Phone fandom is alive and well (and foolish)

Android figures
(Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

In a very unscientific Twitter poll, TechRadar EiC Lance Ulanoff asked iPhone users if they would be more interested in an iPhone flip or an iPad fold. While neither of these products exists right now, they probably will one day so I found this interesting enough to pay attention to.

Turns out that the vast majority of iPhone users say they would have no interest in either. The breakdown, if you're curious:

  • iPhone flip: 13.4%
  • iPad fold: 12.8%
  • Both: 10.7%
  • Neither: 63.1%

These numbers will change once Apple gets around to releasing a foldable product, which almost every iPhone user will praise. "My favorite company makes the best things and this is so awesome." I can already hear it.

While Apple is certainly looking at foldables and has a lot more insight than can be gleaned from a Twitter poll "only" 100,000 people have access to, this says a lot about the state of smartphone fandom. Mostly that it's as strong — and as stupid — as it ever was.

It's not just an Apple thing. If it were, I wouldn't bother writing about it because I have almost no interest in Apple's mobile offerings. Good stuff all around, but not for me and I've tried.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Bespoke Edition with yellow backplates and gold trim

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

The same poll asking about the Galaxy Fold and Flip wouldn't have the same numbers but it would follow a similar pattern. People who use Samsung products would show interest while people who don't would say they have none.

This is crazy. It seems like more than confirmation bias — I spent XXX number of dollars so I need to feel like I spent them wisely — than any objectivity and that implies something much worse, at least in my eyes: people are ready and willing to accept whatever their favorite company spits out if they are told it's better.

We all have things we enjoy using. That's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about the idea that a brand or a company actually cares about something other than the bottom line. I hate to break it to you, but they don't. Your favorite tech company only cares about your wallet and will do or say anything to get into it.

Palm was not better than BlackBerry. Motorola was not better than HTC. Samsung is not better than Google. Maybe one of their products worked better for you, but at the company level, they were all the same: profit driven. Sometimes even predatory and rarely penalized for it.

The green and black Xperia 5 IV

(Image credit: Sony)

I like to make myself out as an example of what not to do, so I'll continue that tradition. I use a Pixel 6 Pro. I have no desire to get a new phone because my current phone works just fine and I like keeping my money in my bank instead of giving it to someone else. I am also fascinated by the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and once the company sorts out a way to make the exterior screen more useful (it's getting there) I might buy one. 

Where I'm a little different from some is that I do not like Google as a company. I also do not like Samsung or Apple or Motorola as a company. I like some of their products and use them, but I'm not about to fanboy out for any. Except for one: Sony.

I don't know why I like Sony products before I ever see or touch them, but I do. I know it's stupid because Sony doesn't reciprocate any love toward me, but it is what it is. I will buy a Sony camera before I buy any other brand. I would buy a Sony phone over any other brand if I could afford one. I have a PlayStation 5 console that I almost never use attached to a Sony television. Even my favorite beat-around headphones are made by Sony.

I freely admit that other products may meet my needs better than one made by Sony, but for some reason, this doesn't matter. In the same way people love Apple or Google or Samsung, I love Sony.


(Image credit: Source: Alex Dobie / Android Central)

This isn't a good thing and it means I'm more likely to overlook bad products or bad things about a particular product like people have been doing since the beginning of the tech boom. 

The EVO versus Droid forum wars never really went away, the players have simply changed when it comes to your favorite smartphone. Where we need to change is realizing that it's wrong when we do it, instead of only thinking it's wrong when "they" do it.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.