The Macalope Weekly: Put down that iPhone!

Bad news for the iPhone as the Droid beats it out for a coveted award it already won. (What?) But that’s OK, because AT&T is putting its foot down! No more screen time for you until you finish your homework, eat your vegetables, and go outside and get some fresh air! Meanwhile, Wall Street is concerned about Steve Jobs’s image.

Yeah. That Wall Street.

Whatever will we do without the approval of Old Media?

Apple was surely devastated this week when the iPhone was passed over for the coveted spot as Time magazine’s Gadget of the Year in favor of the Droid.

The Android phone won for including free turn-by-turn GPS through Google Maps Navigation as well as having both a large (3.7-inch) touchscreen and a hardware QWERTY keyboard.

“Interesting,” said Time’s average reader. “How do those technologies compare to the phone technology I’m most familiar with, which is rotary dial?”

Ha-ha! Ah, the Macalope’s just zinging Time because its average reader’s age is “has been dead for five years.”

Realistically, the iPhone 3GS was an incremental upgrade to the 3G, so the Droid is clearly a more attractive candidate for “Gadget of the Year.” Besides, the iPhone already won Gadget of the Year in 2007.

Really, when you look back at some of Time’s previous selections for “X of the Year”, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would care.

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You get what you pay for. Or not.

From the “you’ve got to be kidding me” files comes this public service announcement from AT&T: stop using your iPhone!

AT&T is looking to iPhone users to cut back on their data usage as a way to ease traffic on its network, according to the company’s CEO, Ralph de la Vega.

Wait, wait. The guy who took over for Stan “Cue Cards” Sigman is named “Ralph de la Vega”? Wow. How did the Macalope miss that? What a shame! You’re lucky enough to be born with a completely awesome last name like “de la Vega” and your parents saddle you with an exceedingly average first name like “Ralph.” (Apologies to any readers named Ralph. You make it look good.) He should sue them for defamation of character.

“De la Vega. Ralph de la Vega.” Phew. What a missed opportunity.

Anyway, here’s another idea, Ralph. That $3 billion in profits you made last quarter is a pretty sweet chunk of change. Maybe you should try investing some of it in something those in the cell phone business call in-fra-struc-ture. Or, maybe you shouldn’t be selling unlimited data plans you can’t actually supply the bandwidth for.

No one’s against paying their fair share, Ralph, but we are in favor of getting what we paid for. The Macalope is forced to agree with David Coursey:

Customers are a good thing and AT&T needs to stop blaming them and the iPhone for its problems.

And if that’s not harsh enough for you, you might try this. (Warning! Link to expletive-laden diatribe that may fry your computer screen and possibly void your warranty!)

For now, at least, AT&T has a monopoly on iPhone customers in the US. You know the old adage about someone who was born on third and thinks they hit a triple?

Machiavellian, heal thyself

Meanwhile, over at the Motley Fool a debate rages about another CEO, Steve Jobs. The tête-à-tête started when Rich Greifner, in a piece titled Steve Jobs Couldn’t Care Less About You, said:

Over the years, Steve Jobs has repeatedly demonstrated indifference for his shareholders’ well-being. While his poor stewardship hasn’t hurt shareholders too badly yet, I believe it’s only a matter of time.

The Macalope isn’t unsympathetic to Greifner’s general concerns about executive compensation (although Jobs does famously earn just $1 in actual salary), but his laundry list of complaints about Jobs is simply a rehashing of old material. The horny one would retort that:

  1. Jobs was not charged by the SEC in the options scandal.
  2. It might actually be a good thing that Apple’s cash-on-hand is considerably greater than Google’s, now that the two are competing for acquisitions.
  3. What matters is not the details of Jobs’s health but whether or not Apple has a sound succession plan in place (which, given the fact that the company did not burst into flames during his absence earlier this year, seems to be true).

But, more importantly, let’s see if the Macalope has this straight. Wall Street is concerned that Steve Jobs may be perceived as being a mercurial jerk who’s just out for himself?

You guys really haven’t being paying attention the last couple of years at all, have you?

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