Blog Post

Five Lesser-Known Tips on Being an Apple Fanboy

Obsessing over all things Apple used to be a lonely place. Through the 1990s, in the “No Steve Era”, there was a seemingly small group that would discuss the benefits of CyberDog and OpenDoc, run Kaleidoscope themes to show the futuristic Copland interface, engage in live IRC chats during Apple earnings calls, boot the BeOS on our Macs off Zip disks and seek out the Apple logo in TV shows and movies, trading e-mails when we spotted one.

But in the last decade, the Apple world has changed, and we are surrounded by a multitude of people and press who are following Steve Jobs’ every move. What used to be the realm of MacOSRumors is now strutted about in CNET, the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press. We have open debates about the iPhone, iPod and iTunes in cover stories on Newsweek and Time. And Apple stock is achieving all-time highs, seemingly every day. Rather than root for the old days, I thought I’d add some helpful, lesser-known tips to the new Apple fans among us, so that they can help spread the Macintosh religion.

1. Never Admit Fault With Apple Around Non-Mac People

Is your computer running slowly? Are you seeing application crashes and annoyances? Sometimes it does happen, even on a Mac. If you are experiencing issues, the last thing you want to do is grouse about them in front of a Windows bigot or Linux fan. Even if it’s not the Mac’s fault, they will say, “Oh, I see. A Mac! No wonder…” or some derivative that will only reinforce their opinions. Instead, first, troubleshoot the issue on your own time. Failing resolution, consult with a fellow Mac fan under the cover of darkness, or slink into an Apple Store and have a conversation with a Mac genius. And if it turns out that the issues were due to an older machine, then by all means, upgrade and tell everyone how great your new machine is!

2. Make Your Apple Usage Visible

If you are a Macintosh island in a world of Windows, sometimes the quiet, but visible approach is all you need. Bring your MacBook to staff meetings, even if all you’re doing is taking notes. If the office provides you a Dell laptop, bring in the Apple notebook instead, and leave the Dell at home, saying that the Windows PC simply isn’t fast enough, or doesn’t run the applications you need to, or it crashes too much. Don’t be noisy about it, but always, when asked, reaffirm why it is that you have made your decision, and let them know it can deliver them the same level of productivity and self-satisfaction.

3. Present the Apple Logo in a Good Light

Apple stickers are not for everybody. While Apple provides stickers with every new Mac and iPod, slapping an Apple logo on your dirty 1991 Datsun doesn’t do the brand any favors. Instead, consider buying a new car if you are in this conundrum. If you do have a car worthy of the Apple logo, be sure that your car is kept clean, that the Apple logo is prominently displayed, and most importantly, be sure that you drive confidently, without erratic moves, just slightly faster than the flow of traffic. You will want to pass people by so that the Apple logo is exposed to the greatest audience, but also so they see that Mac people are inherently faster.

4. Don’t Sound Too Eager

It’s one thing to be have confidence, and quite another to be a drooling fanatic. As an Apple fan, do not engage in flame wars online. They will only make the opposition hate you more. As an Apple fan, don’t recite the lines from the latest Mac vs. PC commercial. Be aware of the content, but don’t have a poster of Justin Long in your cubicle. If you see friends or colleagues struggling with a PC virus, offer your help and condolences, and sound perplexed, as if you’re not familiar with viruses, rather than screaming from the rooftops about your inherent superiority.

5. Do Your Homework. People Will Expect an Expert

The worst thing you can be as an Apple fanboy is an ignorant fanboy. If you’re approached and asked how you can connect your MacBook to the company’s Exchange server, be sure you know the answer. Expect to be asked questions about the latest Steve Jobs keynote or product release. Be sure you’ve seen the keynote the day it is presented, because the questions may start that evening or the next day. An inattentive Apple fan is not a good advocate. Even if you’re not going to buy the product, be sure you’ve read and can talk to its benefits. Understand the limitations of Windows and incorporate them in your answers about the Mac platform. Know the enemy.

With the right training, you can be a great Mac advocate and fanboy. You can also overdo it, so be careful in what you say, what you do and how you portray yourself and the platform. Keep in mind that you are an example to others in the world of computing. To whom much is given, much is expected, and Apple has given you quite a bit. Be sure that you do not fold under the pressure.

40 Responses to “Five Lesser-Known Tips on Being an Apple Fanboy”

  1. rexusdiablos

    Wow, some of the comments are bordering on dementia. Wake up and stop being such a slave to consumerism. It’s just a brand (that you’ve been enslaved to). Do any of you understand the basic precepts of marketing? It’s all about how the product makes you feel right? How do Apple products make you feel? Creative? Intellectual? Counter-cultural? Could this be anything to do with why many of you have made a life long commitment to a brand as a consumer?

  2. i agree

    nothing can 100 %, and same is the case with apple.
    but somehow apple have a upperhand in respect to any computer.

    but i m sure, in the next decade APPLE will rule the world .

  3. Larry: Dell laptops would not have exploded, I myself hate pre-built overpriced machines like Dell and Apple but as far as hardware goes the Apple even the Mac pro(? not exactly sure if that what there tower machine is called now) Is outdated compared to whats available Pcs for the same price and cheaper can get more powerful hardware then whats availble at the mac store. Oh one last thing though I hate Dell I have to admit they design damn good cooling systems for there machines and darn near spill proof.

  4. Deep Throat

    Just a thought… Mac a wonderful machines and I own a MacBook Pro which I am very happy with. I have had Mac’s since 1992, switched to P.C for a brief time then immediately back, sufficed to say I will never own a P.C on my own free will again. But this Fanboy stuff has got to stop. As consumers the only power that we have is our weapon of discontent. Apple has all the control and how are we going to encourage them to continue building better and far superior products, by letting them know where their faults lie. Go onto Apple blogs and complain that your iphone is on a horrible network with awful service, complain that exchange just does not perform like it is supposed to or whatever problems that you have. The fanboy in all of you needs to suck up its pride and realize that while Mac is great it is not omnipotent and there is always room for improvement. In closing who really gives a flying rat’s ass if everybody in the world owns a P.C and you are the only Mac user on the planet, be quietly content knowing that you own a superior machine and that it is your money that was well spent. LET THE FANBOY DIE!

  5. Alvin

    Speaking of the 90’s, Mac’s sales peaked at 13% of total PC sales in 1994 then went into a rather steep decline. It has yet to reach that level again. What saved Apple as a company was the iPod.

  6. Linux user

    The Mac is a weak OS – it sells because it abounds in eye-candy and the bling-bling appeals to a large majority of low to mid-end users. As for the Unix under-the-hood thing, as a Linux user and scripter, I can tell you the Mac Terminal is a castrated way of issuing Unix commands, lacking many useful ones you’d get on a real Unix. What else? Oh, plus you’re tied to use Apple’s ridiculously overpriced and mediocre hardware, as well as being tied to what is ultimately a closed source OS. And in this regard, Apple is just as greedy as MS, perhaps greedier.

  7. johnsawyercjs


    Can you be more…specific?

    And…did you bother to use Terminal? Do you know anything about Unix?

    And…how many Windows users do you think use the keyboard as much as you? And when they’re forced to, do you think they like it?

  8. I’m an avid Mac user (since 1993) and a PC junkie. After years of not owning a mac, I finally bit the bullet with an intel core 2 duo MacBook Pro… I’m regretting it ever since. OS X can’t compete with windows in any other way than casual OS use. I’m sorry mac fanboys and girls, I know both sides far too well, and a mouse-oriented OS gui can’t compete with a keyboard driven OS like Windows XP/Vista;

  9. oxjox

    Great topic. Personally as a Mac user for the last 12 years, I still shy away from the attention I get from putting my Macbook on the table or even walking in to an Apple Store. I feel like people stereotype me as one of those Apple FanBoys which has been given a really bad rap from all the people you have written this article for.

    I don’t want to be associated with one of those dorks that just go out and buy the newest Jobs Gadget because he’s our savior (angel’s sing). I want to by a Mac because it’s the best.

    I don’t care about Apple’s market share or stock price, I just want to be sure that my OS works better than the other guys’, Ives is doing his best design work and the R&D department at Cupertino is forging forward with breath taking advancements in the personal computer industry as they had done in the years prior to the iPod’s take over of the company.

  10. I really like what you said in #4. that’s what I mostly found in the discuss between mac and windows. Why don’t we just humbly admire macs instead of engaging in a fight with windows users. For me, I’d rather be friend with them and tell them how good a mac is. Doing this, they’re likely able to listen with open minds and not fighting back.

    Peace out!

  11. I was that little mac island in a sea of windows until I bought a G5 Power Mac and proved to my friends Mac’s are worth the extra money. As my friends started to use my computer more and more, to play iTunes, internet and more, they became familiar with it and all of a sudden I no longer got the looks that I did a few years before. Next thing you know Im getting calls about, which model laptop should they be buying and where is the best place to buy a mac (in Vancouver). I have always said Apple has the best sales team in the world, and that is mac users themselves.

  12. Fantastic article. Being a Mac guy in a PC world is a hard thing to do. I work for a PC Software company and love to make them watch me program my c++ and java code on a mac. It kills them, but never crashes, never gives me any problems. I have converted my wife to a mac, now I have to work on the rest of her family…

  13. Larry

    #1 is so true! A few months ago, my iBook started to make some pretty serious noises when I tried to turn it on during a lecture. Of course the guy next to me with the 20-pound Dell laptop says “That’s why I don’t use Macs. They’re so unreliable.” Turns out my travel coffee mug leaked a wee-bit in my bag and there was minor fluid damage. The geniuses had it up and running in a day. I’m sure the Dell guy’s laptop would have exploded or something.

  14. Brandon Eley

    Great post! As funny as it is, I have owned Apple computers all my adult life and have never put an Apple sticker on my car until now. When I bought my Mini Cooper it just seemed like a perfect fit.

    Who could put an Apple sticker on an old beat-up VW?