I got this question today via Facebook and thought it warranted some thought ... and all that thought warranted a blog post. So I ask you, as you read on, what do YOU think? Why do some people just seem to hate the iPhone (and Apple) so much?
Noah, maybe you can answer this for me: Why is it when people praise the iPhone, they're viewed as either blind fanboys, or on the Cupertino payroll, and when people praise 'any' other non-Apple phone, they're viewed as sensible, informed, etc types?
That's a good question. Apple is one of those companies that really polarizes people. People view Macs, iPhones, etc as cool, expensive, style over substance, elitist, silly, and so on ... some of it I think is true, some of it isn't. Either way, people don't get all excited trying to predict the next IBM PC design like they do the next Apple Mac design, so all of the buzz and hype around Macs has definitely contributed to the whole "Fanboy" culture thing.
Within the phone world specifically, I think there are two things at work. First, you've got the history of what I just mentioned - years of "Mac vs PC" arguments and years of Apple's history of generating hype like nobody else in the biz can. Between fans religiously making Photoshop mockups of what the next Mac *might* look like and Steve Jobs being a master of design and marketing, Apple's perfected the formula for on-demand creation of consumer desire. Add to that the iPhone itself - it's a state of the art device that's hugely popular but also lacks some "basic" smartphone features (stereo Bluetooth, MMS messaging, voice command, etc) - and that's more fuel for the "Mac vs PC" (iPhone vs Windows Mobile) debate.
Now add to that Apple's policy of controlling everything from the packaging to the features to the store where you buy music and applications for your phone, and it just makes the whole argument that much more "interesting" for the people already arguing. And as we all know, debates sometimes have a way of breaking down from discourse to name calling, especially online ;-) So that's my take on it. Hope that answers your question or at least gives you some food for thought.
But wait ... As El Jobs himself likes to say, there's "One more thing ..." You have to remember that the user base of Windows and Windows Mobile users far outnumbers that of Mac and iPhone users, particularly in the U.S. (the question asker is in London - I imagine it's similar there but don't really know). And yet, Apple gets a huge amount of attention because their products are generally/arguably more stylish and "cooler" than Windows-based products. I think that just plain ticks some Windows fans off, so they make the argument that Windows is more sensible, practical, etc. and Apple stuff is all about flash and eye candy but you can't do any "serious work" with it.
Thanks for the question - I'd love to hear other people's thoughts, too. -- Noah from PhoneDog