Fanboy free for all 

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1. Once we invest, we're invested for the long-term — several years usually, and at least three years when we buy a phone. The last thing we would want to admit is that we've bought anything but the best phone out there, or to think we may have made the wrong choice. We get defensive about it, and as a result we're more willing to overlook faults or overemphasize the importance of the good things.

We're also scared of getting it wrong, and feel we need to support the products we make or find ourselves out in the cold with an obsolete product that doesn't work with anyone else's. We won't take a risk on a new or different device, or back a company whose fortunes are in decline even if their newest products are pretty good — Research In Motion's Blackberry phones are a good example.

2. Companies make us do it. These days we're forced to make prohibitive choices all the time. For example, if you buy a PS3 you know you're not going to be able to play Halo games — so the only logical thing to do is take to online forums and rave about how Halo is overrated, Resistance is better, PS3 is a better machine because of Blu-ray and free online multiplayer, and so on. The fact is that every device has proprietary advantages and disadvantages, and any time we make a choice we're ultimately limiting ourselves. For example, I really prefer having a PC for a lot of reasons that make sense to me, but I really, really wish I could use Apple's GarageBand and Pixelmator. My next computer will be a dual boot computer for those reasons alone.

It's a fact that these different ecosystems don't play nice all the time, and we're forced to stick to one ecosystem or another (e.g. all Apple, all Microsoft, all Android). One reviewer showed off his selection of devices and people were stunned that he used an Apple MacBook, Nexus 7 tablet and Microsoft phone.

3. Peer pressure. I'm not saying that people have to buy a certain phone or be ostracized, but technology is used very publicly, it's a topic of discussion and something that gets noticed. Sometimes it's just easier to go with the product that everyone else has than it is to show up with something different or less expensive.

The good news these days is that even the worst technology out there is still a hundred times better than anything that was available 10 years ago. And, if nothing else, the fanboy wars are at least entertaining — worth a peek into the comments section of any technology story.


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