The Apple Hater
Perhaps it's all that smug evangelism. Maybe it's the overwhelming success of the iPod and iPhone. It could be a nasty experience with the iTunes Store, or the way buying an iPod seems to suck you into a world where you can only buy music and movies from Apple. Whatever the reason, there are some folks out there who seem to hate Apple almost as much as the Apple Aficionado loves the company.
Frankly, it's impossible to review an Apple product without an Apple Hater crawling out of the woodwork and kicking off a flame war in the comments thread. The merest suggestion that, well, maybe the iPhone is just the best all-round smartphone out there or that, erm, OS X is pretty good is enough to drive them into a frenzy. It's only a matter of time until a group organises a mass march on the Regents Street Apple Store, where the massed forces of anti-Apple-kind will drop their trousers and press their cheeks against the glass while muttering on about the audio superiority of the Cowon iAudio S9. I for one wouldn't want to see that happen (or have to clean the windows afterwards).
It seems that the Apple Hater will not rest until everybody who might even think about buying an Apple product is convinced that a device from a different manufacturer will do it better for less. "So what if your iPhone has multi-touch, a working touch-screen and a great selection of apps" they say "why can't it cut and paste like my Windows Mobile handset can?" Thank goodness for the arrival of Android, the Palm Pre and the Blackberry Storm II. At last the Apple haters have an iPhone beater that is, well, actually capable of beating the iPhone. And don't even get them started on the iPod. Sure it looks great. Yeah, it doesn't sound that bad. But will it play FLAC and OGG Vorbis? No? Why would you want one of those then, you miserable, Apple-loving sheep?
The biggest problem for the hardcore Apple Hater is that, while Apple evangelists don't have any problems choosing which tech products to buy (it just has to begin with 'i 'or 'Mac'), your Hater has to keep on top of the latest kit. Hopes were high that the Palm Pre would make the ideal stick to batter the iPhone with, but the general consensus at the moment seems to be with the HTC Hero. The notebook is easy. Why on earth would anyone want a MacBook Air when Sony's X-Series Vaio, and Dell's Adamo XPS are on their way?
If you're an Apple Hater, you're sick of all the hype about games on the iPod touch and iPhone. Do you want to waste your time playing umpteen rip-offs of Mario Kart, Ridge Racer and LocoRoco, or would you rather have a Nintendo DS Lite and just enjoy yourself. And while Apple's iPod touch and iPod nano get all the hype, anyone with any sense knows that Sony's X-Series and E-Series Walkmans sound better and offer much better value, especially when partnered with a set of Ultimate Ears 700 earphones.
Of course, Apple doesn't make everything, but here the Apple Hater's credo of maximum performance/optimal value works just as well. Why buy a Canon Ixus when the Casio Exilim EX-S12 is so much cheaper? Or what about the gorgeous Panasonic DMC-ZR1? Nor should you buy a product just because it comes from the leading brand in that category. Flip Mino HD? Meh! Creative Vado HD? Yeah!