One by one, many of Apple's biggest, loudest, best-known fans are jumping ship. First came Guy Kawasaki, who has become not only an Android fan but now is consulting for Motorola. Then Robert Scoble made the leap. Now Andy Ihnatko, a tech reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, has switched to Android. Moreover, he's writing a series of articles for TechHive explaining, in great detail, all the reasons for his move.
Frankly, on this one, I'm kind of stunned. I know Andy and I like his work. He's one of the best Apple reporters out there, and a guy I'd kill to have writing for us at ReadWrite. He's also about as rabid an Apple fanboy as anyone I've ever known.
Ihnatko cops to that love of Apple in his article, writing that, "My positive reviews of new iPhones and new editions of iOS have always been sincere... Sometimes they've been downright florid. I've been so enthusiastic that I've often been accused of saying those things because I'm an Apple fanboy."
It's Just Better
But now Ihnatko has switched to a Samsung Galaxy S3 (the same phone I use and love, by the way) and he says he's not going back. Why the switch?
"Here's what changed: Android got great. The OS got great, and the hardware got great," he writes.
I encourage you to read the whole article, but to summarize, Ihnatko cites a couple of big advantages:
Better keyboards, like SwiftKey and Swype, that let you type by dragging your finger from one letter to the next. I'm with Andy on this. Once I started using Swype there was no going back.
Big screens. Again, I'm with Andy. Once you go to the GS3, it's really hard to go back. Writes Ihnatko: "People whom I know, and respect, and even consider to be friends have dismissed large phone screens as a cheap marketing gimmick that targets gullible consumers in the showroom, and which doesn't offer any practical benefits. Yikes. That's so incorrect, so far out of whack with reality as I experience it... that I can't even mount an argument against it. I can't think of anything to say other than, `Nope. Wrong.'"
Why This Matters
Among the kind of people who take this stuff seriously, Ihnatko's defection is a big deal. This is the kind of thing that invites abuse. I know that sounds sad and pathetic, and it is. But look at the comment string under his article. Or look at this article on MacDailyNews, which includes the following:
"Andy’s lack of patriotism and morality aside (really, Andy, rewarding blatant thieves?), this sort of thing should be a wakeup call to Apple that iOS 7 and future iOS hardware should be not just a step, but a leap forward."
And little by little, the circle of Apple fanboys who remain in denial grows smaller and smaller ...