It’s just easier to come out and say it, right? Well, it’s not like anyone that reads what I write here on BGR, or on Twitter, or Facebook, or speaks to me, or watches me, could have been unclear about the fact that I love Apple (AAPL) as a company. I love almost every product the company makes, and I have bought (within reason — OK, maybe not) every single Apple product since around 2003.
As Apple’s products have dominated each industry, from computers, to music, to phones, to tablets, Apple as a company has grown into the largest company in the world. But I loved Apple since before all that… since I was 15.
I was very much into the music scene, and as I quickly discovered, this was an area where Apple was the gold standard. As soon as I started using Pro Tools on a G4 tower, I realized that there was no way I could stand using Pro Tools on a PC. It was that different. It was a completely better experience. That was where Apple got me.
I had my PC (probably a Sony (SNY) VAIO tower or whatever piece of crap PC existed at the time) as my main computer, and I bought a G4 for just Pro Tools and music production. But Apple, man…
I needed to use the Internet to share Pro Tools files, or bounce audio, or download samples, or whatever else, so I used Safari. And since I was already on Safari I might as well sign into this iChat thing to use AIM instead of changing machines. And since I was already IMing, I might as well use iTunes to listen and buy music and to sync my iPod. And since I was using iTunes to listen to my music I might as well copy some photos to my G4 to share them with friends. And so on, and so forth. The entire computing experience is different on a Mac compared to a PC. It’s simpler, it’s more elegant, and it makes my life easier.
I don’t want to work for technology, I want technology to work for me.
At the time I just started getting into a Mac, I had an Accompli 009 with Voicestream. This was a brand new version of the popular Motorola P935 two-way pager, though Motorola’s execution didn’t quite resonate the second time around, and the device never caught on. But it did offer a glimpse of the smartphone innovation that lay ahead. I couldn’t wait for the day where I had a phone that was an extension of my computer, and all my music, videos, photos, contacts and data was seamlessly integrated across both devices.
I cycled through cell phones like clockwork — I believe the phone I used for a little bit after the Accompli was a Nokia (NOK) 3650, and I loved the fact that this device actually let you use the internet like a computer. For the first time ever, I could watch and listen to streaming RealPlayer videos and music on my phone, and it was incredible.
After I dumped the Nokia 3560, I bought a color T-Mobile Sidekick (I passed on the black and white model). No. Way. AOL (AOL) Instant Messenger — like, real AOL Instant Messenger — on a mobile device alongside an actual Web browser? Email with attachments? This was amazing, and it truly showed me where the smartphone industry was headed.
As the Sidekick grew more popular, BlackBerry was growing as well. My first BlackBerry was the BlackBerry 7230 on T-Mobile (I skipped the BlackBerry 6230 to hold out for a color display… see where this is going?) and that BlackBerry changed my smartphone life once again. There were growing pains with it since it was mostly built for email and text messaging — there was next to nothing as far as AIM until I figured out that by using a BES server I could get an application called WebMessenger to work — but as it grew, so did the experience. Up until a point. I owned every single Blackberry Research In Motion (RIMM) released up until the BlackBerry 9900.
All the while though, I still used a Mac, and I was heavily invested in Apple’s iTunes ecosystem. There were new iPods, and even iPods with video support. Then, finally, the iPhone was introduced.
The reason I love my iPhone isn’t because it’s made by Apple, it’s simply because I think it’s the best mobile device ever made. And that’s where I’m going with all this — just hang in there, I know there’s probably some cute kitten with overlaid capitalized text on Facebook you’re thinking about checking out. The reason I compare every device to an iPhone is not because it’s an Apple product, it’s because Apple has done something that no other manufacturer in the world has done. Apple has created a product that isn’t a product. It’s a seamless, effortless, enjoyable extension of your computer and your life. In fact, you could now argue that a computer is just an extension of your phone, and you’d be right.
That experience can’t be copied very easily because Apple is a company that built it from scratch. Just ask any tablet manufacturer in the world. They are just barely getting close to nailing the hardware, and you could argue that Apple’s iPad is still miles ahead of any competitor’s hardware in terms of the total package: A beautiful and simple design, sturdy aluminum build, perfect proportions and so on. In the software department, the contrast is even greater. But, there is something interesting happening. As much as I love Apple products, it doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate or like competitors’ products. That would be like a guy not noticing any other women in the world because he’s dating a girl.
If you’ve been keeping up with the tablet space, you’ll no doubt have seen how well-liked Google’s (GOOG) Nexus 7 tablet is. And the horror! It’s been incredibly well-received by admitted Apple fans. Why is this? Well, it’s because regardless of anything anyone says, just because you’re a fan of a company or like a certain product, if you don’t have ulterior motives you’re going to be honest as a writer, blogger and human being. That’s what the world is seeing with the Nexus 7. It’s a great product for the price range it’s in, and even people who love Apple like this tablet.
The reason I wrote this article isn’t to try to sway your opinion of me, or any other tech writer who probably happens to use an Apple computer and most likely an iPhone as well. It’s simply to show how even someone who absolutely loves a specific product and company can honestly write about a competitor without prejudice, and openly try to find a way to work that product into his or her life.
It’s also to show that many people who like Apple products have used a variety of devices made by other companies, and we’ve just settled on Apple products because we think they are superior for us. They are easier. They are cleaner. They are more stable. They are more beautiful. I don’t care about the fact I can’t change the theme on my phone from silver to some spread with pictures of a guy fox-hunting on a horse, and I don’t care about the fact that I can’t flash ROMs on my phone.
I simply want technology to work for me, and not to have to use devices that make me work for technology.