The fanboy groups, forum nazis, and various other online community groups of every persuasion have essentially the same thing going for them, the internet is their battleground for violently bashing the other guy. Sure, I’ve been known to drop the occasional iHate, or shake my head knowingly at the guy all excited about how he’s going to mod his Droid X, but I’m a fan. We’re users, our fanatical drive is what motivates other people to make the leap to Android in the first place. With Android, we’ve even enjoyed some Google developers taking the leap into slamming the competition. So, where’s the line with the smack talk? Fan? Developer? Storefront Sales reps? What about corporate level business professionals, who work for major telephone carriers?
Since the announced purchase of T-Mobile by AT&T, there’s been an increasing amount of downright insults coming from executive level employees at various carriers, oddly unrelated to the purchase. For instance, at CTIA there were two equally egregious examples of smack talk. The first day of CTIA started with a Round Table including CEO Ralph De La Vega of AT&T Mobility, during which he responded to a failing demo phone with “Oh, that must be a Verizon Phone” leaving the crowd roaring. A relatively tasteless jab, but one that got the fans of either side of that coin chattering all day long, especially considering Verizon was not officially in attendance at CTIA:Mobile Focus. Later that very same day, during Sprint’s unveiling of the Evo 3D and The Evo View 4G, CEO Dan Hesse made sure to get a dig in on the competition when he explained that these devices were “4G, not Faux G”. The result of said comment being the entire room moan in a way that can only be contextualized by adding “Sick burn, dude” after it.
The carriers aren’t alone in this fight, either. During Samsung’s press event at CTIA, the air on stage was nothing short of aggressive in the speeches delivered by both J.K Shin and Omar Kahn about how Samsung “would not be beaten”. Are these companies under the impression that this is what you need in order to continue the fanatic appreciation of their products and services? Are we as consumers merely argumentative adrenaline junkies waiting to find the next person who is wrong on the internet, or are these companies going to0 far?
Editor’s Note: We’d like to take this chance to welcome Russell to the Android and Me team. If you’ve spent some time in the Android community or at the events, you’ve probably run across this guy. He’s good people. And now he’ll be writing for us on a regular basis. You can follow him on Twitter at @russellholly or keep reading Android and Me for more.