I am sort of a geek and I love gadgets. I love to go to these laptop or smartphone showrooms and touch all the shiny devices there. I’ve never owned an Apple product in my entire life, but I’ve always been fascinated by those beautiful devices. So when I finished college and got myself a job, I thought about buying a macbook at one time. I would often visit the apple website and go through the different product pages dreaming about owning a macbook sometime. The important thing to note here is that, I live in India and at that point I didn’t know anything about the Windows fanboys vs the Mac fanboys cyber fights or all the hype that surrounded Apple. I am not a Windows fanboy, but I do love Windows for all it has taught me over the years. But of late I am seeing this attitude of the Apple fanboys that totally pisses me off. They think that they are superior and that they belong to an elite class. I read this comment made by an iFan in some website –
‘You don’t deserve an iPhone….’
This comment was part of a clash that was going on between an android and iPhone user. Now what does he mean by that? If I have money I am going to buy an iPhone; where does that word ‘deserve’ come into play? The iFans think that they’re some kind of royalty? An agitated android user called these fanboys as ‘iSheep.’ They just bleat behind everything that has an Apple logo on it.
I read an interesting article titled ‘The iPhone elite‘ by Sebastian Anthony on this topic in extremetech.com. I have also copied the entire article below just in case if the link doesn’t work after sometime.
The iPhone elite
iPhone users are elitists. It’s one of those things that we’ve always suspected — including iPhone users themselves — but to maintain the status quo and to prevent high tech culture devolving into all out war, we dance around the issue by using euphemistic terms like hipster. The fact is, many iPhone users consider themselves a cut above the rest. They sneer at unresponsive Android devices, laugh derisively at crippled BlackBerrys, and guffaw at Windows Phone 7′s lack of apps. When they buy an iPhone, they’re buying into a way of life and an elevated, entitled echelon of society — the upper class of the technorati, if you will.
No where is this feeling of entitlement and privilege more apparent than with the recent release of Instagram for Android. For the last 18 months, Instagram has been an iOS exclusive, racking up 30 million users in the process — not bad, when you consider that only 180 million iPhones have been sold. Instagram for Android, in less than 24 hours of availability, has been downloaded one million times. This has resulted in iPhone users tweeting some truly deranged utterances. Here’s a sample:
“Bummed to see Instagram is coming soon to Android. I like the exclusivity of iPhone users only.” – @matthewtpain
“Don’t follow me on Instagram if you got an Android. Only iPhone users following this way. I’m blocking Android users. This is war.” – @iFollowBlindPpl
“I’m absolutely #outraged that Instagram is on Android now. Now it’s gonna be populated by people who are poor and can’t afford an iPhone.” – @Chino_Wanker
While the last one is hopefully a joke, there are hundreds of other examples of iPhone users who are upset at this loss of exclusivity. It is patently clear that, at least for some iPhone users, Android users belong to a lower class of citizenry — that the Android ecosystem is some kind of ghetto where poor, underprivileged humans fight tooth and claw for their smartphone fix.
But are iPhone users actually at fault for entertaining such delusions of grandeur? There are certainly people out there who intentionally buy iPhones as a social statement — to stand out of the crowd — but the problem, if you can call it that, really stems from Apple itself.
At this point, Apple’s reputation and brand recognition is so high that, really, anything it touches turns to gold. After more than a decade of runaway success that begun with the iPod, excellent advertising campaigns, and the cult of personality that surrounded Steve Jobs, there is an implicit agreement that when you walk into an Apple Store, you will walk away with a device that is recognized the world over as being best-in-class.
This is the fundamental reason for the semi-religious fanaticism that surrounds Apple. iPhone buyers might not know why the iPhone is better than the rest, they just know that it is. This isn’t to detract from the iPhone’s actual strengths — it’s an excellent phone — but if you asked those iOS users why they hate the idea of Instagram for Android, I don’t think many rational responses would be forthcoming. They just know that it feels wrong — that, for some reason, Android is stealing a sip of Apple’s secret sauce. Your iPhone — which you might’ve saved up for, or begged daddy for — suddenly doesn’t seem quite as exceptional. The gap between you and the ghetto has narrowed significantly, and that’s a horrible feeling.
Likewise, if you ask an Apple user why their iPhone or MacBook Pro is better than the Android or Windows equivalent, you will nearly always get some kind of rote response: “It just works,” “Windows sucks,” “I’m a Mac/hipster/artist/bourgeois.” This is because their Apple zealotry isn’t predicated on fact — it’s based on Apple’s incredibly well-cultivated (and well-deserved) reality distortion field.
Now just to be clear, even the staunchest fan of Windows or Android would admit that Apple’s smartphones, tablets, and laptops are good devices. Many (presumably objective) power users choose Apple laptops and smartphones because they are actually good — they’re not just a machination of hype and dream. Apple wouldn’t be the most profitable company in the world if its devices sucked.
Using an iPhone does not elevate you to a higher rung, though — no more than using a Galaxy Nexus, HTC Evo 4G LTE, or an ultrabook. As the saying goes — you are special, just like everyone else. You have access to a delightfully maintained walled garden, but so does everyone else. Your Apple device might have a cool, unique feature — but so do other, non-Apple devices.
By all means be proud of your iPhone, and please, encourage your friends and family to join the smartphone party — but don’t for one second think that spending a few hundred dollars on one phone instead of another somehow makes you a better person.
This Apple snobbery really puts me off and I am already developing a dislike for Apple products. What do you think? Please use the comments section below.