If you are interested in the mobile space this the eternal conundrum. There really is a very simple answer to this question and it’s whatever works for you. No really, it’s that simple.
Full disclosure: I am an Android fan. You will notice I left the word “boy” off the end of the word fan. So what is a “fanboy” and why are there no girls? Fanboy is an expression you almost exclusively see used in internet forums or comment sections on tech websites. Oh, and there probably are girls, they are just getting on with actually using their devices rather than arguing about which is better.
It basically goes like this: Website A posts an article on a device, it doesn’t matter which manufacturer really, then people comment about it. For example we’ll use an Android related article. In the comments section that follows you will slowly start to see competing points of view (on the internet these are called “arguments” and they can get pretty heated). These points of view will range from how one side or the other offers devices with better specifications, someone will retort with how the opposing side has a more open ecosystem and then, almost inevitably, someone will post a completely uninformed comment which simply states that one side is leaps and bounds better than the other for no other reason than they own that companies device and they know nothing else: The Fanboy. If you think this is some imagined phenomena I invite you to witness it for yourself. Go to any tech site article or news item on a device release and head to the comments section, it’s quite entertaining!
So what causes this devout following? Honestly I’ve wondered the same thing for a long time. I’ve owned and used both Android and Apple devices but for the most part always return to Android. That said I often cannot fail to be impressed when I watch an Apple keynote presentation and feel those twinges of, “Man, that looks really cool. I wonder if I could live with that again”? I was tempted back once but since then have resisted the temptation.
A good friend of mine, when he owned an iphone 5s, always used to be impressed at the design, function, size and price of my then current Android device. The stumbling block? Ecosystem. And herein lies the problem for many people. Once you are persuaded, won over or seduced (I’ll let you choose your adjective) by the marketing of a certain device you are invested. Not in the company per-se but by the ecosystem. After a while you have downloaded and spent money on their apps, books, movies, music and possibly other types of devices within their portfolio. The latter makes the change to another operating system even more difficult due in interoperability issues. In many cases, like my friend, not only does he own a device belonging to one camp so do his wife and children. So they’re in, they’re invested and finally a device is released that fits with what he was looking for, a larger screen. His only option, in his eyes, an iphone 6+ for him and his wife. That’s a costly investment and exactly what the marketing people wanted. Another factor in keeping people tied to one system or another is price, specifically the high price. An iPhone 6+ off contract is £699 for the 64Gb model (forget buying the 16Gb model which to all intents and purposes would be unusable storage wise once the OS is taken from that storage limit). “Ah yes but most people won’t buy one sim free”. And that’s my point. Once you are invested in the ecosystem and feel you can’t break free and you just must have the latest device the only option is to get one on contract therefore reducing your costs to a per-monthly payment over 2 years to make it affordable. And there you go you’re tied to their services for another 2 years, exactly what the marketing people wanted. Of course the same can be said for someone invested in Android who wants that £500 – £600 device that can’t afford it outright.
So by now you’re probably thinking, “Wow, this guy is so biased writing this, he’s so down on Apple”. Not at all. My view has always been “go with what works for you”. So long as you can afford your mortgage, to eat, to get the bus to get to school or work then buy what works for you and enjoy it. The purpose of this article is to explain one of the main reasons why people remain in one “camp” or another after they have made their initial device choice. Whatever you can afford or whatever you choose the important thing is to just use it and enjoy it rather than argue about which is better. “Better” for me may not be better for you.