By John Gruber
Atoms: We are not selling shoes this time…
Demetrius Mandzych, writing for the fresh-out-of-hibernation Byte, “A Sobering Look at Apple”:
In all honesty, I don’t know why people buy products from Apple. Apple assures everyone their products “just work,” that specs don’t matter and that its products are like finely-tuned German roadsters. The reverse is actually the case.
The genius of Apple is that it has fooled its customers into going along with this rap. Customers then justify their purchase of average to below-average products to themselves.
It’s ham-fisted link-bait, yes, but let’s go with it.
Here’s the thing. Apple’s products do not appeal to everyone. In particular, they do not appeal to those who have no appreciation for Apple-style design. And for whatever reason, some of those people, like Mandzych, have decided that there is something wrong with the people who buy Apple products, not that there is something appealing and unique about Apple’s products.
The above-quoted paragraphs could have been written a year ago, five years ago, ten years ago. The exact reasons change — Mandzych cites Antennagate, for example — but the idea that Apple customers are foolish and gullible is what some people have always thought about Apple. But it’s becoming an ever more untenable position as Apple’s customer base continues growing. It’s the Apple-haters who are beginning to look more and more like dogmatic cultists who have their heads in the sand.
I asked yesterday how Microsoft’s leadership — given their repeated insistence that they view the tablet as a PC, which thus implies that they believe Apple is wrong on the iPad — explains the iPad’s popularity and success. I.e. if they believe iOS is an inferior rather than superior OS for a tablet, why do they think so many people are buying and enjoying iPads?
The answer might be as simple as that they too believe — or are at least choosing to believe — that Apple customers are foolish and gullible, brainwashed by the Pied Piper of Apple’s marketing magic.
In that sense, Microsoft might be RIM writ large — convinced that things still are the way they were.