I was preparing for our Wednesday night ReadWrite Mix event with Guy Kawasaki by reading his latest book, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur — How to Publish a Book, when I came across something strange — an offhand remark about how “real men use Android.”
This struck me as odd, because Kawasaki is probably best known as a former Apple evangelist, a relentless promoter whose work in the 1980s helped create what’s known today as the cult of Mac.
It’s especially weird because in the world of Apple fanboys there is no greater evil than Google’s Android operating system. The late Steve Jobs vowed to wage “thermonuclear war” against Android, which he considered a ripoff of Apple’s ideas.
Apple’s snobby fanbloggers sneer at Android as an ugly, stupid, low-class knockoff used only by people who have no taste or who can’t afford Apple products.
But guess what? Kawasaki really is a passionate Android fan.
Think Different — Think Android
Kawasaki switched to Android about a year ago and today uses no Apple mobile products. “People are kind of amazed, but I don’t use any iOS products, none at all,” he says. “I fell in love with Android on the smartphone, and then I got a Nexus 7 and started using Android on the tablet as well. To me the great irony is that Apple’s slogan was `Think Different,’ but today if you think different you’re looking at Android.”
Kawasaki likes the 7-inch Nexus tablet size and wasn’t tempted to switch to an iPad Mini when Apple finally came out with it in October. “If there was something compelling about the Mini I would switch in a second, but what’s compelling? Why switch?” he says.
Kawasaki switched to an Android phone so that he could get on a 4G LTE network. “Apple touts itself as the leading edge of smartphones, so why was it still running on a network that was 10 to 20 times slower?”
With the iPhone 5, Apple finally has come out with support for 4G LTE networks, but Kawasaki says he’s not going back. “I won’t switch now, because I think Android is better,” he says.
What's In Your Pocket?
His first Android phone was a Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, but he’s now using a Samsung Galaxy S3.
What does he like about Android? Things like support for NFC (near field communication), true multitasking and the ability to see all of his apps in alphabetical order.
“Another thing I like with Android is they don’t have some stupid proprietary cable. I can go to any hotel front desk and if I’ve forgotten my cable they always have a micro-USB around. I can use my Nexus 7 and it’s on the same cable as my Samsung Galaxy S3. What a concept! A standard cable,” Kawasaki says.
Full disclosure: Kawasaki has done some work with Samsung, and the Korean company helped sponsor his last book, What The Plus!: Google+ for the Rest of Us.
But he insists that is not what caused him to switch allegiance to Android. After all, he can buy any phone or tablet he wants. He’s not using Android because it’s cheaper, or because he gets demo units for free. He’s not getting paid to use Android or to promote Android in the press.
He simply, honestly, likes Android better.
Three Out Of Four Smartphone Buyers Agree
He’s not alone. Android now has 75% market share in smartphones, and is quickly gobbling up share in tablets as well. Apple fans can sneer all they want.
The funny thing is that in the past few years I’ve made a similar journey from iPhone to Android. Just like Kawasaki, I’m now on a Samsung Galaxy S3, and before that I was using a Motorola Razr Maxx.
Strangest of all, you know who recommended the Razr Maxx to me? Steve Wozniak, aka Woz, the co-founder of Apple and king of Apple fanboys. Woz says he still prefers his iPhone but as you can see below, he is also a bit of an Android fan.