Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Why I hate Apple

For those of you who know me, you've undoubtedly heard me say bad things about Apple computers, and probably think of me as a PC fanboy, or simply an Apple bigot. Let me explain my reasons, and say some things you may find surprising.

First, I started hating Apple way back when they were a small, proprietary hardware shop with an OS that was very closed to tweakers. Back then, it made sense to dislike them because anyone savvy with computers knew that an open hardware architecture meant you could do lots more, and the Mac of the day was anything but open, not to mention how much more money the hardware cost. PC's were cheap, modifiable, expandable. No brainer for me.

Apple floundered for a while to the point where I was getting ready to celebrate their demise. But then they had a turnaround (in part due to the success of the iPod), Steve Jobs rejoined, the fanatics rejoiced, and Apple actually did something I never thought possible: they switched their OS from a proprietary system to a UNIX based system which is much more open, mature, and expandable. Apple added their lipstick and made it pretty. Contrary to what you may think, I have always appreciated Apple's design skills. Their stuff always "looked" good.

My opinion of Apple, at this point, raised significantly and I now actually respect them for this decision. So why do I still dislike them in general?

First, the company is "elitist". What do I mean by that? Well, their attitude is basically "Our shit don't stink". That by itself is not a big deal, since they are a company and are entitled to profess their greatness. But they do take it to extremes, with Steve Jobs acting as the savior, prolonging and hyping product releases until people salivate and their heads explode. And those commercials, although funny, position Apple as the "cool" computer, and PC's as "nerds".

Ok, so the company is a little bit snobby, and I *could* look the other way, but what really grinds my gears are the elitist Apple "fanboys". Yes, that term gets tossed around a lot these days, but a fanboy is a good term for the most die hard of Apple worshippers. Now, I have lots of friends who use Macs, and are NOT fanboys. They simply use it because it's the best tool for them. Fanboys are the ones who look down on PC users and let them know it. They are the ones who "ooooh" and "ahhhh" when Jobs pulls a Shuffle out of his pocket. They are the ones who abbreviate Microsoft as M$. They are the ones who blindly buy anything and everything Apple just because it is made by Apple. They are, quite frankly, akin to religious zealots who can never have their faith thwarted. Honestly, these people give a decent platform a bad name...at least to me.

For example, I went to an Apple store to look for a case for my iPod (yes, I have an iPod and I DO like it), and the person behind the counter was a total fanboy snob. I simply asked if they had any other cases other than what was on the wall, and he gave me a look that said "omg, I can't believe how big an idiot you are, Mr. Uncool geek", and actually said to me, in a mildly condescending tone, "If it's not on the wall we don't have it", and then just walked away, all bothered. I felt like saying "get a real job", but held back.

For those that will inevitably tell me that Macs are just better than PC's because "they just work" or "they are virus free", well, you can all just eat me. Yes, I agree the Mac arguably has a better user interface. Yes, it does work well and it IS a solid machine. And YES, it has less viruses (because it has a lower market share and is therefore less of a target). But, NO it is NOT the platform of choice for anyone who considers themseleves gamers. And NO, it is not cheaper than comparably equipped PC's, although it has made strides in that direction. And NO, they are not perfect. Neither are PC's. Far from it.

But I will always be a PC guy as long as Windows remains the market leader. Compatibility with the rest of the world is useful. And yes, I know that the Mac can output Word files, write Excel spreadsheets, read email as good as any PC. But where do you go if you need any sort of tech support? It's a bit harder to find that geek friend who can help you with your computer if what you have is a Mac. Sure, the numbers are growing, but let's face it. Right now, the industry standard platform for most businesses (as well as the gaming industry) is Windows on a PC.

My bottom line here is that I respect the quality of Apple products, but severely dislike the environment in which the company thrives...faith and fanaticism from a crowd of sheep who think the company can do no wrong. Again, not everyone who uses a Mac falls into that category...but enough do to leave a bad taste in my mouth.

With that, I leave you with one of my Zazzle creations:


Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm a Mac user and I don't care who the market leader is. :)

In my opinion the zealotism comes from the old days when Apple was 'beleaguered.' At the time the platform was likely to disappear, a lot of people had an emotional attachment and felt it was important to defend Apple and the Mac in an almost religious way.

The company had an evangelist, Guy Kawasaki, he was running a mailing list in an effort to counter all the bad press Apple had. You can still find the remnants on the web, outdated Apple advocacy pages from 1997 or so, stating that the situation was not so dire, etc.

Apple had a turnaround but many Mac users are still in 'defensive mode,' they won't tolerate any kind of criticism. (1)

Apple's marketing didn't help, from '1984' to 'Think Different' and now the Mac/PC ads, every campaign seems to claim that the PC platform (once the IBM platform) is the 'enemy' and that Mac users are somehow better than the rest. That's what marketing is all about, messing with people's heads.

(1) Then again, *sometimes* they're right. You can't accept everything just to prove that you're not a mindless zealot. Me, I'll decide on a case-by-case basis: "I think Apple is right/wrong on this one." But yep, for some people Apple can do no wrong.

Ed Caggiani said...

Excellent observations. Either way, loud Apple zealots irk me to no end.

Brad said...

I couldn't of said it better myself. I'm an avid gamer and someone who grew up loving the time I spent pulling apart 386's just to see how they worked, then proceeding to build my own computers based on this knowledge, and at the end of the day I was always blessed to see the "Installing Windows, Please Wait" screen. Something no mac fanboy will ever experience. Currently I'm in college at ASU, and two of my fellow classmates who are on my senior project team are as elite as fanboys come, packing their macbooks and iphones around as if they were their first born, while i sit their dual-booting vista and ubuntu (soley to show them that leopards isn't the only OS with beautiful animations) on my vaio looking for steve-jobs blow up dolls to suffice them long enough to shut their mouths about the latest apple this and apple that. I hope the pompous apple drones choke on the koolaid spoon-fed to them by their cult-leader Steve Jobs. Until then I will be the "uncool" kid, in the basement tinkering on my PC.

sammay said...

I have to say I am a total apple fanboy
I love all my apple products to almost no end
my macBook, my iPhone, and my iPod
and I'm kindof a loser for looking up blogs and whatnot where people fight over the superiority of their system
your view on apple here was actually very fair
it made slot of sense to me
I'm glad there are some wise people out there who don't just bash everything on the other side
people like "brad" here
(oh and I'm posting this from my iPhone, haha)

varickwt said...

Suckers, those who pay for Apple products cannot think for themselves and will buy overpriced, under-technologied items they think are cool but in no way really are...

Dick Murchy Jr. said...

Apple products are stuck in proprietary la la land. The company is hard to swallow and the iPod is nothing more than a fizzy sounding and third rate MP3 player when compared to several others. It's bad enough they company was able to steal Apple as a name. Anything other than a UNIX/BSD hybrid is preferable since the OS programmers mucked up what was once a nice system. apple...please go away!

Anonymous said...

nice shirt, i would buy one. Im a mac user just cause my hobbies are audio engineering so it just fits my needs. BUT, I totally agree on their manipulative propaganda and they have really bad-REALLY BAD customer service. I also want to mention that their products are not so quality-filled. All my ipods have broke, every mac i get has nonsensical problems that aggravate me soo much. but in the end every product from every business will break-otherwise there would be no business. So i say FUCK ALL TECHNOLOGY

Mazinkaiser said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Check out my tribute to Apple fanboys at http://www.youtube.com/watch?nomobile=1&v=Aq3OIBmbG60