Renowned tech commentator Walt Mossberg would like fans of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) products and other technophiles to dial down the harsh rhetoric. In a column published on the recently launched ReCode technology news site, Mossberg chastises “fanboys and fangirls” of various tech product brands for taking a quasi-religious attitude towards “capitalist enterprises.”
“Your favorite tech hardware, software and services are not religious objects,” wrote Mossberg via ReCode. “And the companies that make them aren’t cults or faiths.” Mossberg noted that he has suffered personal attacks throughout his career as a tech reviewer for simply giving his honest opinion about a particular product. Mossberg also noted that tech fans who disagree with his reviews commonly accuse him of being paid to write a certain type of review or of never actually testing the product.
Although Mossberg’s comments were ostensibly directed towards any tech fans who “pour down personal hate and derision on people who happen to use and like a tech product that competes with the one you prefer,” he pointed out that the “biggest tech religion is the Church of Apple.”
According to Mossberg, “Apple cultists” are especially quick to resort to personal attacks on tech reviewers, especially if the review is anything less than 100 percent positive. He suggested that Apple fans’ ferocious loyalty may be due to the company’s historical position as the computer world’s underdog. “Some carry a sort of permanent sense of suspicion from the old days of the 1980s, when using a Mac was considered weird by many,” wrote Mossberg.
On the other hand, the tech commentator noted that the “Apple haters” are equally irrational and one-sided with their opinions. He also pointed out that there is a “Church of Android,” a “Church of the Open Source,” and a shrinking “Church of BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY).” Interestingly, Mossberg noted that Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows has never inspired the type of cultish devotion that he has seen with fans of other brands’ products.
Although Mossberg singled out the “Church of Apple” for its large membership, he noted that tech rivalries in general seem to be more hate-filled than the “healthy” rivalries seen in other industries. For example, he noted that Ford (NYSE:F) and Chevy fans appear to share a healthy rivalry without resorting to hating “people who like other stuff.”
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