Twitter has been used to break news from locations all over the world. Facebook allows users across the globe to connect and interact. The mobile space has let us take global interaction to an incredible new level.
The dawn, rise, and peak of the desktop computer has come and gone. The pioneers in the space still exist for the most part, but the roles of each company and their pecking order may have shifted. Microsoft, IBM, Dell, and HP are still dominant forces in the computer hardware and software market.
Apple has been making computers since the late 1970′s and in their early days, they were the darling of hobbyists and educators. Those that owned Apple computers then were often likened to ‘hippies’ and seen as outsiders of the mainstream computing market. Times have certainly changed.
The departure of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 1985 after a board of directors power struggle led to a decade of lackluster performance and products from the company. In 1997, Jobs officially returned to the company as “interim-CEO,” and things started to turn around for Apple. The successful launch of the all-in-one iMac line of computers was the first signs of life from the company that nearly declared bankruptcy. By 1998, Apple was once again a profitable company.
The launch of the Mac OS X operating system in 2001 was incredibly well received and resulted in Apple gaining an increase in market share of the computing market. To this day, Apple continues to gain more market share in the computing hardware sector. The last quarter of 2011 shows that in the US, for companies other than Apple, computer shipments declined for that quarter. Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.
Apple has continued to have incredibly strong performance in the mobile technology sectors with their iPhone and iPad devices. The iOS App store generates tons of revenue for the company. Apple is sitting on a tremendous amount of money in the bank, and is now recognized as one of the richest companies in the world.
Ok, that’s the history lesson. On to the perception of Apple users…
Apple users were seen as outsiders from the outset. Prior to being an Apple user, I was a steadfast PC user, and I had the impression that Apple users and fans were somewhat pompous and snobbish. There was always the impression that they exuded the vibe that they were “holier than thou.”
It’s been about 5 years now since I decided to ditch the Windows PC world for my personal computing and use Apple products exclusively. So, to officially state for the record, I’m an ‘Apple user.’
I’ll still agree with the fact that there are ‘some’ Apple users that try to evangelize that the Apple hardware/software platform and design is far superior than that the other computer and software companies currently offer. That is a matter of personal opinion. I’ll also admit that I often kid my peers that use non-Apple products when their products crash or perform in a manner that is not to their liking. That’s pretty much where I draw the line.
I have never said “Windows-based computers are horrible.” I’ve also never uttered the words “The Android phone platform is garbage,” or anything similar to that. My approach has always been to respect the decision of others to embrace and use platforms that work for them. Certainly, I may kid them, but in no way do I state that my choice to use Apple products is the best decision for everyone. I think Google is doing some great things in the mobile phone and tablet space. I’m an iPhone and iPad user, but once again, thats my personal choice, and I realize that may not be the preferred choice of others.
Since Apple is now regarded as an incredibly powerful personal and mobile computing hardware and software company, as well as a market leader in media sales, I’ve noticed an increase of backlash towards Apple users. When one talks about Apple users, it usually comes across as having a negative tone. Sometimes I feel like I am wearing a scarlet letter.
Do we really need to adopt the whole us vs. them mentality when it comes to the choice of our computing or mobile platform? Apple saw some tremendous benefit from portraying ‘traditional’ PC users as corporate, stodgy, and antiquated when they ran their infamous Mac vs. PC ads. The adds were humorous, but perhaps did more to divide the two camps as opposed to join them. Apple has gained market share as a result of that advertising campaign, but I feel in retrospect that may have done more to fuel an increased distaste that many Windows and Linux PC users have towards Apple as a brand and its users.
We often get into Apple vs. Android discussions on our weekly podcast The TechMonks Podcast. On last Sunday’s episode : #30 – Google Comments the discussion got heated at times. Check it out.
If you are an Apple user, have you felt like those that used and supported the Windows / Linux technologies have expressed negativity towards you simply because you like or use Apple products? Likewise, if you are not an Apple user, have you experienced negativity from those that are Apple users?
I appreciate your feedback. Thanks for reading.
— Tim Arthur (@timarthur) April 3, 2012