NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Want to rile up an iPhone owner? Tell her you have an Android phone.
Smartphone owners are extremely protective of their gadgets. Any hint that they might not have the best of the best is akin to a declaration of war.
Unsurprisingly, most of the battles between owners of rival devices take place on the Internet: Online reviews and news stories about the latest smartphone are breeding grounds for disdainful comments.
Comments on smartphone stories typically go something like this: Apple lovers are “iSheep.” Android lovers have no taste. Windows Phone users must work for Microsoft. And the journalist who wrote the story is a paid spokesman for whatever gadget he or she is reviewing.
Just take a look at some recent comments on CNNMoney stories about the iPhone 6 and Motorola’s Moto X Android smartphone:
On the Moto X: “is it an apple? No? Who cares.” – @ReallyLaLa1
On Apple setting an iPhone sales record: “sheep following the herd” – @lincoln3_
On the iPhone 6: “Android users are so envious of the attention anything apple gets. … Now go and Invest in some tissue and a waterproof case before your tears ruin your plastic phone.”
Mike Jenkins On the Moto X: “The iPhone caters specifically for girls, largely since they don’t get tech–no offence. This is why you’ve noticed the change to the girly-bright-crayoned icons etc. Guys like tech, leading-edge stuff. You don’t care that’s it’s 2012 so long as it works well.”
Fiddle Castro On the iPhone 6: “apple pays cnn … whats great in apple pay? it was always there in paypal and google wallet … why is this news?” – hollykick
Sure, we all know Internet trolls are horrible, and something about online comment forums brings out the absolute worst in people. But why do smartphones elicit as much vitriol as hot-button topics like immigration and Obamacare? And why would someone you’ve never met care if you absolutely love your Google Nexus 5?
It’s because smartphones have become extensions of ourselves. They’re deeply personal gadgets.
We take our smartphones everywhere we go. We spend countless hours downloading apps and customizing them for our particular needs. They’re our roadmaps, communications hubs, Internet browsers, taxi hailers, video game consoles, MP3 players, flashlights, clocks, newspapers, televisions, ticket stubs, cameras, notepads, calendars, banks and radios. They’re probably the single object we look at most during the course of a day — they’re the first thing we look at in the morning, and the last thing we look at before we go to sleep.
We also invest a ton of money on them — between our wireless plans, cases, accessories and the phones themselves, we can spend upwards of $1,500 a year on our smartphones.
So if someone just forked over $600 for a new Samsung Galaxy S5, that person probably won’t want to read a review that calls the iPhone 6 “the best smartphone on the planet.”
But the truth is the Internet trolls are wrong. Pretty much every smartphone on the market is really good. Smartphones are like cars in that regard: You’ll have a hard time buying something truly awful nowadays.
No matter how cheap, the vast majority of smartphones are fast enough and easy enough to use, with a good enough screen and a 4G connection. They all have the same apps, and they pretty much look the same.
So choosing a phone comes down to just a few things: How much you want to spend, what other technology you use and personal preference.
If you have an Apple TV, a Mac and an iPad, you’re probably better off getting an iPhone. If your whole life exists in Google services, and you own a Chromebook, it’s probably wise to get an Android. But if you’re somewhere in between, get what works for you — you really can’t go wrong.
Now, let the comments begin…