There’s one thing you become increasingly aware of working in the tech industry: fans. They come in all shapes and sizes and have different preferences. Some don’t mind playing the brand field, while others would sooner die than ditch the company they’ve been sticking with for so long. In other words, some are open and others are just narrow minded, fearful and stubborn. But where do we draw the line?
It may surprise you, it did me for a while, but when we post something on Facebook we probably get more Apple haters than we do fans responding to posts. Generally speaking, the Android users are the biggest culprit. “Phandroids” are the “trekkers” of the technology world. They’re obsessed with Google’s operating system and they like to make noise about it. You’ll often hear statements like “Apple’s for stupid people”, “iPhone users are all sheep, just following Apple”, “my phone is more customizable” like it’s some sort of contest, and the winner is the person with the “best” phone.
The loudest ones are normally the ones who haven’t tried anything but Android, and believe that because the phone suits them, that it suits everyone. To them it’s not a matter of personal taste, or opinion, it’s an absolute truth that Android is better than iOS, and iOS sucks.
The same can be said of the most loyal Apple followers. They’ll buy anything with an Apple logo on it, even if it’s no good and they don’t need it. Cupertino’s advertising team have done a spiffing job of making it look essential and shiny, and they’re drawn in to the “reality distortion field.” They believe everything an Apple ad tells them. Like the Droiders, they’ve not tried anything that isn’t iFlavored.
It’s like tech fans are the new sports fans, except there’s no reason for them to stay loyal. With sports, a team’s fans always used to be the locals. You had a reason to be passionate, and express your feelings. If you’re from Chicago, it’s reasonable to expect that you follow the Cubs or the White Sox. You’re from Chicago, it’s your local team that represents you on the sports field. Same in the Olympics. I won’t be supporting Jamaica just because they have the fastest sprinters, I’ll be supporting Great Britain. I’m British.
One thing I’m not is “made in Apple”. None of us tech fans has any say, or input in to creating technology. We don’t live in Silicone Valley, we don’t work for Google, Microsoft, Sony or anyone else. You didn’t help design the iPhone. You didn’t create the ability to customize widgets in Android. You have no reason to be loyal to a brand.
I hold my hands up: most of my gadgets are Apple made. The fact is, having grown up on Windows, and being frustrated by the way it works, switching to something that worked the way I wanted it too makes sense. It suits me. I have an iPad, iPod and iPhone, and I love them. That doesn’t mean I’m narrow minded and won’t consider anything else. I purchased a Galaxy Nexus a month back and it’s replaced my iPhone. Android had never done it for me in the past, and I’d tried it plenty. Ice Cream Sandwich is a different story, and finally has the UI I’ve been craving for years. I’ve not touched my 4S, except to review Infinity Blade 2. It’s essentially an iPod touch now, and will most likely make its way to my wife’s purse. Still, I love the iPhone, I just prefer to use the Nexus. It’s personal preference, and it’s completely fine.
One thing is clear: we all love tech. That is okay. Technology is amazing, and there are so many companies out there making some really great stuff, that if you limit yourself to one brand or pick “sides” that you’re actually limiting your own experience. You’re not going to change someone else’s mind about what they like, you can’t tell other people how to spend their money, so how about stepping out of your tech comfort zone, and trying something new? You might find that something else actually suits your needs better.