Apple trolls, you reap what you sow

Apple trolls, you reap what you sow

Back in the mid-90s, Apple was in trouble. It was in a lot of trouble - some of us didn't realize how close the company was to the precipice until years later. We all know how the story turned out: Apple bought Next, Steve Jobs returned, phenomenal products were introduced, then the iPhone, and the iPad, and boom - most profitable tech company in the world. While Apple struggled, a fierce group of Apple loyalists became feared by pundits, analysts and journalists alike, because if you dared say anything critical about Apple, they'd come out with fangs bared and claws sharpened. It's not so bad now, but Apple sites are the ones to have become besieged by folks from other camps who exhibit some of the same behavior.

But before that happened, Apple users were besieged. Mac users in corporate environments got a lot of pressure from IT and management to get rid of their Macs and replace them with commodity PCs.

Macs were on their way out, we were told. You have to get used to Windows.

But we knew Macs were better. We knew it in our hearts. So we defended them. Fiercely.

Yes, I admit it. I was one of those people. I'm not. I haven't been in a very long time. But I was.

The rise of the faithful

For a while, Apple capitalized on that, and returned Guy Kawasaki, the company's first evangelist, back to the fold. They produced marketing materials to explain why the Mac was better; all you had to do was drop Guy a line by email and a week or two later you'd get a box filled with glossy fliers, Apple decals and other paraphernalia to properly arm yourself as a Mac fanatic.

Mac users were always fiercely protective of their turf, but Apple continued to slip into irrelevance - thanks mainly to the bumbling incompetence of its own senior management, which flooded the market with utterly forgettable beige boxes and did little to differentiate them or the Macintosh user experience.

Thus began the legend of the Apple Faithful. Mac users who would come running to the aid of Apple, unbidden or not, to fiercely protect the honor of their platform of choice. To educate, and to occasionally berate the unconverted for their ignorance.

Thank goodness, then, for the return of Steve Jobs. Jobs brought the company back from the brink, established a simple-to-understand four-product matrix - (iBook, iMac, PowerBook, Power Mac) and forged ahead with the transition from "Classic" Mac OS to OS X.

Things changed dramatically in 2007 when Apple extended itself from a computer company to a phone maker. The iPhone changed everything. And when I say everything, I mean everything. Within a very short period, the iPhone became a curiosity to Apple's chief moneymaker.

Nowadays, the Mac is a sideline business for Apple. Still incremental, and still an important line item that brings in a lot of capital, but it's not the star of the show - iPhone and iPad is. iOS products make up the vast bulk of Apple's quarterly revenue numbers.

Apple's business has changed radically over the years. While there's still a core cadre of people who would tell you that they "bleed Apple colors" when cut, the vast majority of people who buy Mac and iOS products are just regular consumers. They may like their Apple products a great deal - they may even recommend them to friends and family - but they're not evangelists for the Apple brand.

They're not the Apple Faithful.

And that's a good thing. Pundits are too quick to haul out the Apple Faithful dog whistle every chance they get. But at this point, it's a manipulation to draw hits from the true core of Apple enthusiasts that are instantly attracted to any controversy surrounding their favorite technology company.

But Apple doesn't need those people anymore. Apple's moved far beyond that core group of Apple enthusiasts to become a consumer electronics company with mainstream appeal.

And you still see some of the old flame wars pop up from time to time - check any PC game discussion forum when anyone asks about a Mac version. They'll be set upon like a Swedish skinny dipper in a pond laden with pacu.

Turnabout is fair play

An interesting thing has happened along the way, too: Android fans have suddenly replaced Mac users as the aggrieved party. It seems that wherever iPhone users congregate, you can be counted on for an Android user to appear, unbidden.

They laud Google's development efforts, then crow about the openness of the Android ecosystem, and compare favorably their phone's feature list and capabilities to the iPhone.

Then they'll excoriate Apple for a long list of perceived failures ranging from the factory conditions of its suppliers to battery life to screen size. Or they'll just philosophically argue the detriments of the "walled garden" approach to software publication that Apple's created for the App Store.

If Android were under siege, I could certainly understand their evangelism. But it isn't.

As any self-respecting Android fan is quick to tell you, Android phones outsell iPhones by a dramatic percentage (though as percentage of sales by any single vendor, Apple does very well, typically only outsold by Samsung). It's not like Google, Samsung or anyone else associated with the Android ecosystem is under siege from anyone.

It doesn't appear that Android enthusiasts are really active evangelists for their platform - their general demeanor is focused less on educating or proselytizing and more on provoking. Rattling the bars of the Apple monkey cage.

I know a lot of it is just how the Internet has evolved - we've become a culture of trolls. But in the back of my mind, I can't help that it's a bit of karmic payback for Apple fans being such jerks for so long.

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Peter Cohen

Mac Managing Editor of iMore and weekend Apple Product Professional at a local independent Apple reseller. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

Apple trolls, you reap what you sow


re: "It seems that wherever iPhone users congregate, you can be counted on for an Android user to appear, unbidden."

They all have something to prove. Best defense is a good offense, etc.
And yes, Samsung has tons of money to blow on paid trolling.
Big bang for the buck at what, 10 cents per comment?

re: "It's not like Google, Samsung or anyone else associated with the Android ecosystem is under siege from anyone."

Tell that to HTC.

I have zero time for trolls, no matter what platform they're using.

Haters always gonna hate. But they don't have to preach anything. I'll use what fits my needs, without having to justify it to anyone else

Trolls have become so bad that I try very hard not to read comments any more. They are everywhere! Apple vs Android vs Microsoft. Democrats vs Republicans. Nikon vs Canon. Gun supporters vs gun control advocates. The worst part is that 99% of the comments seem to be written just to piss off people's opponents.

I think this comic strip sums up nicely the pissing people off just to do it and/or argue theory:


Good point! I get asked all the time which is better, iOS or Android. My personal choice is iOS, but through my own observation, I often see people more productive, and happier with Android. I frequently criticize Android for the many things that I don't like about it, but I don't criticize the users who chose to buy the Android phone. I've been using Macs for 27 years. The OS fits my personality better. If I wanted to move to Windows, I could do that easily. I just don't like the limitations, and annoyances that it would bring.

A reasoned argument as to why YOU THINK something is better FOR YOU isn't the same as blind trolling though.

I know people who won't even seriously try out OS X because they see the lit up Apple logo and immediately concede that it's crap. Yet they're happy to trash it without even giving it a chance.

I'll listen to a reasonable argument with anyone, as long as it's more than just the blind rants of an over-exhuberant fanboy.

Much of it has to do with the silly immaturity of open forums, like the whole Xbox versus playstation nonsense. The truth is though some people like the way apple does things and others do not. We have an opportunity now not to be trapped in a monopoly situation like we had with windows in the 90s but rather several competing platforms succeeding in the marketplace. This doesn't have to be a zero sum game. Forum trolls never forget: Apple, Google and Microsoft make more profit in one quarter then most of us will see in our lifetime, let them fight over us rather then let them use us to fight amongst ourselves.

If you put enough of us in a room (real or virtual) we'll always find a line to draw. Get us to justify why and our, generally poor, articulation sees us all fizzing like fanboys. This has probably been going on since before we could stand up; religion, politics and smartphone platforms!

If you can be bothered, most anti-Apple trolling is based on Apple's design oriented (as opposed to false-consultation oriented) product strategy. Just ask the troll why they think they're more qualified to make those design decisions.

" But we knew Macs were better. We knew it in our hearts. So we defended them. Fiercely "

Yeah. This sentence makes you a licensed apple troll

"But in the back of my mind, I can't help that it's a bit of karmic payback for Apple fans being such jerks for so long."

And that statement means you aren't a troll.

Wow! You actually used that phrase correctly! Most people leave the "n't" off of 'couldn't', so they end up saying that "I could care less", which is really stupid. I'm a huge Apple fanboy, and a very committed Mac user, but I'm also a big proponent of using what you're most comfortable using. Windows doesn't fit my personality very well, and I confess that I do love Apple's industrial design, and the fit and finish that they put into everything they make. For those things, I don't mind paying a higher price. And of course the glowing Apple logo on my MacBook Pro's display looks really awesome in a room of Windows PCs :)

Come on now. Trolling is for entertainment. That's why we troll. It is purely for the reaction of the audience, and our smug superiority in knowing that my comments so deeply affect someone else that they need to rant.

Wish we had a sarcasm detector in mobile safari (maybe iOS 8??) bc I really want to respond but can't tell if serious (which would be pathetic & a very childish statement) OR if he/she is just taking the piss with that comment (which I would say, well done)

This is the subtle difference between the troll and the true believer or fanboy (fanboi) if you wish. The true troll has nothing at stake in either side of the argument. The true troll is there for entertainment. He is there to agitate, and, many times, he must wear the mask of the true believer. The true believer is there speaking from his convictions that he is right and all other opinions are damned. This article speaks primarily about combat between the Fandroids and the Cult of Steve, true believers to some degree. He is not speaking of true trolls.

Great article. I use to be one of those apple fanatical many years ago, but with Apple becoming more main stream i've become less. Still love their products and services.

I'm inclined to believe that Apple trolls are predominantly people who haven't had any real experience with the product(s).
The more experience I've had with Apple devices the more I'm convinced that no platform or device is the best. Nowadays they're all great and just different.
I prefer Windows for the desktop, Android on my tablet, and an iPhone for mobile. You can really get a custom fit for every context these days.

Excellent comment :)

You hit the nail on the head. Trolls in general I don't think actually ever have real experience with that which they troll.

Years ago, it was almost understandable when you had Apple Trolls, Fanbois or really just cheer leaders!

These days there is not need for trolling. Every person has the ability to choose the phone, tablet, Desktop or Laptop PC and through that choose the operating system. They don't need someone putting them down. They don't need someone calling them sheep or whatever term they use. It is the choice of the people.

If you go to an Apple Centric blog then expect it to be mostly Apple devices that are talked about, the same with Android centric blogs, don't expect to see much other than Android discussion and stories. The same applies for Windows or even a Linux blog.

Live and let live, don't put people down because they have chosen something different than you. I still can't understand why Android Trolls feel the need to crawl through postings making anti-Apple posts. In fact if you read Cnet discussions even when the review or comparison is a glowing review of the Android device the Android trolls accuse them of being biased towards Apple and pro-Apple.

I have friends with Apple devices, friends with Android devices and friends with Windows Devices and even the odd friend with a Blackberry device. We don't lose sleep over what devices each of us have and certainly wouldn't trash talk them about it.

Maybe though it is something that you grow out of as you age. Heck when I first started there wasn't even Windows and the only Apple I ever used (well we looked at it but it didn't have software) was an Apple III (yeah the one that got scrubbed from history). Eventually we all have to grow, either grow personally or just grow up.

That was more of a pride issue with Jobs concerning Eric from Google being on Apples board and running with away with their idea's to mold Android in getting it started.

Your elected board gets a certain leeway and trust to help guide the company. However, what happened was similar to insider trading.. which is illegal.. but hard to prove outright.

Honestly, I'd feel betrayed and pissed too. Steve, he was just an all in guy it seems when he did something. ;^)

That's a silly argument. Company boards are routinely composed of people from other companies, and therefore not the place to discuss products or research, so I doubt very much that Eric Schmidt got any useful "insider info" about iOS there. It was a matter of pride and hubris, not betrayal.

You obviously haven't tracked the issue from its beginnings, when Android initially deployed without pinch-to-zoom, and then Sergey and Larry decided to override Eric and implement it anyway, leading to a lot of animated discussions between all three, well-documented and photographed by the Silicon Valley Paparazzi... or the fact that iPad was completely hidden from Eric during his tenure on the Apple board, or that he had to recuse himself from certain discussions when they came up.

I haven't read any Steve Jobs biographies, official or not, but have enough of an avid interest in techno-politics to decipher that much treachery was afoot, and as evidenced by the mass of lawsuits, settlements and royalty payments that Android handset vendors pay various software companies, Apple is not the only aggrieved party in this IP dogfight.

This is utter rubbish to me.

I am a recent convert to the Apple platform. I have never trolled anyone before. Nowadays, it's practically impossible to have a civil conversation with anyone in a Apple-related article without other Android supporters jumping in and polluting the thread with all manner of personal attacks and misinformation.

They aren't interested in debating; they simply want to disrupt the discussion and create a acerbic and hostile environment for everyone. How is this being fair to me any of a hundred other posters who are genuinely interested in talking about the main topic at hand?

I don't care what these self-styled Apple evangelists did in the past. All I know now is that these Android supporters are a plague on the internet that needs to disappear.

The only way to deal with a troll is to ignore (and shun) them. The second you respond to them, you've given them what they want - attention. Just rise above it.

I try, but for me at least, that's often easier said than done (just like asking someone to ignore a bully), what more when they start invading your conversation.

It's the Internet!!!.....unlike in real life, here you actually have a choice if you want to "deal" with trolls or not b. Don't like it??....turn off the screen, SCROLL DOWN,'s not that hard (it's actually quite easy!!)

I really don't care about trolls. What irks me are people in positions of authority who deliberately misuse their position to mislead or lie. That's what I do at the Loop. Well, that and post stupid stuff that makes me smile. ;)

Truer words have never been spoken.

The worst sites are tech news sites (cough...cnet...cough)

I find that Cnet likes to post inflammatory posts about Apple to draw clickbait (understandable, given they are ad-driven). On the weekends, just watch them post a article comparing Apple to Android / Google / Microsoft, and watch the tar and feathers fly.

In a sense, we are our own worse enemies.

" if you dared say anything critical about Apple, they'd come out with fangs bared and claws sharpened. It's not so bad now"

The irony of putting this into an iMorefanboy post.

It must be extra bad for iMore. After all, they are the sister site of a community on the brink of collapse. Their precious company up for sale, likely to be sold for scrap, all looking for someone to lash out at, with iMore being one of the closest neighbours. Kudos to our mods for keeping things tolerable though!

When I was reading this, for some reason I thought of said sister site and how some of the behaviour over there mirrors what was written in this blog post...

I remember being excited about my first Mac, the 128k I bought while in the military. It hadn't been out long and it was an amazing machine. I also remember how I was quickly dragged into arguments about whether it was better than a Commodore or what have you. They were fun discussions and it didn't really bother me at all.

Fast forward a few years and I am trying to find local stores that sell Apple and Mac stuff, and it's getting harder and harder to do. I go to CompUSA or Best Buy, and find those tiny, isolated corners of the display shelves with a pitiful "selection" of items. Even worse, IF there are any Macs themselves on display, they are turned off or there are pieces missing/unplugged. They look like a graveyard of technology. Ask any of the store employees about Apple and I'm given "looks" or pointed towards other vendors.

That is much more than just a bad shopping experience. It means that "regular" people who come in and might be curious about the Macintosh won't have any good resources to see if it's a platform that will work for them. Sales go down, and pretty soon there aren't any Macs anywhere. I don't want that to happen. So I speak up.

And also realize that there has been an anti-Apple continent out there from the get go. First I was told that a GUI was silly and made my Mac less of a computer. Then I was told that I wasted my money on my TiBook because he (the idiot talking to me) said he could build one himself for much cheaper. And so on, and so on, and so on... So let's just say that as a Mac user/lover/evangelist, I've had people going out of their way to tell me how stupid the Mac was, and yadda yadda yadda, for as many years as the thing has been around. I got tired of it. I got tired of the stupid remarks. The idiotic rhetoric. And the totally ridiculous information being served up by people that were trying to make the Mac look bad, or just didn't know any better but couldn't shut their ROM-holes long enough to realize how stupid they sounded. Just the other day I had a neighbor tell me how "anti-Apple" her son was because he had heard that they (Apple) had their Chinese factory workers locked into their rooms so they couldn't leave or commit suicide. No kidding, that was a real conversation.

So yes, I'm a fan boy. Yes I'll be glad to discuss the pros and cons of my favorite platform. And yes, it p-'s me off when I hear outright lies or ridiculous comparisons (seen a Windows or Samsung commercial lately?). Forgive me for being a little quick on the draw. I always want there to be a viable Apple so that I have the choice to buy one if I want. The thought of using some 6" Samsung "phablet" or some God-awful Windows "tiles" give me nightmares.

I think you're missing some things Peter and it is odd you didn't mention it.

Under Siege
Android is and has always been under siege. Since its launch, it has been the "copied" platform and it is CONSTANTLY mentioned on Apple blogs as some form of unnecessary reminder of the device [not the OS] switching from a chiclet to a slab. It happened but that feather is used quite often.

Then you have Apple blogs constantly writing about Google/Android [see below]. They are always slanted with an attack tone regardless of how great an update may be. Some bloggers have come around to respect Android but numerous [see below] always find something to complain about.

The Loud and Faithful
There is a group of loud and faithful Apple bloggers. They LOVE everything Apple does [always right, rarely wrong] and loathe everything else. Gruber is overly opinionated in Apple's favor. He posts 4+ articles defending iOS7 font selections but Roboto was a constant rant. Your co-pilot Jim repeatedly repeats laments Android for numerous things: stolen, slow, virus ridden, piracy land, etc.

I HIGHLY respect both of them as writers and still follow both as I started following Gruber while I was an iOS head then found Jim (he's snarky but a great writer and can be level headed) through 5by5 while following Marco [who is another one]. They are loud not by volume but relevance. The sheer number of followers they have is massive and so much misinformation is spewed leaving nothing but a siege.

Androiders in iOS Land
The above bloggers post something and it gets posted all over. You also have iOSers leaving for Android (raises hand) after joining communities (points at iMore). Some Androiders have iOS devices so they live in both camps (raises hand).

This isn't Mac vs PC users. You either use a Mac or a PC, rarely both. With iOS vs Android you can use a phone in one camp and a tablet in another (raises hand). It isn't black/white.

With that said, some in both camps are utterly ridiculous. Blind faith is stupid and both users have it.

Unfortunately it's a realm Apple fans took to a whole new level. I think Android fans are passionate and vocal because when they tried out Android phones, and actually liked them, they got shit on, on all sides, by Apple fans. I'm sure Android users think of Android products the same way Apple users felt pre-Steve's return.

Agreed about how Android fans got passionate about the platform. But my point is that how they arrived at that psychology is very different - they're not an aggrieved minority, in fact, they're the majority. Which makes their actions more like bullying than evangelism.

Peter, come on! Not the minority? They just became the majority a few years ago. It took them about 3 or 4 years to surpass Apple and they got a ton of shit along the way. I know because I was one of them when I got my HTC EVO before the iPhone came to my carrier. I had to deal with the hardware, and battery issues, and the cracks that I wasn't using the iPhone.

Oh Poppcock.
Android fans are the MicroBots that don't have a GOOD M$ phone that can compare, and integrate well with all the other technology they have and use.

When Steve introduced the "DIgital HUB" geez when was that? It was a huge turning point for Apple. The ability to integrate all tools into one big working tool.

And it worked!

Let's be real here. Even with Apple closed architecture, everything works. I plug it in, iTunes connects, iPhoto connects, Calendars, Contacts. It all connects.

I don't even want to know the nightmare of SW and Apps you have to go through for Android.

Android fans create their own mayhem and grief. They are the bastard step children of M$ and they are proud to wear that moniker and love to troll and fan the flames.

They're like "Call of Duty" fanboys on Battlefield sites. Always saying how great their game is when really, if you think about it. It's just a game and it just about choice.

You make your own choices and if you make bad ones, stick with them. Just like I have stuck with Apple through the dark days till now.

I have walk a mile in your kicks young man.

Like I tell my teenage son. I was 17 once and now I am 50.
I have been where you are and where you will be one day.
When you are 17 and 50, come talk to me.

Man, I hope you don't preach to your son like this, you come across as a pompous jackass. "Young man"? You're 4 years older than me. And you have definitely not walked a mile in my shoes, just making that statement to an Anonymous person makes me question whether you're a rational person.

"Just works"? Ask around at how many people using their iPhone use third party email apps, music apps, calendar apps, camera app, editing app, note taking apps, etc. etc etc. I don't use ANY first party apps on my iPhone anymore because they are always down, almost every week iCloud goes down. When Google, Gmail, Gcal, etc. go down, it's makes huge news because it almost never happens. So not really sure what you're talking about. iOS doesn't "just work" anymore, it was a fallacy, it was never the case. Mac OS does work though, for the most part, when not trying to use it with the cloud.

It would be cool if the comments system identified unverified statements such as "With Apple's closed system, everything works" and required the commenter to present quantitative evidence to support the statement. Of course, that applies equally to "first party [services] on the iPhone are always down."

That would slow the discussion but improve the quality of the conversation tremendously.

I get what you're saying, but...

iCloud was down this week. Was down last week, was down the week before, and the week before that. Their dev center was down for two weeks after someone showed them a glaring bug that easily shared all users names and emails.

I think it's safe to say that if you follow Apple and their cloud service, you can't make the statement, "it just works" any longer without sounding like a "Blank*".

*Reference from World's End if you haven't seen it yet.

Wasn't referring to iCloud.

But I am sure if you have to go as far as calling me a "blank" well that is you just projecting your inability to have even a civil chat.

You're problem not mine.

Now I know why they call 'em trolls!

Did you even read what I wrote?
I was pointing out a GENERALIZED comment about one particular area...


Anyone read?

So much for public education.

"Android fans are the MicroBots that don't have a GOOD M$ phone that can compare, and integrate well with all the other technology they have and use."

"Android fans create their own mayhem and grief. They are the bastard step children of M$ and they are proud to wear that moniker and love to troll and fan the flames."

That's some serious trolling Orealy, not sure how else it could be read. It doesn't come across very "Generalized".

IMHO, Oreally hit the nail on the head. I don't see his post as a 'troll' post at all. Once again, you read what you wanted, quoted what you needed and threw it back in his face with a bunch of Bu!!$h!t statistics about iCloud 'always being down'. Talk about trolling, sensationalizing and completely making up your own statistics to make a point
For the vast majority of iOS users, it ABSOLUTELY 'just works'. The cloud; messaging, mail, sync'ing your reader list, et al...does go down, but rarely. NOT all the time. It's a brand new undertaking of Apple's. providing the cloud services that Google has built it's company on. Like a baby, diapers need a changing once in a while. It'll mature (that was the first time Apple's Dev center went down for that period of SIX years!---they're decision to shut it down while everyone was hard at work on their iOS 7 updates was an intelligent one)...& hopefully with time, we've got several cloud services to choose from. They're two different companies. One is a hardware company (primarily)----the other a data mining company (primarily). Apple makes money selling products. Google, services. They've now both decided they need to 'add' the other side of the equation. Google services DO go down....and they've had several dodgy attempts at hardware in the past. To completely over embellish Apple's challenges yet give Google a pass shows who the troll actually is.
I'm interested in all things tech related. New cameras and phones, tablets and home heating/cooling units...OS'es from the 3 big vendors Android, Apple and MS. It's such an incredible time to be involved with technology and be a follower or hobbyist in the field. No one can learn everything about all platforms. There's always new information to gather and learn from. Apple flipped the entire world 180° with the iPhone release in 2007. Android following with a 'working product' a year later that consumers would buy, BOOM! Competition! It's good for ALL of us. Even grandparents, and non tech geeks like us that frequent boards and 'discuss' the evolutionary improvements. I'm 42 this year. Born the same year as the 8086 processor. I feel blessed to have been born when I was. The end of the golden age of vinyl, the year my father graduated engineering school....with a slide rule, attending a new junior high school that opened the year I was in 7th grade with an all Apple computer Microsoft as an operating system wasn't available yet. They were making software, but even the IBM systems of the day were booting in to DOS. That was 30 years ago. My first real computer, an Apple IIe. Then a 286 (@ work). Bought my own 386....& kept my eye on Apple. In 2004 I bought a PowerBook. Used it with my Compaq laptop. To this day I own members of each. An iPhone, galaxy note, Windows box and several Macs.
As real, TRUE technology lovers and enjoyers...why the animosity? I think that's what piques my curiosity more than anything else. There aren't that many platforms that 'don't work'. Microsoft kinda got left behind with the tablet craze....but I'm willing to bet the Surface (take) 2 will be an impressive improvement. Just as the original iPad was to the still venerable iPad 2. Or the original Nexus compared with today's option. Even my 'Note' (original) compared with the Note 2. We are truly still in the infancy of 'mobile' computing. The power we have now in our pockets far exceeds the computers I grew up with. The display, the graphics, the horsepower and memory and storage and on and on and on!
Ten/15 years ago we were watching these devices on Star Trek. They were fiction. Now you can buy them. And most have matured to the point nothing 'sucks'. You choose Ford, I like Dodge....she likes her Toyota. You wear Adidas and I prefer Nike. She likes '7' jeans, my wife likes True Religion. Who cares enough to argue which is better, to me, is not a real, true 'geek'. They're 15 year olds that have grown up with color displays with (compared to our days with the original Apples and 2/3/486 displays) higher and higher resolutions. They have nothing to compare their current quad core HiDPI 64GB units against. Perhaps that's the biggest differentiator. Age and demographics ( what people earn and the money they've got for devices we take for granted in the 'developed' world).

Not sure why you have an issue with me pointing out Orealy's trolls and generalizations when this is a post about trolls. I'm not the only one who did it either, so not sure why you're pointing the finger at me.

"why the animosity?" I have no animosity towards Apple, I use a 4S and I'm on my 5th mac.

Apple's tagline "it just works", is a troll in and of itself. It implies that Android DOESN'T work. That's what my comment was about. I merely pointed out, that in the last month, iCloud has been a mess compared to the Google Cloud. At this point, I think it's time for Apple and it's fans to come up with a new tagline and stop trolling Android phones, it comes across as petulant and childish. It's the same thing Ballmer did when Apple won the market share on smartphones, he kept making snide comments about the iOS platform, and his platform just kept losing more and more market share.

Apple has actually institutionalised Apple Fandom to help them with their efforts in education: the Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE's, I'm one).
We show up at schools, edu conferences, etc. to show off Apple stuff in combination with our individual expertise so educators can see how Apple concepts and gear are actually used by other educators and why they have great advantages for them and their schools.

Argument for the sake of being right or just being a jerk in general isn't cool, interesting, or intelligent. Every platform has it's pluses and minuses and yet, every platform has someone using a device built for that platform, regardless of whether or not that platform is the "marketshare leader". Use what works for YOU and if someone has chosen a different platform because that works for them, so be it. Everyone is different. Everyone is into something different. I'd like Apple to make an iPhone with a bigger screen. I'd like Android to become more secure and stop apps from assuming rights that they don't really need. I'd like Blackberry to dump QNX and go with Android. I'd like Windows Phone to have less Balmer and more apps. In all likelihood, none of these things are going to happen as soon as I'd like, if ever, but no platform is perfect.

Amiga forever!!!

(Just a joke. No, I'm not saying Amiga's a joke. See, Dark_Blu made an insightful post and then I made a knee-jerk comm- . . . uh, never mind. Uh, Amiga forever. Hey, I had an Amiga 500 back in the day. All we ever did was play demos cause it rocked! TMI. TMI.)

Nice article.

As for me, I used to be MS fanboy. Truly enjoyed how Bill Gates used to introduce new products.

I hated Apple. Truly and sincerely!

As I grew older (and became wiser!), I switched to Apple. I think the primary reason that time was I got sick and tired of applying security updates and patches almost a few times a week not to mention updating Antivirus signature on a daily basis on my 4 or 5 computers at home!

And when Steve Jobs introduced the very first iPhone, that was that ....

Bill left. Steve Ballmer took over.

I bought my 1st ever iMac (intel one) and threw out all my PCs and etc!

At some point of my life, I might switch back to Microsoft. Not sure though. But I know one thing and from bottom of heart...

I hate Google, Android, Samsung and the rest of their gangs! Forever! LMAO

None of their products and services (including their cookies!) are welcome here!

The same thing happened to me. I used pc's. I liked having control over my hardware. I used windows, but never really liked the user experience on windows. I eventually tried linux and used that for about a year. Although the user experience was good, getting it there took lots of time and fiddling. Eventually i got tired of messing with it and I went back to windows. Eventually I got a smart phone. I started with a motorola droid. Due to the buggyness of android, crashing, or just not working. or alarms failing; i decided to try something different. I tried a palm pre. they clearly got a good user experience with their phone. But the phone had TERRIBLE battery life. i could stick the phone in my pocket at 8 am. and by noon, it was completely dead. So, I got an iphone 4 when it came out. It was so much better than the competition. It had ease of use, battery life, and was very stable -- just a great user experience.

i was still using pc's though. i also got an ipad. after that. i just knew that apple was all about good user experiences. so when my pc hardware or software failed. I decided i was fed up with windows and terrible hardware, random crashing, poorly designed user interfaces. I decided it would be just like in the phone market. Android was alot like windows when i switched to iphone, buggy, unstable, bad hardware, bad design. with my experiences with the iphone, i figured my experience switching to a mac would be good. so i bought an imac, and it was the best experience ever. not only were crashes few and far between, everything just worked, the user interface was great.

This is why apple is winning. You can always count on them to deliver good hardware, and good software, with an excellent user experience.. After years of software development, microsoft can't seem to get the small details correct. They always overlook something. look at windows 8. A music app that was seriously underpowered, i couldn't believe how bad their music app was. After you use it a while you see a general lack of care for quality. They diddn't pay attention to how users use a computer. etc. Quality matters, all the small details matter.

Am I the only late-to-Mac convert that always LOVED the Mac? I thought it was the coolest, most sophisticated computer ever, seriously (just needed some color back then). I just didn't have the money at the time. I was finally able to play with Macs in college. Now I don't buy anything else.

"I know a lot of it is just how the Internet has evolved - we've become a culture of trolls."

This. And the fact that it's all anonymous. Anonymity is the alcohol of the Internet. People post stuff they would never say if people knew their name and who they were. I've been in the same room with Android and iOS fans and they are relatively polite because they know each other. If either side walked up to a stranger and told them they were "stupid iSheep" or "Fandroid lemmings" they know they could get punched out. But drunks say stupid things and so do anonymous posters.

Great story Peter.
Lot's of great chat.
Hey, and we are all getting alone.
Aren't Apple people wonderful?
Have GREAT weekend everyone.

When is the Mobile Nations community going to stop using the word "troll"? It's demeaning, at the least. Posting any comment that goes against the grain, automatically leads to somebody calling you a troll, even if that comment is valid.

There's a big difference between offering an alternate or opposing viewpoint, and posting inflammatory content with the intent of provoking an argument. The latter is trolling. The former is not.

I know what you're trying to get at, but the BB fanboys are in a league of their own. Not only do they have a hard time accepting reality, but as you implied, they tend to lash out at other who poke holes in their cult-like perceptions. They label others as trolls when there is no actual trolling being done. I think the term is tossed around too loosely in that community, but the way Peter is using the term is the true meaning of the word.

Maybe we need something akin to Godwin's Law for fan site posting.

"It states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."[2][3] In other words, Godwin said that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably makes a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis."

Substitute "Troll" for "Nazi" and there you have it.

I have pretty much stopped reading comments on certain sites. The ignorance out there is amazing. I mean really. Who cares? You want Android, buy one. Yo want Apple, same deal. Against Abortion? Don't have one. People have pretty much gotten strange.

The problem is all of these people have always existed its just now the anonymity of the internet give them a platform to say things they would never say to your face.

People used to come up to me at parties just to tell me how quickly Apple was going to die and how much Macs sucked. I would tell them to get a life, this is a party.

I saw one of my old students who used to tell me that linux was the ONLY future, macs AND pcs sucked the other day. He was in a coffee shop using a macbook. I said nice mac and he says, "the os is based on Linux though". Still wont give up!!!!

^5 and amen brother.
Have a GREAT weekend.

God if I had a dime for every person and story about Apple's Death!?!?!?
I would be Steve.
Talk about walking the walk!

Unix. Unix... old habits are hard to break.

Nice article Pete. I don't evangelize one platform over another, but I can tell you this: for me personally, the Mac has been an amazingly productive tool and its efficiencies have earned a nice living for me. That's not to say I couldn't have made a living using another platform, but I do feel like the Mac gave me an edge I would not have had otherwise.

Now I have to deal with the fact that my preferred tool is barely a blip on Apple's priority list, and hope that don't make any decisions that hinder the Mac going forward. I remember how long they let the Newton linger before letting it die. And the LiSA. And the LaserWriter. And the Apple III. I'll stop now.

Are you saying that the Mac is "barely a blip", or are you referring to some specific Apple software or service? With Mavericks on the horizon, we can see that the Mac is still important to Apple. I can't violate Apple's rules for developers, but I can tell you that Mavericks is very solid, albeit with a few lingering bugs. It shows that Apple is still very much committed to the Mac. I'm looking forward to seeing how much tighter the integration between iOS and OS X becomes in the upcoming future OS releases.

I've known some Apple fans who were jerks, but I've never been one myself. I've often referred to myself as the ultimate Apple fanboy, but as part of my I.T. career for the past 13 years, I have often had to walk on the "dark side" many times. Just last month, "Nixon went to China" as I deployed an Exchange server for the very first time. It was a long and daunting process for me, but I learned a great deal about Exchange, which will benefit the customer that I deployed the server for, and it adds to the skill set of my company, which is a managed I.T. service provider. While iOS devices have been bringing in a huge bulk of Apple's profits, the Mac is still very much an extremely valuable asset. It's not just that Macs have become more accepted in the consumer mainstream as a result of the iPod/iPhone/iPad halo effect, but it's also because the Mac has proven to be a really great business computing system. When Apple decided to build native Exchange compatibility into Snow Leopard, that was a huge step forward. Even if corporate Mac users ultimately use Outlook 2011 instead of Apple's built in default apps, there is at least a non-Microsoft option to move to when Outlook 2011 inevitably starts to get bogged down by its poorly developed internal structure. Since I deal with both Mac users and Windows users as customers, I have to stay outwardly neutral about the two platforms. That's hard to do since I carry a MacBook Pro with me onsite to every customer's office. When asked, I will always tell my customers that the Mac is the better choice for most things. I tout the rock solid stability, lack of malware, and I point out that they're already using the same operating system on their iPhones and iPads, so why not use the same OS on their computer as well? The best thing that Apple ever did was purchase NeXT and bring back Steve Jobs. In a way, NeXT acquired Apple since every Mac, and iOS device is running a portion of the software developed by NeXT. Apple would probably be non-existent had it not been for the awesome OS that Apple got from the deal with NeXT. The way I see it, Apple has a huge opportunity to reassert itself in the enterprise realm. It can do this either by making their OS even more compatible with Microsoft's server platforms, or by producing a version of their own server OS that is more attractive to I.T. managers. Of course those I.T. managers are often very shortsighted when it comes to anything that is not Microsoft. I have been avoiding Microsoft Office as much as possible, and opting to use iWork, and online documentation through Kerio's Samepage. It really is possible to get totally away from Microsoft. It's a liberating experience more than it is an inconvenience. I do sometimes act like an Apple snob though... I can't help myself :)

I think it also says a lot when a post about Apple fanboyism garners way more replies than any other article I have seen here thus far.

I've had an Amiga 500, an Amiga 2000HD, a built-to-order Windows 95, an HP Pavilion WinXP, and currently an iMac Power PC on OSX 10.4.11. I've used in a work-office environment an old Mac II, IBM PCs on Win 95, 98, XP, NT and Win7, and Macs, Mac Minis and iMacs on OS9 up to 10.7.4. And I'm planning to upgrade my home iMac to a MacMini with Haswell & OSX-Mavericks by the end of this year. Also ready to buy the new iPad 5 when it comes out in (probably) October.

Thru it all, the current Macs (at hoome and at work) are my prefs. I curse a lot less while using them... unless I happen to be using a Microsoft Office program at the time... then the curses occasionally start flying again. LOL

I hate anonymity, but there are just so many crazies online, I'd hate for them to know where I live. I'm big and will kick most people's ass, but the crazies are the kind of people who go postal, not something I ever want to have to experience.

And Windows computers outsell the Mac. So what? This argument over Android vs the iPhone is the Windows vs the Mac argument of the 90s. I have both OS X and Windows 7 and I've used cell phones since the early days of the Moto brick. The shortcomings of Blackberry, Android, and Windows Phone keep me coming back to the iPhone. I have owned these phones and used them, I gave them a chance. It didn't work out. This is atypical of the typical Android fanboy who hates everything Apple and has never either used or owned one. They're so hung up on this "OPEN" crap argument and I always tell them if Android is OPEN, then download and install 4.3 on your one year old Android device.

uh, just to clarify things, windows doesn't make computers. Windows is a OS made by MicroSoft and is software, not hardware.

Yeah I know I am a smartass troll.

Troll? I am no troll. I just think Apple makes the best OS out there. That's not trollism, that's fact.
As for Android, everybody and his brother makes Android devices. There's only ONE Apple. So I guess I feel special too.