When people talk about smartphones, they often mean iPhones and Android phones. Sure there are still Blackberries out there, I think I once saw a guy using a webOS phone, and Microsoft has 89,000 employees who have to use Windows Phone 7, but it's mostly an Android and iPhone world right now. If you have a phone running Android or iOS, life is pretty good. You've probably got a really powerful phone, with a huge number of apps and games to choose from. You've also got a web browser that's more advanced than the one used by most desktop computer users. So given all of those things to be happy about, why is that smartphone owners are so hostile to each other?
iPhones user love to look down their noses and make derisive comments about Android users. Not to be outdone, Android users never miss an opportunity to mock iPhone users. There is an obvious parallel here to Mac vs. Windows, but I think it's actually much nastier than Mac vs. Windows ever was. Here's a list of my theories (in no particular order) on why there is such animosity.
- It's so easy to do. The truth is that both iOS and Android are deeply flawed. Going back to the Mac vs. Windows comparison, think about how much less mature these smartphone OS's are compared to Windows and OSX. So if you have any inclination to make fun of either OS, it's embarrassingly easy to do. This is where things really differ from Mac vs. Windows. There's not much to debate there. If you wanted to say "Mac sucks", there is a short list of things that you can point to. Not true for iOS or Android.
- Social networking. In this day and age of social networks, your "friends" shove what they are doing in your face constantly. Smartphone apps make heavy use of this, as a way to spread virally. But what happens when there is an impedance mismatch caused by apps available on one OS but not the other? The folks with the unsupported OS get a little annoyed, and the other folks get an artificial feeling of 133tness
- It starts at the top. Apple and Google both frequently take shots at each other. They do it at developer conferences. They do it when reporting quarterly earnings. It doesn't stop there. Motorola, Verizon, T-Mobile and others have all taken shots at Apple in commercials seen by millions.
- Big decisions. You only have one smartphone (unless you are weird like me) and in the US, you usually buy it on a two-year contract. So you have to pick just one, and then you are stuck with it for two years. Thus if anybody is gonna suggest that you made a bad decision, most people will defend their decisions vehemently.
- The Apple effect. So this really is straight out of Mac vs. Windows. Apple wants their products to seem elite and luxurious. They want the owners to feel like they have purchased far superior products, and feel that they (the user) is superior because of this. It's brilliant marketing, and it totally works. The air of superiority hangs over any Apple product owners, but especially iPhone users. So naturally any non-iPhone users are going to react negatively to the haute attitudes of iPhone users.