September 1 2010

How Did ‘Apple Fanboy’ Become An Insult?

Working in the world of tech blogging, I have to write about pretty much all of the companies out there, but I have discovered that any time I say anything positive about Apple, I am immediately labeled an “Apple fanboy”, and anything I have to say is dismissed out of hand.

Huh … funny I’m writing this on one of my many Windows-based machines.  Oh, and my Android-based HTC Hero is laying in front of my keyboard.

I’m currently sitting in my office at work and thought I would list all of the computers this “Apple Fanboy” works with:

Now, as for my Apple products:

As I stated earlier, I carry an HTC Hero phone, and before those I carried various models of BlackBerry handsets.  I have never owned an iPhone.  I hate AT&T and I have this funny habit of liking to be able to make phone calls that don’t get dropped because I held the phone in the wrong way.

You know what I’m a “fanboy” of?  Technology.  Plain and simple, I love technology.  I use the tech that best suits my needs, and I don’t really care who makes it.  The only reason I bought an iMac is I’m getting into more media production, and Macs are hard to dispute for their ability to produce and edit audio & video.  I don’t even turn it on on the days I don’t have any editing to do, there’s no point as I’m still much more comfortable in a Microsoft environment.

People have tried to convince me for ages I should buy a MacBook Pro, but I think they are horrendously over-priced.  I always hear the argument, “but they last longer!”  So?  It is still a huge amount of money to lay out initially, and at the speed with which I break down laptop keyboards I can buy three Microsoft laptops for the same price.

If I am guilty of being a “fanboy” to anything related to Apple, it is that I’m a fanboy of Steve Jobs.  I think the man is a marketing genius, and I fully expect there to be courses taught someday in the future over his business decisions.  He pulled Apple from the brink of bankruptcy to become one of the biggest companies in the country with revenues in the billions each quarter.  How can you not respect that?

For whatever reason, this silly Microsoft/Apple war still rages, and humans, for whatever reason, feel the need to label everything in this world.  Nothing can be ambiguous.  What does it really matter what equipment I use?  What does it matter what I’m a fan of?

Oh, in case you think I am always positive about Apple?  Check out the MacBook Paper post I wrote after the introduction of the MacBook Air.  Yeah, I thought the Air was silly, and I still do.

I suppose there are worse things to be called then an “Apple fanboy” — and oh, I’ve been called most of them — but this one truly puzzles me every time someone says it.  My next computer?  A Windows 7 desktop.  I love it on my laptop, and can’t wait to get it on my desktop, but I’m sure that in spite of that, the next time I say something positive about Apple the “fanboy” term will be thrown in my face again.

Bring it on.  It amuses me.

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  • rizzn

    Sorry chief, Apple Fanboy will always be an insult.

    Not saying you are one, but we all know the posterboy of Apple Fanboyism, and for that reason alone, it's an insult term. :-p

  • trollface

    @sean u mad?

  • I think that a part of it is a portrayal of Apple fans as elitist. Frankly, I see people who love other platforms and manufacturers who are just as enthusiastic and just as gushing–but, also to be honest, the number of Apple fans is probably higher, adding to the annoyance others feel. And, not to be too pointed about it, I think the annoyance also has something to do with the fact that Apple gear is, in fact, at least a bit cooler and better-designed. Not *better* per se, as everyone prefers different things–Apple is far more controlling and conforming than many in the PC world can countenance, has a higher up-front cost, and is definitely not for the DIY set. Add a dollop of political sensibilities, and you get the derogatorization, if it can be called that, of the name itself as a way of 'winning' the argument.

    Interestingly, the vibe I get from the PC crowd is very, very similar to the vibe I get from Canadians abroad, who *hate* to be confused with Americans, and at the drop of a hat will go in to how many celebrities are actually Canadian, how much nicer and better the country is, and so forth and so on. Part annoyance at arrogance, but also part inferiority complex.

    • Sean P. Aune

      I think it is also he fact one can focus on Apple products better than they can Windows-based products. Yes, Microsoft releases Windows 7 and there are a gazillion computers to use it. Apple updates Mac OS X and there are only a handful of machines to update. It really does all boil down to control on the part of Apple.

  • Jenn

    On a slightly but not really related note, why is iTunes 10 in black and white? It's stupid, I know, but I did like that the playlists icons had some color. It looks so drab now. :-(

  • Animo

    I don't think it's about that… It's just that all apple fanboys think they are better because they use Mac. They will start saying: "Apple is cool", "PC sucks" and than "Apple Fanboy" becomes an insult automatically. I use W7 and most of my friends use Linux based OS but never heard them claiming Linux is the best of the best or telling me to switch… With Apple Fanboys is another history!