Androidsplainin': iPhone haters miss the point again

Macalope

Hey, kids, by the old clock on the wall, the Macalope sees it’s time for another condescending explanation of how lame the iPhone is from an Android fan! By which the Macalope means that the hands on the clock are pointing at any combination of numbers whatsoever.

Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Joel Silberman ”Sorry, Apple fanatics, but the new iPhones aren’t exceptional” (tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody)

It’s happening again.

The new fall shows are here on the CW! No one’s watching them, but it still happens every year!

All around me, at social events, on social media and in publications I enjoy, people are brimming with enthusiasm for new Apple products. And I just don’t get it.

So, I decided to write an article about it.

No, I am not a hater of Apple in general...

I just think the people who buy their products are idiots. See the difference?

Still, when a company gets major media attention for releasing a device with “new” features that its competitors have had for years, I find it kind of weird.

The fact that some people had these features on Android does not mean that all or even most did. According to IDC, “phablets” only make up about 14 percent of the market. And how many Android phones have fingerprint readers that actually work worth a darn? Finally, while NFC might be more popular in Asia, with about 40 percent of the U.S. market, Apple has the clout to make it popular here.

When the company’s advocates defend it by pointing to their phone’s “premium feel,” I find it hard not to point out that for all its “premium”-ness, it’s still less durable than my Moto X—which, when I got it, was half the price of the iPhone.

That’s fine, but those are two different things. Fabergé eggs have a “premium feel” but the Macalope wouldn’t play badminton with them. Well, maybe with someone else’s, but not his own. I mean, he’d have to get them out of the display case and everything. It’s just too much trouble.

Of course, some people don’t want a phone that can do a million things; they want a phone that does what they need it to do and is dead simple to use. But iPhones aren’t the simplest phones around, that honor goes to Microsoft’s Windows phones, which tech critics love but that still sell poorly.

And why is that? Because it has no ecosystem. Microsoft had to spend $2.5 billion on Mojang just to get Minecraft on the platform. Does Silberman mention Windows Phone’s anemic ecosystem? Of course not. And that’s part of the problem with his argument. There are so many problems with it, really, but another is comparing multiple individual features across the entirety of the Android and Windows Phone world against just the iPhone. The iPhone is aimed at pleasing the largest swath possible of people in the high-end of the smartphone market. That model has worked really well for Apple and its customers. For the Silbermans of the world, this is unacceptable for some reason.

There are also clever programs that could be loaded onto any Android phone that make the entire device “easy enough for grandma to use.”

“Grandma, lemme teach you how to side-load a new interface manager...”

More bothersome to me than the things an iPhone can’t do, however, are the things that Apple won’t let it do.

More bothersome to you. It’s not bothersome to iPhone customers, or it’s not bothersome enough to warrant switching to a platform with poorer build quality, fewer updates, less security, and all the other negative aspects of Android you don’t bother to mention.

Unlike Google, which allows users to freely “side load” apps from outside Android’s app store, iPhones cannot run apps from outside Apple’s iTunes store unless the user goes through a hacking process called “jailbreaking.”

Fortunately, iOS has a huge and vibrant App Store that has the highest quality apps. Again, not worth mentioning to Silberman.

Enforcing these restrictions are, of course, well within Apple’s rights as a private company, but I find it a little odd that my progressive and libertarian friends are so willing to look the other way on what one could argue amounts to corporate censorship.

Know what else Silberman doesn’t mention once? The fact that Google’s business model revolves around showing you ads and getting your data.

The weirdest thing to me about Apple, however, is this: To the company’s devotees, nothing I just wrote matters. At all. They know they’re paying a premium, they know there are other options, and they don’t care. For them, the iPhone is a piece of identity...

“I do not understand why people like iPhones so I’m going to assume it’s all about image.”

At least he didn’t use any religious metaphors.

...I am once again on the outside looking in, feeling the way you feel deep down when you witness acts of devotion by adherents of another faith...

Oops.

To comment on this article and other Macworld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.