Who's more annoying: Android or iPhone fanboys?

When it comes to smartphones, Android vs. iPhone takes up where Windows vs. Mac left off as the fanboys from both camps face off in message boards across the blogosphere.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Headphones, Bluetooth speakers, mobile accessories, Apple, Sony, Bose, e-readers, Amazon, glasses, ski gear, iPhone cases, gaming accessories, sports tech, portable audio, interviews, audiophile gear, PC speakers Credentials
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David Carnoy
4 min read

Ah, there's nothing like a good platform war to stir up the emotions. We've seen plenty of battles over the years. Old stalwarts like Windows versus Mac and Xbox 360 versus PS3 always manage to light up the message boards. And I still miss all the personal attacks I got from HD DVD versus Blu-ray wars. But nothing seems to get people more worked up these days than Android versus iPhone.

Take a recent post I did on the 20 most-wanted features I'd like to see in the next-generation iPhone, which may be called the iPhone 5. The comments section immediately degenerated into a battle between iPhone versus Android backers. Here are some samples from the melee.

Stereotypical Android user. CBS

Android camp:

zizzybaloobah: "You can waste your time wishing for a phone w/these features, or get an Android phone that already has them."

javawebdeveloper: "@Bonesbautista, @slickuser No, you are giving the typical iPhone fanboy response: You are so convinced that the iPhone is the best thing since sliced bread that you cannot accept that a competing device has features that the iPhone does not have, so you denigrate them as being unimportant, hazardous, or only 'for geeks'. If they are implemented in iPhone 5, then they will magically transform into Apple innovations."

Ebraheem: "Anyone thinking that ports are a synonym for holes really shouldn't be talking about security. iOS has 65535 ports, Android has 65535 ports, Windows has 65535 ports, and pretty much anything that has a TCP/IP stack has 65535 ports! Typical non-geek mentality, thinking you understand technical details when you don't."

Sourdust: "So the author [David Carnoy] basically wishes the iPhone were more like an Android phone. As other have written, just buy an Android and be done with it. It seems the real wish here is for Android phones to run the iPhone OS. But that would have been a much shorter article (one sentence) and might not have been published."

Apple camp:

bonesbautista: "Typical response from Android fanboys. Too much kludge with stock Android, too many complaints of poor RF with most of the HTC smart phones. The new iOS is missing a Today screen and better notifications. Android? Meh."

Stereotypical iPhone user. NBC

slickuser: "Typical geek (Android) mentality! By the time iPhone 5 is out, Flash would be on a lifeline."

MaLvaDo39: "Why do you want an Android? Just another fake iPhone...follow the leader is all Google and Microsoft could ever do."

NeonRazor4: "Since you seem so eager to write about missing features, why not write an article about the features you want from the Motorola Droid 2 or the Blackberry Storm 3? Why do you feel such a need to nitpick the iPhone? Sure it's missing a few features, but there are many other phones that are missing some features we wish it had. Yet, they don't get the same amount of vicious scrutiny as the iPhone does..."

Chandyyyyyy: "Alrighty. So I'm not a geek or a nerd, but I understand the argument and what each person is saying if that helps you understand where I am coming from. I have an iPhone along with thousands of other consumers. I'm not a fanboy. But I couldn't care less about which phone is better. I'm very happy with my iPhone, and I see many more iPhones than droids htc or whatever. What the iPhone has that other phones do not is an iPod. That's no better than any other mp3 player, but it's the top brand of mp3 player. It's convenient and easy to use, even older folks have one."

As you can see from these comments, some lines are being drawn and some stereotypes are being formed. Here's how I envision the two sides see each other based on some of the vitriol going around. (Yes, these are sexist descriptions, but 85 percent of our readers are male. If you're part of our female audience, feel free to comment with your views on all of this).

Android smartphone owner (as viewed by an iPhone fanboy):

  • Resembles Dr. Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory
  • Installed Linux on the PS3
  • Fashionably nerdy
  • Becomes aroused when seeing a DOS command field
  • Views the phone as a purely utilitarian device
  • Chooses his phone based on carrier

iPhone owner (as viewed by an Android fanboy):

  • Resembles Ross from Friends
  • Superficial, insecure douchebag with metrosexual tendencies
  • Drives a BMW or Prius
  • Enters a hypnotic state when seeing the Great Steve
  • Favorite phrase: "You still there? Hello?"
  • Doesn't actually know how to work a real phone
OK, I'm embellishing a little. But things are getting more heated as the smartphone space seems to be increasingly divided into two camps, though Blackberry certainly makes up the third piece of the pie; however, its fans are less vocal.

As some of you already know, I own an iPhone. When I bought my 3GS, the Android phones just weren't as good as they are now (I didn't want the Droid, which was arguably the top Android phone at the time I made my purchase). However, my feeling of superiority comes from being comfortable with my purchase and not being tempted by the iPhone 4, the Evo 4G, or Incredible or whatever the next hot new phone will be. In my opinion, you're all just chasing your tails--or as one reader, bweston1a, puts it:

"Wow. Being a long-time Mac user, I think it's kind of ironic to listen to the Android Fanboys. Most of the arguments I read make sound very much like the longtime refrain of Mac users (We've got this feature or that feature--does Windows?). At the end of the day, it didn't really make much of a difference though."

See also: iPhone 5's 20 most-wanted features