Invasion of the Apple Fanboys

Sometime around 4pm yesterday the comment thread on my Android post from Saturday lit up. It was a bunch of Apple fanboy haters that aren't part of this community and don't have any manners.

This happens every time I write a post that is critical of Apple or complimentary of a competitor (ie Android).

It feels like an organized group, like some website they all hang out proclaiming their love for Apple to each other, that posts a link to the post and says "go get 'em." If I had the time, I'd try to figure out where this 4pm comment surge came from. But I don't have the time this morning.

I'll say this. It is impressive. I hope they don't start a denial of service attack when I write my next negative post on Apple.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Enoch Ko

    Hi Fred,Which Android mobile do you operate? If you were to get a new one today, which one would it be? I might consider getting one someday… so just want to get your thoughts. Thanks!

    1. fredwilson

      i use the nexus one but am jonesing for a samsung vibrant with UMA from tmobilethey don’t have UMA on that phone yet though

      1. cheolhominale

        do you root your phone ? use a custom rom ?

        1. fredwilson

          Not yetShould I?

          1. CJ

            Nexus One runs stock Android, I’d probably root it but don’t really see a reason to run a custom rom.

          2. kenberger

            2.2/froyo lessens the need significantly. But rooting does bring a slew of advantages: being able to control the processes that run by default at startup, power tools installation like advanced task killers and one-click reboot, much easier tethering (wired and wireless), ability to take a screen shot, etc etc.Nexus One is a particularly good candidate because so many have blazed this path already.

      2. Aaron Klein

        Just beware if you switch that it will be very different.With the Nexus One, you are getting a pure Android experience.A good friend of mine bought the Samsung and it is larded up with apps you can’t delete, a custom UI that slows the thing down, etc. You almost have to root the other ones to get the same effect you’ve been experiencing.Google needs to really improve their core apps to achieve parity with the core apps that iPhone has, and then require that carriers and phone manufacturers must include them.

  2. MassMan

    Fred: You have to admire the outspoken, Kool-Aid slurping Apple-heads who react as if you had informed them their houses (no, their iPads) were on fire and you lit the match. The venom and hysteria, the rage — and frankly the stunningly small-minded stupidity — is refreshing and highly entertaining.Rock on!MassMan

    1. fredwilson

      I admire it and am annoyed by it at the same time

    2. Joshr

      I agree. I like Apple products but this type of cheerleading is nonsense!

  3. Wells Baum

    More and more people in my office are getting the Droid phone over the iPhone, probably because it’s cheaper, avoids network restrictions, and shares the same capabilities as the iPhone. I would be bullish on the Droid as well, that is, until Apple lowers the price of their iPhones.

  4. Philip Boyle

    I’m still amazed that any company can inspire such blind loyalty among its customers. I’m an Apple user myself, and a happy one at that, but the fanboys give us all a bad name!With Google behind Android as with Microsoft behind Windows before, Apple have a real fight on their hands for the smartphone and tablet markets, but they’re not nearly as much of an underdog as they were first time around. Remember, they very clearly won the MP3 player war a few years back against some well funded competition.It’s going to be an interesting few years watching this play out.

    1. akharris

      Reminds me a bit of (many) Red Sox fans. They’re so used to being maligned and the also-rans that they can’t accept the two World Series they’ve won in the last number of years and the fact that that should mellow out the vitriol.And yes, as a Yankee fan in Boston from 2002-2006, I experienced the full force of that fandom. I respect the fervor, but I fear the zealotry.

      1. Ted Barbeau

        Haha…as a life long Red Sox fan and current Bostonian, I can really appreciate your comment. Apple fanboys and Sawx fanboys share many things in common. Some good…some not so good.I will say, however, that the majority of fans in my demographic (mid-to-late 20’s) have really fallen off the bandwagon with respect to the Sox. I hated the Yankees with every fiber of my being after 2003 (Aaron _______ Boone!), but now look at the Sox/Yanks rivalry as more of an arms race than anything. The fun, for me at least, has been sucked out of the sport.The Sox have shifted from lovable losers to a corporate profit-machine. We value Bill James-ian statistical wonders (JD Drew) and heavyweight free agents (John Lackey) versus the gritty backbone of the 2004 Champs (Trot Nixon, Bill Mueller). I long for the days of the Boston Dirt Dogs…Oops…for a minute I thought I was on Sons of Sam Horn…

    2. gorbachev

      “I’m still amazed that any company can inspire such blind loyalty among its customers.”It has very little to do with the actual company and a whole lot to do with the insecurity (or trollishness) of the fanboys. It’s a mental condition, not loyalty.

    3. MartinEdic

      I think it’s all good. There’s real competition in operating systems for the first time in my life- and I specify ‘operating systems’ as opposed to devices. Though I am an avid long term Apple user I have an Android phone because of the carrier. I am not an Android fan, primarily because the system interfaces are very sloppily designed and often counterintuitive for ordinary people (not AVC readers). I have ‘fixed’ my friend’s Droid issues multiple times but have never been asked to ‘fix’ any iOS devices. As for the company’s goals, they have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize shareholder results, something they excel at…I should think the readers here would be very cognizant of that.Finally, there are at least as many anti-Apple people out there. Just read PC World!

      1. CJ

        With greater functionality comes greater complexity and therefore greater risk of error. iOS is awesome, except when you want to do something that Apple doesn’t want you to do or when you want to do it in a manner that Apple doesn’t approve.Apple and Android target different markets in some respects, but I’d caution that it’s easier for Android to get a bit of shine than it is for Apple to release control of their OS.

        1. dc

          “I’d caution that it’s easier for Android to get a bit of shine than it is for Apple to release control of their OS.”From a technical perspective, both halves of that proposition are simply wrong. From a business perspectiveโ€”I assume you are a businessperson from the arched fingertips in your avatarโ€”I understand that the first half of your assertion is a common modern variation of the “mythical man-month.”To the contrary, it is easier for Apple to integrate what it sees as positive aspects of the openness of Android (a prime example would be apps that allow context-aware end-user scripting of phone events, or WiFi hotspot functionality) than it is for Google to adjust its culture and business model to the extent required to provide a polished, uniform user experience on mobile devices.”With greater functionality comes greater complexity and therefore greater risk of error.”This is a common misconception, especially among business types (there is no other way to explain the Bloomberg terminal or the Blackberry) and technologists need to fight it tooth-and-nail in the coming century.

          1. CJ

            I’m actually a technologist before a businessman, being primarily a Systems Engineer with a small consulting thing on the side. In any case, I disagree. ๐Ÿ™‚ Apple’s culture is one of control and simplicity. For Apple to embrace an App such as Tasker (seems to be the one you’re referencing wrt userside contextual scripting), they would have to put the control of the OS into the enemy’s hands, the user. Once the user has that level of control Apple can no longer guarantee the experience, this is the key part for them. Apple guarantees (as far as that goes) no porn, decent battery life, no bait and switch apps, a certain look and feel to the device and OS. Apple and iOS by extension is based a lot on the guarantee of a simple, hassle-free, semi-powerful experience. Once you let the inmates (users) run the asylum, that guarantee is broken, you lose a lot of that simplicity that came about because of it. Witness how long it took to get multitasking and the limited fashion in which it finally appeared.Now from Google’s perspective or any other when we’re talking about UI and UX, we’re talking about making something pleasing to the eye. Something functionally sensible and simple while also allowing ready access to the power of the device. This ISN’T a culture issue. This is a design issue. Sure, your design team may be wed to the product’s current look, but that’s easily remedied by hiring better designers. There is no loss of control, no culture change, no inherent changes needed to Google’s thinking or their plan to make Android prettier. It’s a product issue, nothing more.And that’s why it’ll be easier for Google to evolve aspects of Apple’s experience than Apple to implement from Google. One is a culture change, the other is a simple issue of product design.*The picture is actually from a doctor’s office on vacation in Jamaica from a while back, funny story behind it, which I haven’t time for now. Maybe I’ll post it to my blog, it could use another entry. LOL

  5. jameskupka

    Sourcing identity externally always means existence without meaning… but i suppose having an identity you feel worth defending and a team with you is better than facing teh worldz all on your own.

  6. Matt

    paranoid android

    1. fredwilson

      That’s good!!!

  7. Harry DeMott

    I often wonder whether it is a cult of the products or a cult of the stock. I have gotten similar vitriol from folks who post about XM/Sirius. I doubt they are necessarily lovers and defenders of the service – but they are certainly aggressive day traders who churn out all sorts of facetious comments. AS long as $AAPL is on a tear – these guys are defenders of the faith. And a day like today where it is likely the stock will drop (it was down 7% in the aftermarket last night) they will be out in force stamping out sedition. Truth is, Apple makes some phenomenal products – and consumers love em. That doesn’t mean that there are certain compromises you need to make to worship at the altar of Steve Jobs – there are – and I think you point them out fairly clearly. Attend mass – just keep your eyes and mind open.

    1. akharris

      I don’t think it has much to do with the day traders, for the most part. There’s a religious fervor behind the comments that goes beyond anything that the almighty dollar can normally command.

    2. fredwilson

      I always wonder too HarrySeems like a day trader mindset behind these commentsReminds me of yahoo’s stock message boards

  8. D. Lambert

    I think it’s great to have a customer base that’s supportive of your company and your brand, but what always amazes me about “militant” fans (of any brand — not just Apple) is that these fans really aren’t helping the cause of the brand they’re supporting. In fact, by their association with Apple, they’re detracting from the brand.If you step back a bit and look at the social dynamics, you can draw a parallel to behavior we see in political arenas. It’s almost as if these guys are Apple’s Tea Party, isn’t it? I’m sorry, but there’s just no excuse for escalating an open conversation about different ideas into a flame war or worse. I’ll keep my objectivity, thank you very much.

  9. vanelsas

    Apple makes beautiful products, but there is more in life. I’ll take the less perfect but open platform any time over the perfect closed and tightly controlled platform that Apple provides. I don’t like the fanatics on either side of the coin. Neither Google nor Apple needs fanboys that are extreme in their defense.

    1. Vinay Pai

      Couldn’t agree more! Death to fanboys! Let’s start a forum where we can talk about how much we all hate fanboys.

      1. vanelsas

        Uhm, I didn’t say I hate fanboys or wish them dead. And this comment doesn’t help either. There are already too many extreme reactions around so lets ease up a bit.

        1. Vinay Pai

          That was a joke

  10. ErikSchwartz

    The fans of Apple and Apple Inc have two very different goals.The fans of Apple want everyone to be like them. They’re believers. They want Apple to have 100% market share. They think everyone would be happier using Apple products.Apple the company is trying to maximize profits. To not do anything that might upset the stock market applecart. Improving market share is only important to Apple if it increases profits.

    1. andyswan

      Seems to me their goals are the same, but their motivations are different.

    2. nathanvanfleet

      Soooo do you have a novel idea somewhere in there? Apple fanboys like Apple. Apple Inc is a corporation? Is there any nuance compared to people who really like Android or MS or Lady Gaga?

      1. ErikSchwartz

        The idea is that Apple fans are frustrated because what’s best for AAPL is not necessarily best for Apple’s users. Quarterly demands are making Apple focus more on wall street (high margins) than on what their users want (carrier choice). That’s a very different reality than the user centered reputation Apple like to foster.

        1. nathanvanfleet

          Very true, there are certainly places Apple could go that they don’t for financial reasons. I agree that there are certain features they don’t enable for things like playing non-iTunes content on the Apple TV, carrier unlock etc. Thankfully there are ways around these things.

        2. Chris

          I don’t know about that.. Apple has a storied history of ignoring what users claim they want and deciding for them what’s best (app approval process, single button mouse, no physical keyboard on iPhone come to mind). This hasn’t really changed. I’d argue further that with Jobs having moved AAPL from $10/share in 2001 (iPod launch year) to $300/share today would give him more power to flout the markets rather than less.Apple has always been a business and will never stop being a business.

        3. Wittenss

          I was under the impression that Apple had signed a 5 year agreement with AT&T when they launched the iPhone in 2007. If this is indeed correct, then they cannot expand their carrier choice without being in breach of contract, which tends to be expensive.Am I wrong, and miss-remembering this?Also, you can/will be able to stream netflix on an apple TV, its not everything you could want, but it apparently runs some cut down version of the iOS, so it might be possible to write an app of sorts to let you run whatever you want. The functionality is there, or will be with the 4.2 update in November which allows streaming from an iPad or other device.Further the Android is not as open as it could be in all cases. I had to swap out the kernel on my droid to get it to do what I wanted; namely sharing the 3G net connection through a wireless network it creates. This took me a weekend, is not something a normal consumer is likely to contemplate let alone attempt, and allowed me to get some extra functionality that Verizon and Motorola don’t exactly want me to have.

        4. MikeSchinkel

          I’d argue that APPL is run much more on the irrational than the rational.What I mean is that APPL does what Steve Jobs decides it will do. Granted, he’s had uncanning instincts and been a brilliant marketer but I’ll lay odds that if Steve wants to do it a certain way then any amount of rational counter will be thrown to the wind. At least for as long as he has significant more successes than failures he’ll be allowed this leeway and, as I said, he is brilliant so he’s had lots of successes.The proof will be in the pudding though when Jobs moves on and someone else takes the helm for a while. Then I believe we’ll see a distinctly different management style, one more like HP and less like Apple. FWIW.

    3. calabs

      Ah, I like this angle – trying to figure out the motivation behind the behavior. How fun!My belief is that fanboyism, especially Apple fanboyism, satisfies the same need that fundamentalist religion serves: providing certainty in an uncertain world. Technology is such a fast moving, ever changing endeavor that many people feel overwhelmed by their options and decisions. Apple is firm and stable where the rest of the world is mushy and unstable.This points to a real gaping hole in the marketplace: there is no good mental model of technology that would give ordinary consumers the ability to evaluate their technology options rationally. At best there are anecdotes and ideas about “where the market is heading” – but no real core idea that maps technology onto overall utility.I’d like to address that.

      1. MikeSchinkel

        Ah, I’d argue that it’s not the craving for minimizing uncertainty; that results in relative benign outward behavior. It’s a lot more about identity politics and the concurrent building up and tearing down the “us” vs. “them.” It’s happened throughout history; religion, nationalism, ethnicism, tribalism and more commonly sports team, universities, “Ford vs. Chevy”, “Mac vs. Windows vs. Linux” and so on.If a person defends their “us” and wins a battle “proving” that their “us” is better than your “them” then they get a self-esteem boost and get to believe (artificially) that they are better than you. Or said another way, they get to hide from their own feelings of self-loathing and self-doubt. You’ll find fan boys can switch allegiance easily because it’s not about what they swear allegiance to, it’s about how their allegiance makes them feel. And those who are not fan boys today likely never will be because they don’t have the innate need for external validation.Anyway, JMTCW. And BTW, it’s not an original thought. I lifted it from Eric Hoffer who wrote The True Believer. In 1951.-Mike

  11. David Bernick

    I have to say this controversy, combined with great reports from humans I trust, has convinced me that Android is the way to go. Off to the Sprint Store right now…

  12. Mark Collier

    I’ve had such lousy service recently on my iPhone4 I’m seriously considering switching to android for the first time. I actually took my phone back to the apple store to swap it out. They hooked it up to a mac and did some diagnostics and found that it “hadn’t dropped that many calls”. Of course, given Apple’s service they went ahead and replaced it anyway.The first call I made while leaving the store on my brand new phone failed.The thing that kept me from even considering defecting before were the apps, which as you said in your other post are becoming less and less of an issue. Additionally, a year ago I did a lot of gaming on the phone which I suspect is not the same experience on android. But since getting an iPad I do all my gaming on there, so the rationale for staying with iphone is getting weaker and weaker.I think once the next gen of phones come out with gingerbread (android 3.0) and support for verizon LTE (4G) I’ll have little reason to stay. If I can turn it into a hotspot as well, the combo of android phone + ipad will actually be a pretty powerful one IMHO.

    1. andyswan

      Same for me. Had the iphone, and it was completely unprofessional. Dropped calls all the time. It was almost like I had an ipod touch with a 2.5 star jailbroken “make phone calls” app.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Other than make calls, is there anything an iPhone does that an iPod touch can’t do?

        1. ShanaC

          apparently the camera quality is a bit better..

        2. andyswan

          Attract a date for all the wrong reasons….

          1. Dave Pinsen

            Then maybe there’s a business opportunity in that: what about a plain-vanilla cell phone that’s built to fit around an iPod touch?

          1. Dave Pinsen

            I assume that’s one of the “jailbroken” apps Andy referred to above.

          2. onsip

            As far as I know, no need to jailbreak for my mention above…

        3. Aaron Klein

          The iPhone can make calls?

    2. Elia Freedman

      I am anxious to see whether the iPhone’s reception issues are an issue with iPhone or AT&T. This move to CDMA could either put Apple out in front or could really damage the brand, I think, because for the first time here in the States we will have a much better idea as to whether it is the device or the cell coverage.

    3. Mark Essel

      I gave up on AT&T, and use wifi with skype (high quality VOIP), and GV Connect with Gizmo5 (low quality but workable). The latter option gives me free access to the phone network.Now I’m free to use any data plan I want with a portable data node (I haven’t needed one yet, there’s wifi all over).

  13. Mark Essel

    Cults have risen for far less reasons.Who knew techno/brand cults would rise so quickly.Better watch out Fred, I just got my first MacBook Pro. I bought it for Textmate as a code/project editor and to become more familiar with developing on it. While the living room macmini is great for Netflix and light browsing, Apple’s (insane) limitation on application font sizes makes it impossible to read from across the room.Thus far I prefer Ubuntu’s package management and web development ease of use (minus a sharp IDE).Here’s a related article and good read about cult creation and it’s relation to building companies.

    1. Vinay Pai

      Have you tried Eclipse? I dismissed it after trying it out a long time ago (ca 2005 or so) because it was slow and buggy then, and used Emacs ever since.I finally gave Eclipse a second shot when I bought my Android phone (and like any good geek had downloaded the SDK within minutes of opening the box), and boy has it come a long way. It’s got plugins for every language out there, so I’ve been using it not just for Java, but also PHP and such. Autocomplete is fast and accurate in every language I’ve tried it with (C++, Java, PHP) and it deals well with mixed languages. Javascript embedded in an HTML section of a PHP file? No problem. The clincher was the Emacs+ plugin which does an incredible job of emulating emacs, not just keybindings but a lot of other things as well.

      1. Mark Essel

        I tried it briefly a few months back, but based on your glowing review I’ll revisit it.

    2. Senith @ MBA tutor

      great link on building cultures in companies. thanks Mark.

  14. awaldstein

    Hey FredI’m an Apple user…but certainly not part of the Apple attack group and honestly not a blind follower of anything.But as a student of brands and a Mac user and competitor of Apple products for part of my career, they do pave the mass market path for technology. They understand the relationship between people and technology use better than anyone. Iphone will loose marketshare but they discovered the people/capability of the smart phone. They will most likely loose in connected TV but they will get the mass market to connect the web to the TV and force (I think) more and faster bandwidth and more web channels. Some 250K of those $99 boxes have been sold.I guess my point is…Zombies and cults are annoying and not very stimulating to converse with but the mass market wave of followers is always where you look to see the changes in behavior that can then be broadened and made better.

    1. fredwilson

      They make marketsThey leadAwesome company in so many waysBut a few huge blind spots

      1. awaldstein

        “they make markets”…that says it all.And I believe that without that these markets that we all live in and build to would be delayed.

  15. steveplace

    AAPL is the jersey shore of stocks

    1. Mike

      Addicting but will kill your soul in the process?

  16. RichardF

    If you can find the forum where they came from we can have an invasion of the AVC fanbois

    1. Tereza

      …and flygirls

    2. fredwilson

      link to the mac community below from Daryn

  17. ShanaC

    Fred, you’re a major commentator on all things related to business and tech.At least it’s not religion.Bigger problem: If everyone is shouting so loudly, it is really hard to hear a voice about what will happen next.

  18. Alex Murphy

    On a “Brand Scale” Apple is off the chart. If the top of the scale used to be “Brand Evangelist” Apple has moved into realm of having Brand Militias. This would be akin to Coke fans driving around and putting graphite on Pepsi Machines.

  19. sachmo

    Wow, I saw some of the comments. I can’t believe people would take some casual thoughts about Android vs. Apple that seriously.

  20. Lee Graham

    Apple has a nice cult-like following. I’m a huge fan of my Mac, but definitely prefer the Android platform for mobiles.

  21. Brad

    Amazing. I’m an Apple user and I found yesterday’s post informative. I keep an eye on the Android platform, because, despite the fact that I use their products now, I’m not married to Apple. I’ve read a lot of posts by current Android users that shared similar sentiment to me about early Android devices; they showed a lack of polish. Android is improving. The quality is getting better… The question is, how can this be a bad thing for Apple fans? We’ve already seen Apple step up their game in the form of drastically revised set of T’s & C’s for app developers. We should always welcome competition from other platforms. It keeps things moving forward.I think a lot of the reaction is the result of a kind of battered wife syndrome. Long time Apple users have faced years of questions about whether Apple will even be around next year. You don’t read about this much any more, but as recent as a few years ago, questions about Apple’s long term viability were in question. It’s absurd when you look at the amount of cash they had on hand and how they were able to operate a profitable business when everyone else was being commoditized, but Apple users still had to sit there and listen to an industry full of confused pundits proclaiming that consumers would wise up and any moment and their platform of choice would disappear. Now that Apple is “on top”, many beaten and battered Apple users feel like they’re riding the elephant. They charge in to battle assailing anyone who looks to counter their momentum.I still think this group represents a vocal minority. I meet plenty of Mac users who are simply computer users in search of a platform that is not Windows. Everyone’s reasons vary, but for many, it’s simply a matter of taking control of their computing life, not a religious experience. I enjoyed your insights, and I hope you’ll continue to share them despite the rabid fanboys.

  22. Elia Freedman

    I find it odd that we think about mobile the same way we thought about PCs, as if there will be a winner take all, 95% monopolized market here. There is no way that will happen. Every person will make their own, unique choice about what device fits them best and over time web services will evolve to support multiple if not all platforms. We are already seeIng that with Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare, etc.Heck, in your own family you have different users of different devices, right Fred? Mine, too. I use an iPhone. My wife uses a BlackBerry. My mom has a WinMo phone and my brother is looking at Android.We are talking about a 6 billion user market here. Something tells me there is enough room for everyone.

    1. fredwilson

      that’s sort of what i was sayingi don’t want our portfolio companies blindly developing solely for ios

      1. Elia Freedman

        I am very concerned about the “platform war” that is being propagated by the tech community. I think we are distracted by this fake war between Google and Apple and RIM and Nokia and Microsoft and the carriers are using that to try and force their agenda on the American public. This agenda is bad for us and bad for the web and bad for start-ups everywhere.I emailed this to you (and Albert, he responded) but in case you missed it:

        1. fredwilson

          my post was not about a fightit was about making sure entrepreneurs and developers give android theresources it deserves

    2. Andrew Greene

      exactly. Apple will always go for high-margin products selling to willing customers.Android (or some other open phone OS) can go to everyone else. it will be cheaper, but not as polished.

      1. OMA

        Thunderbird, Firefox, Chrome, Skype, Facebook, Google search, are really polished, and are given for free.I would say Google search is probably more polished then iOS. My 98 years old grandma used it (until she lost her sight), she can’t use an iPhone.High margins don’t correlate with high quality or polished products well.The polishing level of a product has some correlation to the investment in development, nothing to do with margins.High margins correlate really well with a captive audience.Apple did a great job convincing the media they are cutting-edge, pioneers making cutting edge technology.According to the apple fanboys (and the media) apple invented the touchscreen phone (guess what, sony ericsson had R380 in 2000), the internet tablet (check out Nokia n770 from 2005) and the GUI operating system (NeXT 1.0 was released in 89, I had an Atari ST in 88 with GEM, guess what, it was a windowing system).What apple does is1. They make very polished mainstream products2. They make their users feel like they are cutting-edge, avant-garde, and cool.The above two generate a lot of sales.I wish I could sell as well as Steve Jobs, I can’t, butNow they are trying to convince us that their high margins are for our own good?

  23. Carl Rahn Griffith

    I suspect the Apple die-hards are going through a painful phase such as when as youths we first experience the band we loved – ‘our’ band that only ‘we’ understood – going mainstream and ‘selling out’ commercially.Many Apple aficionados still feel that Apple is ‘theirs’ and by being a user of one of their products they are part of an elite. Special.”I wish I was special, so f****** special,” as Radiohead would say.Fact of the matter is, Apple has been increasingly mainstream for several years now – since the first iPod, really.Just look at any Apple Store nowadays – the demographic is totally different to a few years ago. The success of the iPhone and iPad has accelerated this. You see the ‘traditional’ Apple users expecting priority treatment at the Genius Bar, as part of a clique, and their barely suppressed anger and contempt for these interloper new consumer-users causing a queue and swamping ‘their’ club.I felt the same way when Queen went ‘commercial’ back in the late 70s… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Mark Essel

      Hahaha, thanks Carl. Way to put things in perspective.I was a Flash soundtrack addict and much later the Highlander series intro song, so even though Queen went ‘commercial’ at least a knuckle head kid like me was able to experience their music, perhaps because of it.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Two great soundtracks, nothing you need to apologize for. Great movies too.

    2. Dave Pinsen

      “I wish I was special, so f****** special,” as Radiohead would say.””But I’m a creep…” — great reference to Radiohead back when they were still interested in making good rock and not trying to pretentiously reinvent the genre.

    3. Thalasso

      What? Queen went commercial? Never realised it…

  24. CJ

    Apple fanboys are a culture. They’re easy to spot, they tend to have an arrogance about technology that can only be gained through ignorance. They like to be seen wearing the crappy white earbuds even though their taste for Apple products would seem to dictate an ability to purchase a decent if not great pair. They emphasize terms like ‘ease of use’ and ‘brilliant UI’ in everyday conversation and are often seen standing close to windows or statuesque in the middle of sidewalks trying to preserve that last precious bar of signal strength.Apple Fanboys love glass and metal and anything industrial. It is their secret hope that the next iPhone will simply be a square block of aluminum encased in glass with an external antenna that wraps completely around the structure with ends that don’t quite touch. While it’s true that Apple Fanboys love a lot of things, the one thing they all universally hate is batteries. Apple Fanboys have been known to spontaneously combust at the mere sight of an external battery.

  25. onsip

    Fred – In reading your Android blog, it made me laugh because you share your product experiences with your family with the same enthusiasm you do on this blog/forum. You truly are passionate about innovation and quality of service. And, perhaps this is your blog family!Anyway, what’s so surprising is that you weren’t negative toward iPhone; you were mostly plugging Android. “iPhone and iPad have been amazing products that have opened new markets. But I do not think they will own either market in a few years. Android will.”Based on this, those comments weren’t provoked – They were examples of textbook trolling… So, bah humbug to them too.-Nicole @onsipP.S. I like Macs, and I’m an Android user.

    1. ShanaC

      I like trying everything at least once. I think innovation can come from the most surprising of places.

      1. Sheldon Thomas

        Agree, ShanaC, I use Macs, PCs, even fire up Ubuntu from time to time, along with other electronics… and have been known to spend a fair amount time in Best Buy and places playing with other electronic gadgets that are out. I’m very enthusiastic about all the variety that’s starting to come out in mobile devices and each has its strong points… some will survive, some won’t (profound, I know).Fred, don’t let the Mac Extremists get to ya. Apple makes some great products but to some folks, I think Jobs could come on stage, take a poop, call it “magical” and they’d stand up, cheer, and wait in line overnight to buy one.

    1. markslater

      wow – they are pretty harsh on fred. Its almost cult like over there……..very scary.

    2. fredwilson

      yupi really would prefer not to have that crew over here

  26. ninakix

    Haha, your description sounds suspiciously like the descriptions I’ve heard of stuff going on at 4chan. Attempting to establish order through anarchy.

  27. Sebastian Wain

    The question is: how can be people so alienated defending a brand instead of doing something better for the society/world. May be in the near future brands will finally have fundamentalists and some Apple’s suicide bomber knock the door.

  28. Brian

    Fred,Please help me understand why you are complaining. I read your blog everyday. The comments were very mild for a post that has mass appeal (politics, operating systems, etc.). I think this is a case of selective bias.Over the years I have noticed a lot more group think and less tolerance for different ideas that challenge your beliefs. Yes, 25% of the posts yesterday were from jerks, but 75% were from people who posed really good questions that you do not seem to have an answer to.I would add a couple more:1) How can android make money without selling my personal information? Is there any privacy on the android platform?2) Please show me how I can buy a tablet for less than a $499 total cost of ownership?3) What percent of android would you credit to “buy one, get one free” marketing from other carriers?Like I said when I started my post, I really enjoy your blog and read it everyday. You just seem to be getting, well cranky lately. I realize you write this blog for many reasons (and you are an Android fan boy), and I hope at least one of them is to challenge your thinking. Yeah, some of the posters were rude, but you only seem to show outrage at the rude ones that disagree with you.My suggestions would be to a) always welcome growing your audience no matter what the source since the best way to get ideas out there and learn is to grow and diversify your audience and b) if you do not like a comment do not sink to the level of the commenter. Just my two cents.

    1. fredwilson

      i love a comment like yoursi don’t love this “i will bet your ass that you are wrong in a year.”i want an intelligent discussion here, not a digression into stock message board nonsense or what techcrunch’s comments have becomethere is a reason you get great discussions in the comments here.i respect other’s opinions, including your criticisms, but not crap like that

  29. Tim Johnson

    The meta message I see here is the deterioration of civility and manners. On the internet, no one knows you’re a dog, but everyone sees who’s a jerk. It is much easier and natural to shutdown a loudmouth with the verbal and non-verbal dynamics of a personal interaction. The limitlessness of a comment board offers no such control so idiots, jerks and fanatics can carry on as they jolly well wish – even though no one else is listening.It’s also too easy to be insulting or inappropriate. There is no possibility of a bloody nose on a message board.Reasoned discourse is also a dying art since any idiot with an opinion, no matter how well or ill founded, can post as much as they want wherever they want.As a result, when someone as respected as Fred voices an opinion that is counter to some jerk’s view of the world, we see these types of juvenile attacks.On the side of Apple, the closed approach brings a lot of value because it masks complexity. I’m a techie but I hate wasting my time on fiddling, configuring, mending incompatibilities, security flaws, etc. Apple offers usability over configurability – and always has. There is comfort in knowing that the iTunes apps have been vetted for security and are designed to just work. With Android apps coming from Lord Knows Where, that comfort level isn’t there – for the segment that is concerned about it.Apple is addressing a defined market and will do well at it because that is what they’ve been doing their entire existence. I suspect there is a significant addressable market, otherwise Apple wouldn’t be there. Android will also do well because it is addressing the rest of the market. It’s a classic Mac vs PC segmentation.The real losers in this market are Microsoft, HP (PalmOS), and Nokia (Symbian). As Microsoft and Apple so graphically demonstrated with computers, there is room for two OS in the tech market. The third OS (Linux), no matter how compelling, will always find an uphill battle. I see no reason for anything different in the device OS space.As for the haters: Ignore them. It’s best to not engage in a battle of wits with unarmed people.As for the rest of us, let’s remember our manners and focus on reasoned discourse and respectable disagreement. A VERY successful sales mentor of mine had the personal motto: It doesn’t cost anything to be nice.

    1. ShanaC

      Ok so better question- mentoring niceness on the internet: what are some good ways to go about changing rhetoric as to change the way we discourse?

      1. CJ

        The barrier to internet niceness is anonymity. With the rising popularity of commenting services like Disqus and authentication services like Facebook Connect and Twitter Connect(whatever they call it when I login with my Twitter account) it destroys that wall of anonymity and now my behavior persists throughout the entire internet and not just on one site and, hopefully anyway, it’s attached to a semi-real identity. It’s amazing how much better people treat each other when they think that reputation matters.That said, all you need for this is an email address so there is still that level of anonymity that can subsist if someone wants it bad enough, which is both good and bad depending on how it’s used.

        1. Tim Johnson

          Malcolm,Agree. As persistence grows, anonymity will wane. Eventually every person/email address and their collection of personas (Twitter, FB, Disqus, et al) will have a reputation. Yes, you can have multiple email addresses and multiple personalities if you really want to put the effort in but it will eventually catch up to you.Once that is further along, I can only hope that reasoned discourse and reasonable manners will grow in the harsh light of the open community.

  30. Jeffrey McManus

    I love my Android phone and I love my OSX computers. Apple is starting to sound desperate which to me is a very good thing.That high-pitched sound coming out of Steve Jobs’ mouth on their earnings call this week sounded like a lot like a competitive marketplace to me.

  31. markevans99

    I’m surprised they didn’t come after you based on your Apple comment from last summer in SF. I suppose they would’ve had you blogged on it.

  32. Jan Cifra

    Sorry Fred, please do not generalize Apple fanboys. While I admit I like Apples products it does not necessarily mean I will DDOS your blog or post without manners or respect. If someone is hijacking your comment thread they most probably lack any manners or respect and do a lot more harm to Apple then help. I don’t like to be put into the same category just because I am an Apple fanboy. Btw I admire your work on this blog and your health criticism of Apple.

  33. kriswood

    Dedicated fans are great, but when they can’t acknowledge your very valid points (and I am a huge Apple guys), it is frustrating. I agree with you – it’s both impressive and frustrating. The 4pm invasion probably coincides with Apple’s earnings call yesterday.

  34. Wesley Verhoeve

    I was surprised to be engaged by an anonymous and very passionate user in that same post for merely mentioning I liked my HTC Incredible camera feature better than the iPhones one haha.'s pretty great to have a customer community that feels that passionate! I sure would love it!I think the closest equivalent in user passion can be found in the world of tweens where the important choice between Team Edward and Team Jacob weighs heavy, and Justin Bieber non-fans may not be safe.PS I’m an Apple user and fan, but also love my Android.

  35. Evan

    I remember the passion for macs in my family in the late 80s and early 90s. It’s a good thing the internet wasn’t around then, because I think the mac fanboys were more passionate then.

  36. Aaron Farnham

    Upfront: I love Apple, I enjoy this blog and I am an iPhone developer (shameless plug )I did not comment on the Android post mostly because it is making me rethink my position and I don’t know exactly where I stand on Android yet. That said, I still don’t personally know a single person outside of programmers or tech investors that own an Android phone. I consider this group biased because they have the ability to pick up any technology and use it for the most part. That is what troubles me. I knew people from day 1, that are not techies, that bought iPhones. I want to see Android break into the “non-techie people I know” group before I really start becoming bullish on it. As of right now, it is not there.The way I view this, admittedly anecdotal, evidence is that Android has not overcome the inertia that the iPhone has in the mass market. Yes it is growing, but in what groups? Techies + power users or mass market?

    1. fredwilson

      one of the great things about living in NYC is i socialize with a lot of “normals” as Chris Dixon would call themthese are musicians, cooks, stock traders, painters, etcand many of them carry Androids, more every day

    2. JLM

      I use and I like it. I fly the Bonanza and I like it too. I like to fly and it shows.

    3. Aaron Klein

      Android is growing like crazy, but the interesting thing is that many consumers don’t even know it. They just went in to upgrade at Verizon and got a bigger phone that does pictures and can surf the internet and stuff. They don’t even know what the OS is or does.

  37. Dave

    I think the “antenna gate” issue split the world into pro- and anti-apple factions. And I think there’s some merit to the belief that the antenna issue was blown way out of proportion through the efforts of some people who just wanted to give Apple a black eye. 14 mil iPhone 4s sold last quarter and Consumer Reports can’t recommend it!

  38. John

    As annoying as fanatics can be, I’d bet that Microsoft and Steve Ballmer wished they could generate the same amount of passion in their user base.

  39. awolf

    Fred- Long time reader here. You’ve been in my google reader feed for a year.There were actually dome good points made by people who support Apple in those comments. Because of this post, where you are dismissing many valid criticisms of something you wrote by simply generalizing everyone that disagrees with you as a “fanboy”, I am removing you from my feed.I guess I’m no longer “part of this community”.

    1. fredwilson

      i hope that’s not truedo you see value in this comment?”i will bet your ass that you are wrong in a year”

      1. Aaron Klein

        Don’t worry, Fred. I will bet your ass awolf is sorry he unsubscribed in a year.

    2. CJ

      So you counter his perceived generalization with your own? You assume he didn’t get any value from the educated and well articulated comments made in support of Apple because he made a post deriding the crazed fanboy mentality? Are you in this for the attention and drama or do you really consider yourself a part of this community. If you did, you’d know that you’ve not only taken the post wrong, you went well out of your way to take it that way.I just think you’re overreacting. Come down off the ledge.

    3. William Mougayar

      I don’t speak on behalf of AVC’s community, but I’m representative of it.That said, since you are a long time reader, we might have benefited from your earlier contributions to the community on other topics, as I can’t seem to find your previous comments history.Taking an anonymous shot as such doesn’t lend credibility to it.

  40. NICCAI

    Quite frankly, I’m tired of the Android (Google) versus Apple argument – or Apple versus Amazon for that matter. I’m an iPhone user, but I love that Android is in the market. The real story is the fundamental market shift going on. I think people should be paying more attention to the broader industries being cannibalized by these three companies. As an investor, you can’t ignore any of them, and as users we should be thanking our lucky stars that we’re moving into the 21st century.

  41. paramendra

    Cultish. ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Morgan Warstler

    Apple set the Internet back by years.In the early days, the amount of business that couldn’t be done because the “creatives” were on the wrong platform from the clients / customers / business crowd – was immense.I will never forgive that church of half-wits… even as my wife loads up on APPL products.

    1. JLM

      Hell, I don’t even care which side you are on — “church of half-wits” — I love that turn of a phrase! You get my vote! LOL

      1. fredwilson

        church of half-wits and electronic testosteronethis thread is full of gems

  43. Kyle Pearson

    I think of people who cultishly worship and defend Apple like guys who have to drive massive lifted trucks.They’re compensating for something, somewhere, and they need to take your eyes off what it is.

  44. Jeff Cain

    Fred-Long time reader first time poster.As an iPhone user, I love the fact that Android phones are gobbling up market share. Competition should be viewed as a positive thing by any consumer. This competition will ensure that Apple won’t get lazy and will keep pushing out great products and updates for its customers.

  45. Mike Alfred

    They are seriously obnoxious, Fred. I think you should write a post about it.

  46. andyidsinga

    I’m a simpson strong tie fanboy. They totally rock. The fit and finish of their products is awesome too ๐Ÿ˜‰

  47. paramendra

    Once you find out where the fanboys came from, I think you should publish the info here. There’s enough of us in the AVC community that I think we might want to pay them a little return visit. I am in for the fun. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  48. JLM

    I must admit to being a whole hearted Apple enthusiast for no other reason than the passion — the living breathing nonsensical adolescent passion — that is created by those attractive little morsels of moving and grooving electrical ions captured in those Apple holy relics.I love the cult. I dig the the cultees. I want to mix the kool aid.I love the fact that American business can actually devolve into industrial design and well, FASHION!Is this a great country or what?I am certain that all that competitive electronic testosterone is going to spit out some unbelievable products in the future. Big sleek sexy mind blowing stuff that will make us wonder how we ever lived without it. The iPad will be a slate tablet and a chunk of coal!And I for one, intend to do anything I can to egg them on!You go, Apple, you wonderful, creative bastards! Everybody else, line up to thump them w/ great competitive products which make Apple stuff look like it is, indeed, made of coal.We consumers will be the beneficiaries! Let the shit begin!To be a bit redundant — is this a great time to be alive and is this a great country or what?

    1. William Mougayar

      “electronic testosterone” . Classic JLM. I googled it…only 100 results.

      1. fredwilson

        man that is gooddescribes a lot of what i deal with every day

    2. MikeSchinkel

      I currently own 3 Apple products. And while I like aspects of them the thing I find most distasteful about Apple and its products is the cultist aspects of its followers and the equivalent attitude of their employees. Much like Gandi said “I like your Christ but I don’t so much like your Christians.”That said, I dislike cultish behavior wherever I find it because cultism and harmful irrationality seem to so often go hand-in-hand. FWIW.

      1. JLM

        You just can’t take them seriously.Think of yourself as a Fifth Columnist — wiggling in and getting all that creative energy for free while laughing up your sleeve at their nonsense.Today America is a land of intellectual extremes in any issue which incorporates any bit of philosophical rigor. Pick your poison — politics, college football, etc.The more energy they invest the better their products and others will be and I and you want those great products.

  49. William Mougayar

    If any group should be angry, it’s the BlackBerry fans.

  50. William Mougayar

    Fred,They’re attacking you because you’re influential. Your opinion matters, and it scares them. The irony is that if others had said similar things, no one would have cared.

  51. Andy Lee Graham

    Comments are akin to Soap Operas, Twitter and Facebook, I am never sure why I am reading them and not sure I am entertained, educated or happy afterwards, more or less just confused. I have written 5000 Travel Blog post and after 12 years of perpetual travel, think daily about turning off the comments, especially from zealots like the Apple group. More or less emotional vampires at work to keep in an endophin rush world.

  52. Riaz Kanani

    lol – here is hoping this place does not turn into the next techcrunch ๐Ÿ˜‰

  53. Dave W Baldwin

    This post is not meant as pro Apple or Android. Looking deeper into Steve Jobs jabbing Android and the screen not being big enough, I sense the wheels in his head turning.He was surprised over the number of businesses that have purchased the iPad. This goes against the old school where you establish a foot hold and market from there. The current iPad size does work well in this setting and the business owners just want something that works, keeping it simple.At the same time, there are other large segments of professionals that will not need that size of tablet for what they do and to be of true use during their shift. Then it will become a price point factor getting the number of tabs needed to work for that location.It comes down to what that tab can do…and it is not necessarily from the manufacturer. This is the next wave.

  54. Kirill Zubovsky

    Wouldn’t it be great if you could put all this energy towards a common good?

  55. Reykjavik

    Apple vs. Google. Just one benevolent dictator (“do not evil”) versus a slightly less benevolent dictator (“trust me, I know what’s good for you”). While it’s like choosing execution by hanging vs. execution by lethal objection, I’ll go with Google if for no other reason than Jobs’ heavy-handedness with partners, employees, and customers rubs me as excessively arrogant, even if he is right sometimes. Frankly, Microsoft is a pussycat compared to the ambitions of these two.