Dear Rabid Apple Fans: Your precious Mac club is being disbanded. Blame iPad.

Dear Rabid Apple Fans: Your precious Mac club is being disbanded. Blame iPad.

Summary: Within four years, iPad users will vastly outnumber Macs. And to the elitist Macintosh faithful, that news is too difficult to bear.

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Within four years, iPad users will vastly outnumber Macs. And to the elitist Macintosh faithful, that news is too difficult to bear.

Today my long-time colleague and friend Mary-Jo Foley, probably the most seasoned Microsoft reporter in the entire industry made a revelation: She bought an iPad. And she loves it.

I think we can all agree that the summer is slow on tech news, and that even the best of us run short of material. God knows, this happens to me probably every week, and it forces me to get creative.

But Mary-Jo declaring that she's joining the Apple iPad ranks is important for its non-eventness alone, because this is evidence that the canary in the coal mine is dropping dead. And that canary is the Age of Elitism for Apple users.

In all truthfulness, I debated whether or not I was going to write a blog entry on Mary Jo buying her iPad. I didn't think it was that important.

After all, I bought one, and I wouldn't call myself the biggest Apple fan in the world. The device serves its purpose for me and it does what it needs to do. I ascribe absolutely zero religious or ideological motivation in the purchase whatsoever. It's just a friggin' tablet.

But then I read this response on MacDailyNews and it got me thinking. Mac fans sound like they are seriously threatened by the Average Mary-Jo buying iPads, aren't they?

How did they react? Not "Welcome to the club" or "Cool, she likes it" but instead in their first sentence they go as far to call her a "Luddite Soccer Mom", albeit in jest.

The very idea that Mary-Jo is a Luddite or even a Soccer Mom is totally ridiculous, as she's one of the most feminist and technologically progressive career women I've ever met.

But wait, there's more. They also want to "Vomit" if they read any more of Mary Jo's piece and that as she's "lived her life denying herself the best" for not having owned Apple product before, she therefore has "no credibility" with her opinions about the device and is also "cheap".

What does this sound like to me? It sounds like elitism. It sounds like the typical Mac fanboi crap that most of us regular people have been enduring from these twits for more than two decades.

This is not how you welcome people into your community, Mactards. This is how you alienate them.

The funny thing is about all of this is that while Mary Jo is certainly no Soccer Mom, or even a technological neophyte or a Luddite, that's exactly the sort of person the iPad is targeted at. And that's primarily who'll be buying them. In the many tens of millions over the next few years. Most of which have never owned an Apple computer of any kind before. Many will have never even purchased an iPod either.

Tens of millions of iPad owners and Apple neophytes is a Mac elitist's worst nightmare. Suddenly, the price of entry to become an Apple computer owner is no longer the equivalent to a major down payment on a luxury automobile. It's no longer exclusive. For just $500.00 anybody can own an Apple computer.

And that scares the living crap out of Mac fanatics.

At the 2009 Apple World Wide Developer's conference (WWDC) acting Apple CEO Phil Schiller stated there were 75 million Mac users worldwide. All indications are that the current rate of growth for Mac use is that it is relatively flat -- the Macs which are being bought (and in reported record numbers) are for the most part replacing the ones in the current population in North America. The recently reported growth numbers in Asia are certainly encouraging for Apple, but then again PC sales in Asia are extremely commodity and extremely high volume anyway.

[Note: I'm well aware of latest Apple sales reports that they sold more Macs last quarter than any quarter previous. That's a very good sign for replacement or expansion, but there is still very little market data other than Apple's own Chief Financial Officer's opinion to suggest that Macs are displacing or outselling Windows PCs in large quantities globally.]

Of those 75 million users, approximately 60-70 percent of them are probably in North America. That would amount to about 52.5 million if you estimate on the high end.

The early iPad purchasing trend indicates that within three years, we'll see anywhere between 50 and 80 million iPad users worldwide, as an extremely conservative estimate. And virtually all of them are going to be in the US, as the rest of the world is likely to latch onto Android instead.

Now, let's be perfectly clear. Macs aren't going away anytime soon. It's an important platform for digital content creation and obviously, it's the required and only platform for programming iOS apps, at least for the time being.

However, there can be little denying that most of the emphasis on application development for Apple products is for iOS, not for the Mac. The 2010 Apple World Wide Developer's Conference was almost entirely dedicated to the iOS platform. It was by its own admission "The Center of the App Universe." And when Apple says App, it means App Store.

I do believe that eventually, the Mac OS will be completely eclipsed by iOS. That day may not come for four or five years. Perhaps even six. But when it does happen, "normal" people will outnumber Mac users by a significant margin.

These aren't power users, they aren't digital content creation professionals, these are people that just want to get things done with devices -- their web browsing, their email, their multimedia content consumption, their document  viewing and editing, their social networking and their games.

They'll have zero interest in OS wars, and will have no institutional history with the Macintosh or fanboyism or Mac Culture at all. The only thing they will care about is can their appliance computer work to do what they need it to do, and when will their latest Apps come out. Beyond that, they won't care a whit about being part of an exclusive club.

And why is that? Because Apple now knows that their market is average people, and that they need to sell as many devices as possible in order to make money on their App Store. That means huge volumes of shipped consumer electronics and the elimination of platform elitism. To succeed, Apple knows it has to throw their existing fan base under the bus.

Good riddance. Sayonara, Jackasses.

Will the Culture of Mac Fanboyism come to an end with the popularity of the iPad? Talk Back and Let Me Know.

Topics: iPad, Apple, Hardware, Mobility

About

Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

353 comments
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  • Wow

    I just read the comments on the MDN link...

    thats absolutely disgusting...
    TheRackow
    • Mac Daily News Link

      @TheRackow You are absolutely correct. That site is joke. I am a Mac, but choose to get my news from Macnn, MacRumors, or Apple Insider. I agree totally with Jason. My fellow MacHeads are simply embarrassing. I have stated this before and will again; you would think that these folk's entire lives, ego and self esteem comes from their choice of a computer or OS. I find it hard to believe that there are actually people who defended Apple's initial reaction to the iPhone 4 problem. I can totally understand why there are people who have never bought an Apple product that are jumping on the iPhone4 bashing bandwagon; they are tired of being talked down to and insulted by Mac fanboys. Speaking only for myself, I sincerely hope that the Mac market share continues to be very low (between 3.5-7%); because I am not naive enough to believe that the safety and security that I take for granted now will continue once they get over 25%. For the record my wife and I own 2 MacBook Pros, 1 White MacBook, 1 Time Capsule, and 2 iPods. My work PC, which I also like is a Gateway 2.8G, 6G Ram running Windows 7.

      (MacBook Pro 15" 2.93 Core2Duo, 4G Ram, 320GB 7200 RPM HD)
      MichaelWells
      • You're the embarrassment. And the author is a git.

        @MichaelWells Your blame is misguided. You don't blame the target of hacks like the author of this.

        What about all the years of bashing suffered by people who've used Macs? It's not the content of the insult, it's the frequency and the consistency.

        You're the embarrassment.

        And for your information, it only takes 10,0000 compromised machines to do serious damage to even the largest internet properties with a DDOS attack.

        And there are well over 100 MILLION OS X-derived devices out there.

        Hackers do it for the glory as much as anything else. Imagine the infinite glory of being the first hacker EVER to use 10,000 Macs to successfully carry out a DDOS attack?

        So drop the obscurity argument already.
        God of Biscuits
      • Years of abuse deserves replies and fact correction

        @MichaelWells <br><br>I didn't like Steve Hob's initital response to the iPhone 4's supposed problem either.<br><br>With hindsight I think his advice was right though. Either it could have been expressed better or reported better, I am not sure which since I do not know the circumstances of his response.<br><br>And as for being talked down to or insulted - try being an Apple user for the past 30 years!!!<br><br>I have heard so much rubbish from people as to why my choice of computer was wrong for that whole time!!!<br><br>Many, many years of how DOS was better than a GUI - complete rubbish, I am sure you would now agree.<br><br>How a GUI was girly - which as a Windows user you must realise was a valid thing to say!!!<br><br>And defences of Microsoft such as 'At least Microsoft invented the mouse' from a MS employee.<br><br>I do know of Mac fans who are worried that Apple is getting into 'Toys' with the iPad/iPhone, as they take their computing power seriously.<br><br>But when Windows users spout rubbish about the Mac platform, after a while it gets rather stupid to pretend that they know what they are talking about, and to pretend that they are not just ignorant and arrogant people trying to be superior by winning battles against a stupid OS.<br><br>Yes - now you feel put down by a supposed 'Fanboy'.<br><br>If you stop using that girly 'GUI' and go back to a command line like a real man, then I might stop calling you a WIMP.<br><br>Is it OK for me to say that to Windows users?


        For the record I support anything that allows users to get better tools. If that means that laptops die out then that is fine with me. If that means that desktops die out then also fine with me.

        I use Macs because they are the best tools for many things, and I advise others to use Macs when they are the best tools.

        I quite like the idea of not using desktops or laptops in many situations, and I will advise others to get an iPad when it is not necessary for them to have a computer, and I think that will be often, so I will contribute to the demise of the Mac in that respect.
        richardw66
      • Such humor, ... really

        @MichaelWells and the author,

        I find it so funny that PC users are so threatened by Mac users. I use both at work and have my own opinions but such "fear" from non Apple users is so weird.

        With the exception of a few rabid Apple fans (just like their PC counterparts :-) ) Mac users do not seem to be worried or threatened by PC users. But "they are tired of being talked down to and insulted by PC fanboys." Really, its funny.

        Some of my long time friends who are PC fans are using Apple products and now looking at buying Mac computers. Since they run Windows too, if you want them to, I do not see these people going back to PC hardware.

        And to the author, I guess you do not actually read many PC web blogs. For many years, Apple has been openly ignored (mention Apple then dismiss them) which is fine. Now that IE use is down to 65% world wide, MS mobile is dying on the vine, and HP is looking at WebOS for its tablet.... well, I just do not see MS growing anymore, and rather wilting on the vine. There for many years to come, but always as a shell of its former self.

        Just a thought there.

        en
        eldernorm
        • No fear, only shock and discust.

          Over and over again, Mac users just refuse to acept the obvious. When a Windows users explains their lack of interest, Mac users claim envy. When Windows users claim Mac users protest to much, Mac users claim jelousy. When Windows users describe being sick to death of hearing about how superior Macs are, Mac users claim fear.

          You cannot get through to a Mac zealot no matter how hard you try. Its not even worth the effort to try and carry on a meaningful conversation with one.
          Cayble
          • It's not that Windows users express a "lack of interest"...

            In fact, Windows users seem QUITE interested, which is why they continuously disparage something they know NOTHING about! THIS is what causes Mac users to assume OS envy--not that Windows people are disinterested, but rather that they're so interested that they become anti-Apple Zealots. If there were no interest, there would be no commentary and Mac users would be nice, safe and secure in the knowledge of their exclusivity. However, Windows users simply can't understand that their hatred is exactly WHY Mac users believe Windows users fear Apple.
            Vulpinemac
      • To God of Biscuits

        @God of Biscuits<br>You are living proof that Mactards exist.<br><br>I have always said that if an Apple computer is what you like and it suits your needs go for it, fine hardware and in my limited experience its always appeared that OSX is a fine operating system so then good for those who like Apple computers.<br><br>On the other hand; morons exist in the Apple fanatic community that cannot accept the converse in any way. In other words they cannot bring themselves to say that if a Windows machine suites your needs and you prefer Windows then fine, go for it. With these types its more along the lines of:<br><br>"Windows is pretty much crap for any purpose and serves no real purpose other then to con mentally weak people into using it".<br><br>What a brilliant outlook. Common sense would tell anyone with a brain such babbling makes no sense as the world essentially runs off of Windows and the vast majority of the hundreds of millions around the world like Windows just fine.<br><br>And years of suffering of Mac users being bashed???? Ha! What bashing is this? For what seems like forever if anyone ever pointed out even the most obvious drawback to a Mac, such as the high price of Apple computer, a fact that is indisputable, the Apple fanatics have rushed to Apples rescue with every excuse and spin on the facts with a heaping dose of vehement Windows bashing piled on top thicker and deeper! What about the numerous Apple guy commercials that insinuated what would be outright lies about Windows computers? Now thats bashing. I don't remember any Windows commercials showing the guy who has to live in cardboard box and steal electricity from the power company because he paid so much for his Mac! And the reason why is because that kind of exaggerated overblown description of a Mac shortcoming isnt seen to be something Windows users need to indulge in.<br><br>And this nonsense:<br><br>"Imagine the infinite glory of being the first hacker EVER to use 10,000 Macs to successfully carry out a DDOS attack?"<br><br>That would be like bragging rights to riding a buckboard across the desert being pulled by a dozen Shetland ponies. Why would anyone do that other then for bragging rights? <br><br>Like it or not, however many Macs there are operating in the world, raw numbers mean nothing unless your comparing them to the raw numbers of Windows driven computers and that leaves Macs still so far behind in availability to hackers it still remains that they are a pointless marginal target. And are not the Mac enthusiasts the ones who swear that Macs are tougher to break into? So why would anyone pick on the smallest part of the market that is just going to be tougher to break into (read far from impossible)?<br><br>Obscurity is the argument here. Obscurity of Macs to put it plainly. I myself have never argued that there are probably some inherent things about OSX that make it less susceptible to attack, but to argue that if Macs had the same kind of market share that Windows has they wouldn't get attacked much the same as Windows does now is nonsense. I guess your saying the hackers would all just have to give up and go home and get another job if it was Apple that had 90% of the market? Just silly.<br><br>So here we have a guy, MichaelWells, who owns Macs and other Apple products who seems to be quite happy with them but says he has some concerns about security if Apple triples their market share and your best response is to cut him off at the knees and call him an embarrassment. All I can say is wow.<br><br>Its an exemplary showing of the very kind of Apple fanaticism he has said embarrasses him, and you give the perfect example as opposed to responding in a sane fashion. Your the prime example of what I have said for a very long time now; Apple computers don't seem to have anything so much wrong with them as too many of their fanatical users do.
        Cayble
      • To God of Biscuits

        @God of Biscuits<br>You are living proof that Mactards exist.<br><br>I have always said that if an Apple computer is what you like and it suits your needs go for it, fine hardware and in my limited experience its always appeared that OSX is a fine operating system so then good for those who like Apple computers.<br><br>On the other hand; morons exist in the Apple fanatic community that cannot accept the converse in any way. In other words they cannot bring themselves to say that if a Windows machine suites your needs and you prefer Windows then fine, go for it. With these types its more along the lines of:<br><br>"Windows is pretty much crap for any purpose and serves no real purpose other then to con mentally weak people into using it".<br><br>What a brilliant outlook. Common sense would tell anyone with a brain such babbling makes no sense as the world essentially runs off of Windows and the vast majority of the hundreds of millions around the world like Windows just fine.<br><br>And years of suffering of Mac users being bashed???? Ha! What bashing is this? For what seems like forever if anyone ever pointed out even the most obvious drawback to a Mac, such as the high price of Apple computer, a fact that is indisputable, the Apple fanatics have rushed to Apples rescue with every excuse and spin on the facts with a heaping dose of vehement Windows bashing piled on top thicker and deeper! What about the numerous Apple guy commercials that insinuated what would be outright lies about Windows computers? Now thats bashing. I don't remember any Windows commercials showing the guy who has to live in cardboard box and steal electricity from the power company because he paid so much for his Mac! And the reason why is because that kind of exaggerated overblown description of a Mac shortcoming isnt seen to be something Windows users need to indulge in.<br><br>And this nonsense:<br><br>"Imagine the infinite glory of being the first hacker EVER to use 10,000 Macs to successfully carry out a DDOS attack?"<br><br>That would be like bragging rights to riding a buckboard across the desert being pulled by a dozen Shetland ponies. Why would anyone do that other then for bragging rights? <br><br>Like it or not, however many Macs there are operating in the world, raw numbers mean nothing unless your comparing them to the raw numbers of Windows driven computers and that leaves Macs still so far behind in availability to hackers it still remains that they are a pointless marginal target. And are not the Mac enthusiasts the ones who swear that Macs are tougher to break into? So why would anyone pick on the smallest part of the market that is just going to be tougher to break into (read far from impossible)?<br><br>Obscurity is the argument here. Obscurity of Macs to put it plainly. I myself have never argued that there are probably some inherent things about OSX that make it less susceptible to attack, but to argue that if Macs had the same kind of market share that Windows has they wouldn't get attacked much the same as Windows does now is nonsense. I guess your saying the hackers would all just have to give up and go home and get another job if it was Apple that had 90% of the market? Just silly.<br><br>So here we have a guy, MichaelWells, who owns Macs and other Apple products who seems to be quite happy with them but says he has some concerns about security if Apple triples their market share and your best response is to cut him off at the knees and call him an embarrassment. All I can say is wow.<br><br>Its an exemplary showing of the very kind of Apple fanaticism he has said embarrasses him, and you give the perfect example as opposed to responding in a sane fashion. Your the prime example of what I have said for a very long time now; Apple computers don't seem to have anything so much wrong with them as too many of their fanatical users do.
        Cayble
      • RE: Dear Rabid Apple Fans: Your precious Mac club is being disbanded. Blame iPad.

        @MichaelWells There have been fully implemented resource planning applications out there for years and years that pull everything under one umbrella. One of the best on the market is a product called SM-Plus, developed by a company called Single Source Systems just outside Indianapolis. Apparently NetSuite didn't bother to actually look at the market before declaring they came up with something new and innovative. <a href="http://www.kralarabaoyunlari.com/cocuk-oyunlari/">cocuk oyunlari</a> <a href="http://www.kralarabaoyunlari.com/giydirme-oyunlari/">giydirme oyunlari</a>
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    • soccer mom mary-jo

      @TheRackow
      mary-jo wrote and bashed apple for many years. now she admits that she hasn't even tried using them until now. she now does and she is loving it! people who claim to "choose" microsoft products, but who've never used an apple product, have absolutely no credibility. for years, she's been just plain ignorant.

      so no jason, she gets no praise from long time apple users for finally waking up. these comments at mdn are about mary-jo and only about her not a random windows user that finally starts to see the light. all of them a very welcome to our "elitist mac camp" by the 100 of millions. ignorant apple haters are not.
      banned from zdnet
      • RE: Dear Rabid Apple Fans: Your precious Mac club is being disbanded. Blame iPad.

        @banned from zdnet
        Then allow me to state that I've used a Mac at work in the past and found them ugly and complicated....and I choose to use Windows instead.
        RichardWrite
      • RE: Dear Rabid Apple Fans: Your precious Mac club is being disbanded. Blame iPad.

        @banned from zdnet so no jason, she gets no praise from long time apple users for finally waking up. these comments at mdn are about mary-jo and only about her not a random windows user that finally starts to see the light. all of them a very welcome to our "elitist mac camp" by the 100 of millions. ignorant apple haters are not.
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      • RE: Dear Rabid Apple Fans: Your precious Mac club is being disbanded. Blame iPad.

        @banned from zdnet
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    • RE: Dear Rabid Apple Fans: Your precious Mac club is being disbanded. Blame iPad.

      @TheRackow It takes a larger entity for the smaller person to tap into, but I'm not surprised that the idea was turned down. If there's not immediate benefit, then the budget admins will say NO.<br><br>On the large scale, Google & Sprint are setting up their Fiber networks while everyone else is still upgrading hardware. Their goal is to be prepared for the next step in high-speed Internet. The downside is that you would have to signup for their service (Sprint), or be in an area that the ISP offers service (Google). But for now, we sit and wait for another decade. <a href="http://www.kraloyun.gen.tr/yeni-oyunlar/">yeni oyunlar</a> <a href="http://www.arabaoyunlarimiz.gen.tr/komik-oyunlar/recep-abiye-sor-oyunu.html">recep abiye sor oyunu</a>
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    • RE: Dear Rabid Apple Fans: Your precious Mac club is being disbanded. Blame iPad.

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  • Absurd post

    Apple just reported record Mac sales. The data is that a substantial fraction of those are new to the platform. Did you research this post at all?
    ds-ny
    • Jason doesn't research...

      He just copy/pastes and tosses in flamebait blogging to get whatever his quota of page hits is.
      zkiwi