The Macalope Weekly: Food analogies gone wild!

The Macalope must be hungry because this week’s analogies all have his mouth watering. While the iPad’s competition still isn’t soup yet, the device itself may have taken a bite out of netbook sales. And Android may be selling like hotcakes, but is it a satisfying meal?

We’re still boiling the water!

So it’s time to check on the state of the iPad’s competition again. This has been a recurring feature chez Macalope, so we should probably come up with a name for it.

Since many of these would-be iPad killers have the air of a hastily-thrown together meal, how about “Is It Competition Yet?”

What about this awesome Nvidia Android tablet?

NVIDIA tonight showed a reference tablet design that it [says] shows the potential of its dual-core Tegra 250 chipset. The design, made by Foxconn, should be a “generation ahead” of the iPad as it runs at the same 1GHz clock speed but uses a newer ARM Cortex-A9 architecture that’s theoretically 25 percent more powerful per core than the iPad’s Cortex-A8. The design has about 1GB of RAM, or four times as much as Apple’s tablet.

Oh, no! It’s theoretically faster! Turns out it’s also theoretically existent.

Either Foxconn or one of the companies that uses it as a contractor is expected to ship a production version of the tablet eventually, but when wasn’t mentioned.

Apparently this is a reference spec, which Gizmodo’s Matt Buchanan describes as “a rounded, plasticky iPad.” Sounds awesome, but BONG! Sorry. It’s Not Competition Yet.

Well, how about much-hyped HP Windows 7 tablet—the one that Steve Ballmer ended up announcing rather lackadaisically back in January? C’mon! The iPad was announced after that thing! What gives? Well, if HP doesn’t kill it in favor of a Palm-based tablet, looks like we might see it in October. Oh, and it’s expected it’ll have half the battery life of an iPad and cost $50 more.

GONG! No, It’s Not Competition Yet.

Ugh. Sigh. OK, then what about Acer’s 7-inch Android-based tablet?

“This fall.”

BZZZT! It’s Not Competition Yet.

The Macalope knows a real competitor will come along some day. If you’re pro-tablet but anti-iPad, though, you’re still going hungry.

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Chomp

Remember how last year we kept hearing how Apple had better get that tablet out pronto or netbooks would cause a plague of locusts and a rain of pure hellfire on the Cupertino campus? Now netbooks are yesterday’s news and everyone’s chasing the iPad.

Our old friends at Retrevo are back with another of their link-baiting surveys, this one suggesting that 30 percent of people considering a netbook bought an iPad instead and that 78 percent of potential buyers were leaning toward an iPad. The Macalope’s slammed some of Retrevo’s previous studies for being nothing more than lazy pop-up site-visitor questionnaires, but it also commissions surveys such as this one from independent companies.

The Macalope did find this amusing from the write-up:

When Steve Jobs took the stage in January and announced the “truly magical” Apple iPad, we were pretty sure it was going to give netbook buyers pause.

Oh, really? That’s not how the Macalope remembers it.

Anyway, readers should take all surveys attempting to predict future behavior with a grain of salt the size of a watermelon, including this one. Technology purchasers are notoriously flighty and frequently act on impulse.

Not the horny one, of course. His purchases are always well-planned and logical.

He totally needed that velvet Elvis.

iPhone OS really satisfies

Speaking of surveys, the iPhone is still aces, topping all other smart phones with a 77 percent satisfaction score. Android-based phones from Motorola come in a “close second” at 67 percent.

Good for Motorola! Keep trying and maybe some day you’ll be the kind of satisfying meal the iPhone is.

The Macalope’s guessing Samsung’s Android-based phones probably get a somewhat worse score since the company announced it won’t be updating the Behold II beyond Android 1.6. The Behold II that came out in November.

Ouch.

Google says it’ll fix fragmentation by version 3.0 of the operating system and that Android is still selling like those proverbial hotcakes, even though some of these hotcakes sadly cannot be upgraded with the much-desired butter and syrup enhancements. One wonders if they’re selling so well not because they’re the best hotcakes but because they’re just the best available to customers tied to cellular companies whose names aren’t acronyms for the latest in 19th century technology.

This point is obvious, of course, but Apple is only finally leaving the original iPhone behind when it ships iPhone OS 4.0 this summer. That’s a three-year lifecycle; it isn’t eternity, but let’s face it, technology is like beer—you don’t buy it, you only rent it.

In fact, the company apparently loves the iPhone OS so much it may be baking it into the next Apple TV (tip o’ the antlers to Khoi Vinh).

Ah, rumors. You are the fluffy whipped cream on the chocolate sundae that is our lust for Apple products. So light and airy, you collapse at the slightest touch of our forks and yet we cannot help but eat you!

OK, the Macalope’s going in search of something to eat now.

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