' platform, it is all part of the game, again as I repeat, started by the companies them-self. Getting involved in this tirade is left to the individual. As the author points out, if it really bothers then ignorance is the best solution rather than questioning the motive behind it.

IMO, this is healthy, and only helps fostering advancement in technology.

PS: I am an engineer working for one of the big 2 chip makers. I internally changed my role in the organization, to be part of this frenzy and contribute to the advancement of the "PHONE". This is how this affected me, and I am relishing this new challenge.

vxraptor
vxraptor

Not blaming customers of either side, this hysteria of "mine is better than yours" was created by the Companies themselves, and Apple to be specific. If you recall in 2007, Steve Jobs while introducing the iPhone actually chose to show 4 other phones from other brands throwing cheap shots at them while presenting the iPhone!! Is this ethical? He started this "mine vs yours" argument in the first place!!

Coming to customers exchanging tirades over their 'beloved' platform, it is all part of the game, again as I repeat, started by the companies them-self. Getting involved in this tirade is left to the individual. As the author points out, if it really bothers then ignorance is the best solution rather than questioning the motive behind it.

IMO, this is healthy, and only helps fostering advancement in technology.

PS: I am an engineer working for one of the big 2 chip makers. I internally changed my role in the organization, to be part of this frenzy and contribute to the advancement of the "PHONE". This is how this affected me, and I am relishing this new challenge.

Jogging_Baby
Jogging_Baby

 I never decide which device to buy based on ANY of these things:

What are other people buying?

What do other people like?

What do other people hate?

What are other bashing... or not bashing?

It's my money.   Only one person decides what I like: me.

Jogging_Baby
Jogging_Baby

Do you REALLY think I'm going to based MY decision on how I spend MY money when I buy MY phone.... on "which one has less childish bashing" online?

I always have, and always will... buy what's right for *ME*.  (I couldn't care less if you do the same.)

José Carlos Costa
José Carlos Costa

Sir, comparing iPhone comparing iPhone launch queues to concert queues is ridiculous, you should hit Amazon.com and get an introductory economics textbook. You should compare those queues to religion, it's not the same but much more alike. 

Disclaimer: I own two Android phones, one iPod, and Windows notebook and an iMac and pretty much happy with all my devices bar my battery hungry Sony Ericsson Active running on Android. 

McGin
McGin

New product developers who are motivated by the race to innovate really need to prioritize customer needs and likes.

Shinzakura
Shinzakura

I own PCs and an Android smartphone and tablet, but I was raised on Macs (had to make the switch due to work reasons.)  That being said, I have no problem with people who use Apple products or who are even Apple enthusiasts.

My problem comes from "iTards", which I define as someone who is Apple uber alles and you're a babykiller (or worse) if you use something else - those are the folks that are my problems.  But you know what?  I could say the same thing about FOSSnuts (Linux), Fandroids (Android), or Windorks (Windows).  The problem isn't the software or the preference; the problem is insisting that theirs is the ONLY preference.

Bajchalp
Bajchalp

In terms of aesthetics, I'd prefer an iPhone, as I've admired the general look of the device since its inception. In terms of simplicity and content, I'd prefer an iPhone, since I already have significant buy-in to iTunes for content and I dislike having to re-encode videos to look right on an Android. But in terms of 'does it do what I need it to do', I'm forced into getting an Android. I have a program that allows a telnet connection to a MUD, which I want to stay connected come hell or high water, until I tell it to turn off; iPhone's insistence on no programs running in the background and auto-disconnecting idle connections after ten minutes are irreversible roadblocks to getting that phone. As such, looks like I'll be getting another Android when the Razr HDs come out, even though it's not what I want, but what I need.

romXXII
romXXII

@Bajchalp you don't have to re-encode videos to look right on Android; at least, not with the Galaxy Note 2. I've thrown .mkv's at this thing, and I'm able to view it without 3rd-party video players like VLC or MX Player. And if you are getting the encoding issue, what I did before was download VLC or MX Player. Either of those can handle any video format you have.

Chris Berthelsen
Chris Berthelsen

Where have you been for the last ten years, Mr. Bajarin? This has nothing to do with tech preferences. An increasing tsunami of web users are committed to pejorative attacks on ANY preference, position or partiality. Troll is the new John Q. The new SOP: build your self-worth by assaulting the worthiness of others. Go onto any site--any site!--and check the comments. You'll find flamers looking for even tiny chinks in personal armor to grab a foothold and claw their way to the soft innards of even the most gentle of conversations.

Battle cry of the future: I'm okay only if you're not okay.

M8281
M8281

I think part of the explanation is that we've been taught to associate our identity with the products we buy. This is probably the result of consumer electronics entering more personal and social spaces (they are both physically closer to us, but these devices also mediate very personal interactions within virtual space). Maybe consumerist culture has conditioned us to believe that we can purchase a unique identity (certainly this is the ideal articulated by advertising).  

Geri Monteiro
Geri Monteiro

Solomomshv was probably peeved at the implication that Apple was of a higher class (gourmet) as compared to Android (fast food) in your statement.

I didn't like that implication much myself. Being higher priced does not make Apple superior.

romXXII
romXXII

@Geri Monteiro but since Apple consumers invariably spend more for the same type of product, they have to believe that what they're buying is of superior quality.

benbajarin
benbajarin

The statement is a reflection on people's perception of value.    I encourage people to not read into that or interpret it incorrectly.   I can see how it was taken that way but not how I intended it.  My point was on value and what people value thus their willingness to pay for what they value.  

cecoleman
cecoleman

I think the platform war is pretty silly. Each platform offers up a distinct list of pros and cons. It's up to the consumer to weigh those pros and cons in relationship with how they use their smartphones. The blind loyalty argument is weakest one offered by people who simply hate Apple. You earn loyalty by pleasing someone. If you have a good relationship with your spouse you become to them, have a good meal at your favorite restaurant you more likely to go back. I think Android's loyalty only comes from the hardcore geeks and they are mad about that. They shouldn't be though. Their phone meets their needs for how they use their phone (tweaking, tinkering, ROMS, widgets, enormous screens, etc). The same is said for iPhone users, those who use their phones for media and ecosystem (games, photography, music, social media apps) and appreciate the elegance of design. I compare the two platforms to those guys who like to work on "Muscle Cars" and those who by just buy a Mercedes. Two different kinds of consumer. Muscle Cars are are defined by the user, whereas the luxury sedan is defined by comfort, stability, and reliability. There are some pretty sweet hot rods out there, but the general consumer would probably rather drive a Mercedes. Some may argue that Marketshare numbers may discredit this theory, but walk around sometime and notice what people are using. I see more iPhones walking through a parking lot to a mall than I see Android phones in an entire week. Most of the Android phones I see are the low end ones or look two years old. I've still yet to see anyone use a Windows Phone. Just my theories...

pdxmicro
pdxmicro like.author.displayName 1 Like

I think a lot of people here hit the nail on the head. I've noticed a huge drop in "my mac is better than your PC" or "my iPhone is better than your Android" lately and an increase in bashing from the Android side of the fence. It's actually crazy just how hard, and almost hurtful, some of the bashing has become. Just as someone else mentioned, I can completely see this being a rebound of the Mac -vs- PC commercials or the constant pro-apple fanboy bashing that occurred 6-7 years ago.

I own a Macbook Pro because Windows made things difficult for me back in the day. Do I love Windows 7? Absolutely. I think it's a great operating system and use it regularly. But the initial difficulties that I experienced is what drove me to purchase my first Macbook - and I haven't regretted it. I personally believe that if you haven't tried an Apple product, how can you say it sucks so bad? How can someone bash something they've never tried?

On the launch of the new iPhone 5 I posted an alternative method for those people trying to get an iPhone 5 pre-order in (and made it known that I put a pre-order in for myself using this method). I simply let them know that if they were trying to pre-order that they could do so at the Apple website and not go through ATamp;T's crashing ordering system. It didn't take a half hour and I had a dozen "boooooo"'s, "why in the *#$^ would you want one of those?"'s, "Drink the koolaid" among others I will refrain from posting. Why have the Android consumers become so angry? Why is the smartphone market becoming more and more like a political debate?

I've had iPhone's since they've first come out, but never bashed on Android users for not purchasing an iPhone - but yet I'm being a called names and made fun of because I own an iPhone and they own a droid? I thought there had to be something significantly different between the two that I'm missing. I purchased my first Android based device (Samsung Galaxy S III) and love it. But I still haven't seen anything amazing that I can think of that would cause so much hate or prejudice in so many Android fans.

THEY ARE IDENTICAL.

The only differences between the two are minor and purely based on preference.

- Got to have widgets? Buy an Android.

- Love Apps and don't care for Google Desktop? Buy an iPhone.

- Do you want easy integration with your other Apple products/services? Buy an iPhone.

- Do you want easy integration with your other Google products/services? Buy an Android.

- Want the security of a closed-source OS? Buy an iPhone.

- Want the flexibility of an open-sourced OS? Buy an Android.

Everyone's situation and personal preference is going to be different - so people need to quit acting like this is a political debate and let people enjoy what THEY PURCHASED for themselves and quit pushing your beliefs on each other!

I love my new Android phone, and I do agree the new Apple iPhone 5 isn't that great (in my personal opinion - being a mainly Apple fan), but so what? Is Apple not allowed to have a bad product every now and then? Is their reputation so high that they can't make a mistake? It almost seems like Android users require Apple to come up with something revolutionary or innovative, or they simply suck.

Just my .02

JohnDoey
JohnDoey

No, you're wrong.

Android versus iPhone is not at all like Mac versus Windows.

Consider:

- Mac OS X is based on the Mac (and also on NeXTSTEP, which was also based on the Mac)

- Windows is based on the Mac (the Windows API was based on the Mac API specifically so that Microsoft's Mac apps from 1985 could run on IBM PC and compatibles in the 90's — Microsoft initially just stole the API, but later they licensed it)

- iPhone is based on the Mac (the mouse user/app interface was replaced with a touch user/app interface)

- Android is based on the Sidekick and 2005-style mobile Java

… so which of these things is not like the other?

All of the above can run native C/C++ apps — except Android.

All of the above have a display subsystem that draws the user interface in 3D in the GPU processors — except Android.

All of the above have pro quality video editing apps available — except Android.

All of the above have pro quality audio editing apps available — except Android.

All of the above have a centralized operating system software update system that patches all devices in the field — except Android.

Are you getting the picture?

If you want to use your 2012 phone basically in the same way that you used your 2002 phone, then Android will be great for you, because it is a 2002 phone with added Java applets and added multimedia and touch. And it is still free-with-contract! That is a great deal.

However, if you want to use your 2012 phone basically in the same way that you used your 2002 Mac/PC, then iPhone is your only choice right now. It's the only PC class system in a phone form factor. iPhone 5 is faster than the Mac/PC systems of 2002, and has a better operating system than the Mac/PC systems of 2002. That cannot be said of any other device. And iPhone is $199, that is a great deal on a MacBook.

So the key thing is for the consumer to figure out which of the above 2 users they are. Are they a phone user, or are they a pocket computer user? That is going to determine whether they are happy with their Android phone or iPhone pocket computer purchase.

You can see this also in the usage. iPhone users browse the Web more, run more apps, have more accessories, and are generally doing PC-style use. Android users hardly use the Web, most do not download any apps, and they are generally doing phone-style use.

pdxmicro
pdxmicro

I never once said that iphone -vs- android is similar to mac -vs- windows in any way other than the act of bashing. Sorry if you misinterpreted my meaning.

Also if you think that the iOS is better than Windows XP (in a computing sense) which was released in 2001, you're sorely mistaken, and really don't realize the technology spread (even in this age) of computers -vs- smart phones. They are not completely merged yet - albeit with some features or apps that allow you to complete a task that was not previously available on phones, they are two different classes of personal electronic devices.

Droid_Dude
Droid_Dude

I agree with you with you on all except for calling the phones identical. They are not identical but both have their value in the smartphone world. To their each their own is my motto. I'm an Android guy, you're an Apple guy, life goes on :)

Jup3012
Jup3012

If I may, I believe that the choice of other people is not irrelevant in the tech industry. If people flock to a company like Apple, which promotes proprietary systems and non-standardisation (see new connector), this may have an impact on the industry as a whole, as efforts to work towards open systems (and standard connectors) may be jeopardised by the success of a contrary business model.

mattbm
mattbm

The people that do the most bickering and mud-slinging are probably just not happy people to begin with. All of that crying over a phone. For what? When I pick up my phone and dial a number, it works. I've had an android and an iphone. But I also have friends to call and text. Some of the people nit-picking over these phones are probably fckin' FOREVER ALONE...hahaha. So obsessed with their phones, yet nobody to call. Don't get mad, you know it's true.

solomonshv
solomonshv

i almost took you seriously, then came this sentence:

"So what if people choose to spend a little more money on Apple products? So do people who choose to eat at gourmet restaurants over fast food joints."

so, people who use android, blackberry and windows mobile are also McDonald's customers? did i get that right? flame wars start when jack asses like you (posing as neutral journalists) make comments like that. why don't you just admit it and say you wanted to make a click bait title and quietly start a flame war ONLY to generate traffic to your post because you couldn't find any iPhone 6 rumors.

BTW, last time i walked into a mcdonald's to use their john here in NYC,

everyone sitting and eating there was tapping away on their iPhones and iPads. 

i'm sitting on my balcony and writing this on my iPad 2.

mattbm
mattbm

I almost took you seriously, then came this sentence:

"so, people who use android, blackberry and windows mobile are also McDonald's customers?" Did he, anywhere in the article, imply that? No, he didn't. There is no flame war. You're just fuming at your computer screen because you lack any and all comprehensive reading ability. What he was implying was that some people don't mind spending more money on certain things that they enjoy (because they can). It has nothing to do with anybody else. 

BTW, last time I walked into a McDonald's to eat their food here in Seattle, I didn't pay attention to every single person's phone in the restaurant because I really don't care what they are using, and because I was starving. 

I'm sitting on top of my space-ship using my iPad17e^x.

solomonshv
solomonshv

"Did he, anywhere in the article, imply that?

yes, he pretty much did, read this quote again: "So what if people choose to spend a little more money on Apple

products? So do people who choose to eat at gourmet restaurants over

fast food joints."

he basically said that people who don't buy apple products are poor and those who do eat at "gourmet restaurants."

if that was not the case, then why bring up this stupid example in the first place.

benbajarin
benbajarin

Yes, you are reading into what I said too much.  People pay for what they value and not everyone values the same thing.   

The food line was a point of value where some people value and will pay more for food.   One came make the claim of an S500 and a Camry.   I am not saying they are poor but this person values price over brand.   Features are the same but price is different.   Get the point?

Also, nice job fully reading my intro where I stated that I am not a journalist but an industry analyst.   You can look up what that means I do for a living if you are so inclined but it is not reporting.   My role in this industry is quite different.     

I have the feeling you just glossed over my column then wrote a response.   If you want to be accurate and fully in the know, read the whole thing word for word.  

mattbm
mattbm

Haha I'm just giving you a hard time btw. Have a good day. 

mattbm
mattbm

Ah, sorry, maybe I should simplify what he stated even further. Sorry, I overestimated your intelligence :( He's using what is known as an analogy. He's comparing Apple products to fine dining restaurants as a way of saying that people don't mind paying more for things that they place value on. It has nothing to do with people that can't afford, or do not wish to buy, Apple products.