Pushing Apple fanboy-ness to the edge

28Sep07

I consider myself an Apple fan but I try very hard not to be a fanboy. What is a fanboy? Wikipedia defines a fanboy as:

an individual who is utterly devoted to a single fannish subject, or to a single point of view within that subject, often to the point where it is considered an obsession. Fanboys remain loyal to their particular obsession, disregarding any factors (often including logic) that differ from their point of view.

Most Apple-centric websites and blogs I go or is subscribed to try to be as objective as possible when reporting or writing about Apple and the industry. Sometimes, they do slip and their fanboy-ness seep out. Often their display of fanboy-ness is amusing and sometimes downright funny which I would like to think was intentional.

Sometimes though, they can go a little too far in their fanboy-ness in the guise of “consumer oriented” reviews or editorials. This is repeatedly seen in the issues involving the iPhone and iPod touch. Not spared are the latest iPods. Case in point, Playlist, which I subscribe to and enjoy reading, has came out with a report on the latest updates for the iPod classic and iPod nano. Software update 1.0.1 brought with it the much anticipated improvement on the responsiveness of the UI of the classic and nano.

Christopher Breen, however, wasn’t entirely happy with the update. He found out that based on the tests they conducted that the battery life had suffered on both the iPod classic and the iPod nano.

The second change is a little disappointing: The software update affects battery life. Specifically, our battery tests revealed that continuous audio playback on nanos and classics running the 1.0.1 update caused the music players to run out of juice faster than our initial tests of the pre-update iPods

Audio playback on the 8GB nano lasted only 29 hours and 48 minutes from the pre-update time of 31 hours 20 minutes. That’s a drop of almost one hour and a half. That’s terrible! The same fate befell the classic; for the 80GB, from 41:05 (hh:mm) down to 38:13; the 160GB, from 59:04 down to 52:39. This is an outrage! Apple is cheating their customers.

Not exactly. You see, Apple’s official audio playback estimates for the nano is up to 24 hours; for the classic it’s up to 30 hours for the 80GB and up to 40 hours for the 160GB. Christopher Breen does add that the battery life of these iPods:

…were still more than Apple’s conservative audio playback estimates.

I still can’t get over the fact that he called the battery life on 1.0.1 as “a little disappointing.” What’s there to be disappointed about? Even with the latest update, battery life on the new iPods are 25% better than Apple’s estimate.

I love Apple’s products. I have an iMac and Powerbook. I’ve owned an iPod mini, 5G iPod (pre-classic), and 1st gen iPod shuffle. I currently own and use a iPod nano red. I enjoy using these products and recommend these to anyone who asks me what computer or what digital audio and/or video player to buy. I am an Apple evangelist to a small degree and I preach the good news of Apple.

I am also able to curb my enthusiasm for the all “i” company. If I see that an Apple product won’t suit a person’s needs I am not likely to recommend the Macbook or the iPod to them. I am no fanboy.

The recent months have brought a storm of reactions calling Apple as the next Microsoft for being greedy, monopolistic, and ready to screw “loyal” customers. They’ve also taken Apple to task for delaying the release of Mac OS X, codename Leopard, calling it as Vista 2.0. Some points may be valid, but for the most part these “loyal” customers see Apple as their own private company. Brand loyalty is good and Apple has been able to produce awesome products and slick marketing campaigns that commands the kind of brand loyalty most company envies to have.

Loyalty can be pushed so far as to produce irrational rants from the few vociferous users. These loud minority unfortunately is taken by some, especially the media, as the norm.

Asking the fanboys to take time out to step back and take a look at the big picture is futile. Most of them think they own Apple because they bought a Macbook or an iPod or an iPhone. They scream at the top of their lungs claiming they know what’s best for Apple and Steve Jobs better listen to them. Maybe they are concerned that Apple might be forgetting history and might revert back into the pre-1996 era, the time before Steve Jobs came back. Maybe they are fighting for the Apple consumer, sensing that Apple has indeed become like Microsoft, only after the money and the marketshare without any regard to its loyal customers.

Then again, perhaps these are just the spoiled few who has ready access to the keyboard and the internet, and loudly proclaim to the top of the fingers, “I’m a fanboy! You better listen to me!”

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