A couple weeks ago I added this topic to my Evernote list of non-news stories to write about. In fear of this topic circulating the web waves I figure now is as good a time as any to open this topic up for clarification and debate. What actions or attitudes must an everyday Apple supporter exhibit before they are justly (or not) called a Fanboy?

Often I read comment sections on sites like ours and when Apple products are written about this term flies around like beach balls in a sports stadium. Showing your appreciation and opinion on why you proclaim your iPhone, iPad or other device as being the best, will instantly grant you the Fanboy label. Rarely is the term assigned to someone with any other intention than to call them a blazing idiot (which is much worse than just a regular idiot).

I have said before that I cannot see myself ever owning any phone but an iPhone. I have reasons with little relevance to this piece but will say that if for nothing else my devotion is confirmed by the sheer ease of synchronization with my other Apple products. I admit it’s a circular argument (meaning I say I won’t stop using Apple products since they work so well with other Apple products), but that is my experience.

Ignorance is often used alongside Fanboy in the sense that for anyone to think this Apple product is better than a certain non Apple product, then the person deciding must be ignorant of the other device’s capabilities. iPad’s are a great example of this. The supporters of this device are often criticized because they spend more money on their iPad than they would a netbook that can better create documents or run Flash ; as if this information is a big secret that was overlooked when making the purchase.

A question I have is what if I decided tomorrow that I would sell all my Apple gear and switch to pure Microsoft. Would I then be a Bill Gates Fanboy just like that? Oddly enough I doubt it. The term has a special certain sticking power when attached to one who loves Apple products. If I were Steve Jobs I would move as fast as I can to have this term patented. Someone should be cashing in and it might as well be those who are referred to the name most.

So where does this term come from? Is it hate or jealousy? Or does this term just represent a comical term that is tossed benevolently between friends? I guess it doesn’t matter much since we all know Apple products are best.

  • Jon Garrett

    Fanboy = an idiot it thinks anything made by apple is superior to anything made by anyone else while totally ignoring facts that prove otherwise.

    When a Fanboy compares an apple product against a competitor product, the Fanboy will make a comparison based on apple’s strengths compared to the competitors weakness.

    A Fanboy makes excuses for Apple (ie. design flaws in iphone 4 or iOS4’s slowdown of the 3G)

    A Fanboy defends Apple’s non-competitive practices and Authoritarian attitude towards its users.

    I use both Apple/Mac & Microsoft/PC. they both have their strengths and weakness and the world is a much better place because of both companies’ products.


    • Joe

      You messed up a fanboy= anyone who likes a certant company or product and only supports them.

  • Art Vandelay

    I agree with the previous poster. I have a ThinkPad running Windows 7, a MacBook Pro, and a Nexus One phone running Android. My devices are not my religion. Each one has strengths and weaknesses. Apple fanboys drive me nuts with their blind worship of Steve Jobs, and their willingness to excuse conduct from Apple (secrecy, paranoia, authoritarianism) that they would scream about if perpetrated by Microsoft or Google.

  • Alex Hart

    I think this is turning out to be a great discussion. I myself have a Macbook Pro, several iPods, a Windows 7 desktop and netbook, and a motorola Droid (mostly because I’m on verizon and refuse to have limited data offered by At&t). I do think that my macbook pro is far superior to any other computer I’ve used but that’s personal preference and i would never force it on anyone. I’d like to try an iphone and probably will once it’s not cripled by at&t.

    • remember, it’s not JUST ATT who has a hand in crippling these devices ….. that’s just the data / phone side of it ….. the worst crippling of the iPhone is actually perpetrated by Apple!!!! otherwise we would not have to jailbreak, or unlock these phones (iDevices in general) just to run apps that “apple” doesn’t approve of, and the like!!! etc., etc., etc., blah, blah, blah 😉

  • Harvey

    Both Microsoft-fans and Apple-fans can be called “fanbois”. But there does seem to be a distinct difference between the two camps in how they behave towards each other.

    Apple-fanbois love the products they use, and so they extol the benefits of their chosen products, and their joy using them. This enthusiasm is unfortunately taken as an affront by the Microsoft-fanbois. Seldom will an Apple-fan become insulting about Windows OS and hardware, and usually this occurs only as a defensive reaction to a verbal attack from Microsoft-fanbois.

    Microsoft-fanbois don’t often express a similar enthusiasm and happiness in their products. They usually demonstrate an outright hatred towards Apple, Apple-products, and Apple-fans. Most times those Microsoft-fanbois making the loudest noises have never actually used Apple products extensively (or even used them at all in some cases). In those instances, their outbursts are simply xenophobic rants. It is very rare to hear anything but biased, anti-Apple opinions from Microsoft-fanbois.

    Both Apple-fanbois and Microsoft-fanbois can be very irritating to each other. But Apple-fanbois’ pontifications are positive expressions of their joy in using the products they have chosen, while Microsoft-fanbois’ tirades are mostly negative expressions of hatred towards anything Apple-related. Whether these offensive remarks towards Apple-fanbois are due to jealousy or simply because they view Apple-fanbois as outsiders and not on their “team” is debatable.

  • Tom

    @ John garrat…..bravo well said. If I may add there should a distinction between apple fanboys. I am loyal and adore the innovative products apple make..that I will admit. But the company…the corporate attitude stinks…that is what I dislike about Apple!

  • alex jones

    If you can’t look behind the bullshit, your a fanboy. Every device has its pros and cons, and as a user u have to pick which device closely matches your needs.

    If you.choose a device simply because its from company X, then you deserve to be labelled an idiot

  • I really want to call myself an Apple Fanboy but I won’t be able to as long as Apple will pull those evil moves on both developers and consumers.

    I love my iPhone. Heck, I write about it for a living, that’s how much I love it. I really can’t see another phone replacing my iPhone anytime soon. I also love my iMac, which I switched to from PC just weeks ago. I plan to buy the new MacBook Air when it comes out.

    In the eye of most people I am the typical fanboy. However I am extremely critical of many things Apple does and like Alex said in the previous comment, I can look behind the bullshit and see what’s right and what’s wrong.

    Being a Fanboy is great but by definition it means you will eat anything Apple will serve you. Being able to give an objective and critical point of view is more important to me. Maybe I’ll never be a Fanboy after all. Oh well.

  • Of course you are all forgetting that Steve Jobs invented the internet, so if not for him, you wouldn’t even be having this conversation right now. True story.

    • Plain Silly

      Oh yes, I totally agree. Steve Jobs invented sliced bread in addition to the wheel among other things, including the discovery of fire!

    • Papas

      Everybody knows AL GORE invented the internet

    • Ben Ben

      Without Steve Jobs, we’d all be bumbling idiots in spandex running around in a cave. So it would be the 70’s. TROLLOLOL

  • DaemonAshra

    This is one of those times that I like being on the outside looking in. I have 2 android phones, and iPod Touch 4G, a macbook, a Win7 desktop, and i will be getting an iPad within the month (thanks to the help from the guys here). I can’t call myself a fanboy of any certain company, but I am most definitely a Tech Junkie. I love having the newest tech I can find and I love hacking it to work exactly as I want it to. In that sense, it can be called an addiction. it eats my money, takes up a lot of my time, and sometimes ruins my day when somethings starts acting up.

    To be honest, I feel bad for fanboys. Sticking with one single brand and never even trying to see what else there is out there is pretty boring.

  • StephenX

    I know nothing of Steve Jobs or his loyal following. All I know is I love my new iP4. Do I need a higher reason than that?

  • I’m running Windows 7 on a Macbook Pro 15” and I’m lovin it. The machine is good and sturdy, but screw OSX, W7 has way more apps 🙂

  • Ben Ben

    I don’t believe fanboyism is escapable entirely. Whatever OS you support, you must be overlooking some negative aspect of it. I, as an avid Android fanboy, manage to believe that it is perfect in every way, despite its bad (but growing) app store, fragmentation etc… (How I am writing this involves some crazy doublethink :)) But in the end everyone’s liking toward a product involves some fanboyism, Even if you believe yourself to be unbiased.