Guy Kawasaki had dumped his iPhone and iPad for Android devices. According to comments he gave columnist Dan Lyons, Mr. Kawasaki said that Apple has been slow to adopt new technologies and that there was nothing compelling about the iPad mini.
If you're new to the Apple world, you may not recognize the name, but long time Mac users will remember that guy Kawasaki was the original Mac Evangelist. He carried the Macintosh torch higher and sang the praises of Apple's Mac OS louder and more stridently than anyone in the late 80s into the mid-90s.
He organized and ran the EvangeList, an email list that he used to call out the Mac faithful whenever anyone criticized Apple or the Mac. He was very, very good at his job, and his work has been the blueprint for other tech and brand evangelists since.
More recently, Mr. Kawasaki has consulted with brands and has made a broader name for himself by writing many books on marketing, branding, and evangelizing. For instance, he gave the keynote address at MacTech Conference in November of 2011, and that same year he wrote a book called Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.
He has also written a few how-to books, such as What the Plus!: Google+ for the Rest of Us, a book sponsored by Samsung for those keeping score at home.
He insisted to Mr. Lyons, however, that such sponsorships or getting free units are not behind his switch to Android. He also said he is not being paid to use them. The reason he embraced Android, he said, is that it's just plain better than Apple's iOS, iPhone, and iPad.
"People are kind of amazed, but I don’t use any iOS products, none at all,” he said. “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.”
Harsh words from someone who was once the ultimate Apple/Mac fan, but he had more to say. For instance, he first used an Android device because he wanted to use 4G LTE networks, something that wasn't available on an iPhone at the time.
“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?”
At the time, Apple said that issues with LTE resulted in devices with poor battery performance, and the company finally introduced LTE with the iPhone 5 in September of 2012. It was too late for Mr. Kawasaki, however.
“I won’t switch now, because I think Android is better,” he said.
His Android smartphone led to him using the Google Nexus 7 tablet that was introduced in June of 2012. He likes that form factor, but said Apple's entry into the 7-inch tablet market was too little, too late.
“If there was something compelling about the Mini I would switch in a second, but what’s compelling? Why switch?” he asked.
But wait, there's more. Mr. Kawasaki criticized the whole widget control Apple exerts over the iOS platform, even though he once embraced the same thing with Apple's Macintosh platform. That was a different time with different circumstances, of course, but it's still an interesting transformation.
In any event, he told Mr. Lyons, “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.”
Apple's Mac used proprietary cables for mice, printers, and displays for the entirety of Mr. Kawasaki's tenure as Mac Evangelist.
Still, this is a high profile defection, at least for those of us who remembers Mr. Kawasaki's tireless efforts to promote Apple and the Mac.
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