Oh you fanboys…

So yesterday my article on Android vs iPhone got picked up by macsurfer.com, something I generally would be rather happy with but my poor little server (and it is rather puny) didn’t seem to like what was happening and crashed a few times… Eventually I figured the safest thing to do (considering the threat of Polsmore style bandwidth charges) was to shut down apache and see how it felt in the morning.

I also think it’s important to say that I own a lovely shiny macbook. I do not hate Apple or their products and if you gave me an iPhone I would probably use it until something better came along.

Anyways, the funny thing about the crew over at macsurfer is that they tend to be a bit fanboyish.

Needless to say, here is my rebuttal to the 8 or so comments that made it through. A warning: what follows will be juvenile at best.

Quoth: “It’s impossible to predict far into the future of technology.”

Yes. you are quite correct. Should I not ‘ave a go then?

Quoth: It’s speculation

Yes, Again rather astute. Since it’s mostly written in the future tense and is not pretending to be a news site your observation is correct.

Quoth: Open source appeals to people for who the advancement of technology is their prime motivation.

And Tivo, and my mom, and a host of Fortune 500 businesses.

Quoth: Open source is a noble project, but it will only succeed where someone else sees how they can use it to make money.

Fare thee well my good knight.

Quoth: Can you imagine habitat for humanity toppling the major urban contractors? Doctors without borders displacing private practice medicine in North America?

Nope. Do I think it’s possible that one day more laptops will be sold running OSS than proprietary operating systems? Yes.

Quoth: As a consumer, you hope you have enough options that if one company is overcharging you can go elsewhere. The idea that things should just be ‘free’ is impossible…

Do you have a comprehension issue? Firstly, yes, you are right. When one company overcharges people will go somewhere else. Secondly, who suggested to you that Android phones will be free?

Quoth: Android will take off once someone figures out how to make money from it.

You mean these people?

Quoth: Of course, there is always the possibility that the world’s economic structure will fundamentally change and that human behaviour will suddenly NOT follow the path of least resistance.

How is buying a $750 phone the path of least resistance? I’d think that should be the Litmus Test for fanboy.

Quoth: So where are all of those open source desktops and laptops?

Look closely at numbers 3,6,12,13,15,16 and 20

Quoth: Your entire article is nothing by a wild guess and FUD.

Did it scare you?

Quoth: Bullshit in EVERY way! I won’t even go into it, it’s just not worth my time to comment on such overrated bullshit speculation you have offered up…

Which is why I didn’t read the next 248 words you wrote.

Quoth: There is no advantage a truly open OS would bring to the iPhone.

Besides being open. Of course.

Quoth: If Apple wanted to make an iPhone with fixed buttons, they could do it today; they don’t need Android to do that.

Yes, but they won’t. Some other manufacturer will make a phone with a qwerty keyboard and together with Android will make that phone a viable iPhone competitor for the market segment that I fit squarely in the middle of.

Quoth: BTW, are you referring to the same “sheer innovative power of the masses” that managed to topple the iPod as the world’s best-selling DAP?

No, I am referring to the “sheer innovative power of the masses” that is responsible for Linux.

Quoth: Again, what does this have to do with Android? You’re talking about subsidized hardware, the economics of which apply equally to phones carrying Android.

I’m not talking about subsidised hardware at all. If Asus can sell an entire friggen laptop for $299 why should an iPhone cost $750. When you bought your macbook (that I totally know you own because you such a raging fanboy), was it subsidised by someone? Phones are only subsidised because when mobile phones first came to market they were ludicrously expensive and people couldn’t yet justify the huge expense for the “new fangled technology”. We need to break that trend. Do you like it when your carrier fools you into spending $750 and thinking you’re spending $199?

Quoth: What makes you think handset manufacturers will not intentionally cripple their own implementations of Android in order to push their own services or their carrier’s services?

Firstly, draw the line. There is a difference between handset manufactures and networks. In the US you guys have let yourselves get duped by your networks who “only bring in” and “only support” certain phones. The rest of the world has the freedom to use whatever (for the most part) phones we want on the networks WE PAY MONEY TO BE ON.

Secondly, an open platform is easily reflashed.

Quoth: You assume people even know what open source is. 99% of the general population do not know, or care about open source.

I make no such assumption. People do not care, but if my mom sees she can get a cool phone that does all kinds of cool stuff, she will buy it, whether it’s powered by fairy dust or anything else.

Quoth: They want simplicity, function, and a coolness factor, all of which Apple offers for $199 now.

You mean $750, but yes, I agree… People want simple, functional cool phones… They don’t necessarily want to pay $750 though. Remember, Apple can make an awesome Android phone and make it shiny and stuff… and charge $999 if they want… but they’ll be competing with other people and their shiny $250 phones.

Quoth: Googles efforts will be in vain due to the same business model PC’s face.

Shit, I forgot about that struggling PC market. Shit… maybe we should hold a telethon or get Bono to do a fund-raising concert.

Quoth: They are at the mercy of Microcrap, so their products are influenced by Microcrap’s crap.

Dude, Microsoft are so out of this picture it’s not even funny… They are irrelevant in the mobile phone market.

Quoth: The business model is flawed, since it does not give profit incentive to programers.

Except of course if those developers work for the phone manufacturers… Or, except of course if those developers happen to be the same freaks of nature who make things like Ubuntu. So, except for those two exceptions I totally agree with you.

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5 thoughts on “Oh you fanboys…

  1. “Fanboy,” eh?

    Me: There is no advantage a truly open OS would bring to the iPhone.

    You: Besides being open. Of course.

    Meaning what? What advantage does it confer (besides ideological)? The iPhone API is fully exposed and documented. A third-party developer can do anything with the phone that Apple can.

    Me: BTW, are you referring to the same “sheer innovative power of the masses” that managed to topple the iPod as the world’s best-selling DAP?

    You: No, I am referring to the “sheer innovative power of the masses” that is responsible for Linux.

    The Linux that has been running on mobile phones for years, with no appreciable innovation to show for it? The Linux that has been “on the verge” of becoming a true first-class desktop OS for, oh, a decade or so now?

    Most people still don’t even know what Linux is. Stand on a street corner and ask the first 10 people you see if they’ve heard of Linux. Then ask if they’ve heard of the iPod or the iPhone. Products-by-committee such as Linux will never produce innovation on the scale of Apple’s model.

    Linux is a fine server OS, and a nice hobbyist OS for folks who, in decades past, probably would’ve been ham radio nuts. It has very little relevance to the mass market.

    You: I’m not talking about subsidised hardware at all.

    Yes you are. Read your friggin’ post again. You even use those words. The economic model of selling subsidized vs, unsubsidized handsets has no bearing on Android’s potential to displace the iPhone. The only relevant question is whether it is possible for a non-integrated FOSS platform to deliver comparable innovation to Apple’s closed one, and I say it isn’t; there certainly is no historical precedent for it. As we saw with the iPod, simply producing a cheaper but only pretty-good knock-off of Apple tech won’t cut it.

    Me: What makes you think handset manufacturers will not intentionally cripple their own implementations of Android in order to push their own services or their carrier’s services?

    You: Firstly, draw the line. There is a difference between handset manufactures and networks. [Irrelevant BS snipped]

    Secondly, an open platform is easily reflashed.

    Read my question. I DO distinguish between carriers and handset makers. Secondly, no one cares whether they can reflash their phone’s firmware or not, except for a few FOSS zealots whose numbers are statistically insignificant.

  2. Hmmm, seems to me a few people got just a tad upset over there. Poor little lambs. Ah well.

    You’d swear you’d changed your name to Nostradamus or Madam Violetta and proclaimed “Yea verily I do decree, without a doubt that the following SHALL come to pass…”

    Some people clearly don’t recognise speculation when they see it.

    But wouldn’t it be a giggle if in a little while everything you said does happen?

    Poke them with a stick again – it’s funny to watch.

    T

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