This is why I can't stand a fanboy...

A friend recently linked this article on twitter so I thought I'd give it a read.
I was expecting a logical, well though out argument about how Apple has drastically changed the mobile phone industry in the United States...

That wasn't what I got.

As I read on I thought he proceeded to mock the anti Apple folks, you know, the haters with out provocation? Well deserved, they should be mocked. People who rail on something without getting their facts strait (regardless of their views) need to be set strait.
After a few more paragraphs I assumed I would start to see the logic and reasoning of the cleverly crafted article... It never happened... What I got instead was a completely biased and inaccurate list of things that only Apple themselves could do.

So, lets look at the list shall we? (I'll add my comments below each numbered entry.)

1. Carriers ruled the industry with an iron fist
(True, but only in the United States. Anyone with any will or knowledge could easily acquire an unlocked GSM phone and use it with any GMS carrier in the US.)

2. To access carriers’ networks handset makers capitulated everything
(Yes, only in the US.)

3. Carriers dictated phone designs, features, apps, prices, marketing, advertising and branding
(Again, only in the US.)

4. Phones were reduced to cheap, disposable lures for carriers’ service contracts
(See above)

5. There was no revenue sharing between carriers and manufacturers
(True, as far as I know.)

6. There was no notion of phone networks becoming dumb pipes anytime soon
(That whole in the US thing again...)

7. Affordable, unlimited data plans as standard were unheard of
(I have paid $19.95 per month for UNLIMITED date on my phone since 2001. Available to any phone on the carrier.)

8. A phone that would entice people to switch networks by the millions was a pipe dream
(This is very true. Apple has the marketing magic.)

9. Mobile devices were phones first and last, not usable handheld computers
(This is a completely ridiculous comment. The first smart phones were introduced in the early 1990's. By the late 1990's/early 2000's Nokia and Palm/Handspring were picking up steam along with that upstart RIM and their Blackberry. By 2002 Microsoft had converted their Pocket PC OS over to a smart phone version. I have had a full blown computer in my pocket since 2002 when I got my first smart phone. And since 1995 if you count the handheld computer I tethered to my phone.)

10. Even the smartest phones didn’t have seamless WiFi integration
(My first first Smartphone from 2002 had seamlessly integrated WiFi.)

11. Without Visual Voice Mail, messages couldn’t be managed non-linearly
(True for mobile phone voice mail.)

12. There were no manufacturer owned and operated on-the-phone application stores as the sole source
(True, there were MANY other application stores out there. However, none were manufacture owned.)

13. An on-the-phone store having 65,000 apps downloaded nearly 2 billion times was not on anyone’s radar screen
(True for on-the-phone stores. Says nothing of the billions of programs sold via the thousands of other mobile software stores since the 1990's. I totally agree that Apple revolutionized the mobile software store by placing it directly in front of the user.)

14. Low-cost, high-volume app pricing strategy with a 70/30 split didn’t exist

15. Robust one-click in-app transactions were unknown
(True, though I not sure this is a good thing.)

16. There was no efficient, large scale, consistent and lucrative mobile app market for developers large and small
(,, plus many many others.)

17. Buttons, keys, joysticks, sliders…anything but the screen was the focus of phones
(And who says this is a bad thing? Preferences people. Give me a physical keyboard any day.)

18. Phones didn’t come with huge 3.5″ touch screens
(What about my first phone at 3.6 inches, or that 4" Toshiba, or that crazy 5" HTC? All pre-iphone. Only recently did some screens shrink to the 2.8" range.)

19. Pervasive multitouch, gesture-based UI was science fiction

20. Actually usable, multi-language, multitouch virtual keyboards on phones didn’t exist
(Not entirely true, Resco keyboard, Spb keyboard, Fitaly, and countless other full and half screen touch keyboards have been around for years with support for many languages. No multi touch though.)

21. Integrated sensors like accelerometers and proximity detectors had no place in phones
(Quite a few phones had ambient light sensors. I will agree that Apple brought the accelerometer to the mobile phone world.)

22. Phones could never compete in 3D/gaming with dedicated portable consoles
(There are several HP and Toshiba devices with integrated 3D graphics chips that were out years before the iphone. Several desktop PC games were ported to these devices.)

23. iPod-class audio/video players on mobiles didn’t exist
(True, much higher class audio and video player existed before.)

24. No phone had ever offered a desktop-like web browser experience
(Not true, I had Opera mini on my old Motorola phone, then later Opera mobile on my smartphone. With flash support mind you.)

25. Sophisticated SDKs and phones were strangers to each other
(... You are kidding right? Palm, Symbian, Windows Mobile have all had SDKs for years before the iphone existed. The Windows Mobile SDK was usable in the exact same environment that windows programmers had used for years.)

I will admit, the author has several valid points. And I agree, Apple really kicked the mobile phone market in the ass. They have helped advance products much faster than would have happened without the launch of the iphone. Competition is good and Apple sure brought it.

What I cannot agree with is the ranting against fact-less fanboyism on once side only to turn around and do it himself. While Apple may not be "evil" as the author claims, they sure as hell are not "God" as he implies. No company is perfect. All devices have their flaws. And people have their preferences. All these things much be acknowledged in order to have a valid discussion. Pointing and yelling, "Mine's better than yours is!", all day isn't going to get us anywhere.

Thanks for playin.


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