The Macalope Weekly: Desperately seeking iPhone 4

The Macalope gets shut out in his iPhone 4 purchase attempts (no, there is no express lane for mythical beasts—but there should be). Meanwhile, he’s wondering if it isn’t time to start talking about “Google fanbois.” And, while the hirsute one is above selling his body for an iPhone 4, he isn’t above mocking netbooks, which the iPad may have on the ropes.

Apart from that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

So, how was the iPhone 4 launch for you? If you like banging your head against a wall, you probably found it terrific! Side effects of trying to order something that requires checking eligibility with AT&T may include:

a) Wanting to do something completely inappropriate in a box and then mailing said box to Ralph de la Vega.

b) Not actually getting the thing that you were trying to order.

Long story short, Apple got 600,000 iPhone 4 pre-orders, but the Macalope’s ain’t one (apologies to Jay-Z). The horny one bought the iPhone 3GS the day it came out last year; now AT&T says the Macalope’s upgrade eligibility date is not until February 2011. Macworld contributor Glenn Fleishman ran into the same problem and says it’s because the fine folks at AT&T don’t feel they’ve gotten their money’s worth out of us yet.

Now, that’s an effect of the so-called “subsidy” that gets you the phone for less than you’d normally have to pay ($599 and $699), which is fine. It can, however, be frustrating trying to figure out the rules of the game of 12-dimensional chess that cell networks make us play to figure out whether or not we’re “eligible.” One AT&T representative simply told the Macalope he wasn’t eligible to upgrade because he’d bought a phone last year.

But the Macalope hasn’t lost the game yet. He’s now attempting to execute a Queen sacrifice. It seems the Fates at AT&T have smiled upon Mrs. Macalope, perhaps because she’s a big user of the text messages that are so popular these days. Despite the fact that her phone was purchased the same day as her fuzzy husband’s, she’s eligible for the $199 upgrade price now. Fleishman is in the same boat and he and the Macalope were told they could purchase a new phone with their wives’ upgrades and then switch the numbers.

Shh. Don’t tell them.

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This whole charade is so tiresome the horny one’s wondering if it wouldn’t be easier to wait until July, drive to Canada and buy an unlocked phone. Plus, the Macalope hasn’t seen the Macsquatch in ages.

The Macsquatch. Big furry guy. With a Mac for a head.

Surely you’ve heard of him.

Canadian readers? Little help?

Mindless Google zealots

Despite Android’s pretty good sales, not everyone is a fan of the platform. Like, say, Jack Shedd (tip o’ the antlers to Daring Fireball and a warning to sensitive readers: Mr. Shedd has a bit of a potty mouth).

I’ve noticed an odd tendency in Android device reviews. Their flaws, always major and always awe-inspiring in their insipidness, are inevitably attributed more to the device itself than to the underlying Android operating system. There’s a sense, not just from reviewers, but from fans of the device, that what Android really needs is just killer hardware.

Which is just absolute horse sh**.

The Macalope’s noticed this kind of thing before, too. Back in April, when the iPad came out, Microsoft and a host of other idiot vendors that have been stumbling over their oversized clown shoes for the past ten years were caught with their polka-dotted pants down. Some of the sillier pundits took that as an opportunity to predict that Google would be the one to come up with an iPad-killer. Take Tony Bradley (please!):

Google isn’t Apple, but next to Apple, Google is arguably the most-qualified to launch a tablet device capable of being a game changer.

Why? The Macalope wasn’t sure then and he’s not sure now. Maybe because Google is big and admired? Or maybe just because the people who for some reason think that Steve Jobs ran over their dog and slept with their wife desperately wanted someone—anyone—to step up.

Look, Google’s an amazing company and it does some great stuff, but that doesn’t mean that what it does well is the same as what Apple does well. It doesn’t even mean Android is bad. It just means it’s not as elegant as the iPhone.

Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out

Is it curtains for the netbook?

Apple’s iPad may soon put a stake in the heart of netbooks, research analysts said this week.

The momentum is rapidly shifting from netbooks to tablets, said experts at Forrester Research and DisplaySearch in notes issued Thursday and last Tuesday, respectively. And Apple’s iPad is leading the charge.

Nooooooo! Not netbooks! They were so young and full of plasticky optimism!

By Marshall’s forecast—and using DisplaySearch’s estimate of 9.7 million netbooks and tablets sold in the second quarter—the iPad will account for almost 26 percent of the combined netbook-tablet market…

Read that again. By the end of the current quarter, the iPad’s first quarter, it will have captured a quarter of the total market for netbooks and tablets. That’s simply amazing.

Netbooks aren’t going away. They still have utility. (Or so the Macalope supposes anyway.) But can we look back on how we got here? In early 2009 the geniuses of technology punditry were falling over themselves predicting gloom and doom for Apple because it didn’t have a netbook. Then they said an Apple netbook was coming. Then they said, no, no, wait, it’s a tablet! But Microsoft tried that and no one wants a tablet!

Don’t they get tired of being wrong all the time?

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