The Macalope Weekly: iPhone 4 Fever

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It never fails. Apple introduces something cool and people's heads pop off. Can’t science come up with a vaccine for this? Inoculate us with Rob Enderle’s blood or something?

For instance, did you know the reason unemployment is still around 10 percent is because of Steve Jobs? It’s true if you read ZDNet. Also, did you know you can review a product before you’ve seen it? There’s absolutely no problem with that. Finally, did the Macalope end up scoring himself an iPhone? Read to the end for the thrilling conclusion!

(Spoiler: sad trombone.)


ZDNet: home of the spurious, link-trolling argument. Ask for it by name. Accept no substitutes.

Are you people ready for this? No, seriously, this might actually take some preparation on your part. Do some deep knee bends, maybe a few laps around your sitting room, something to limber up, and then drink a lot of water, because this one is a shot to the gut.

Usually when reading works of ridiculous punditry, one can find at least a sliver of a grain of a valid point that’s simply been blown out of all proportion, but in this case ZDNet’s David Gewirtz gets it exactly bass-ackwards.

How many American jobs will Steve Jobs destroy?

By blasting Flash and Adobe, the collateral damage is to all those little development companies and all those developers, many of whom may find themselves without an income stream.

Or look at the app review process. The problem with how Apple does this is there’s no guarantee that an app you build will ever see the light of day. The problem is, if you can’t be sure to be able to bring your app to market, can you afford to waste a year of your time building a substantial piece of code?

You OK? The Macalope knows that was a lot of stupid to take in one sitting. Walk it off. That’s it.

See, there’s just one obvious problem with Gewirtz’s “argument.” In creating the iPhone and the App Store, Jobs (well, Apple, really) has created more jobs than he could “destroy,” even if he personally fired one person a day for the rest of his life (which is actually part of his morning regime). Judging by his tacky personal site, Gewirtz is a sensationalist gadfly, so you can see the point behind this is not Apple or Jobs or lower-case jobs. It’s David Gerwitz.

It’s bad enough the Macalope has actual gadflies. Must he also be bothered by figurative ones as well?


Let a master show you how it’s done

Scott Moritz could teach David Gewirtz a thing or two about writing stupid things about Apple. He is, after all, an award-winning silly pundit and he shows his staying power this week by bringing us the 5 Big Blemishes for the Apple iPhone 4.

The day before it was officially on sale. Sight unseen! Bravo, Scott.

Now, we could go through this piece point by point and we’d laugh and have a good time, but doing that only plays into Scott’s hand. He just wants you to click on the link.

Don’t click the link.

Instead, let’s just reflect on Scott’s credibility here. Why on God’s green Earth would anyone ever look at something Moritz has written about Apple other than to point and laugh until a beverage of choice comes out their noses? This is the same man who, back in March—when the company’s stock was trading below $200—told everyone to get out of Apple NOW!!!1!!ONE! because a big fall was coming.

The stock is now at $269. Imagine how pissed you’d be if you’d listened to Scott back in March.

Of course, if you’re the kind of person who listens to Scott Moritz, you probably have larger problems. Like trying to figure out how soup works.

(Disclosure: the Macalope holds an insignificant number of shares of Apple stock.)

Rubber baby iPhone bumpers

OK, laughing at the jesters is fun, but this launch hasn’t exactly been all peaches and cream.

The Macalope knows it’s not all about him, but he still doesn’t even have an iPhone 4 yet. He stood in line for five hours on Thursday before he had to bail to make a meeting with some wyverns. You don’t keep wyverns waiting. They’re hypoglycemic and get really whiny. As annoying as it was, it could have been worse. He could have had a celebrity cut in front of him in line.

He did get “priority wait-listed” before leaving, which sounds important but which he suspects brings all the authority of a library card from the Centralia, PA public library. And he got to play with an iPhone 4 for a bit. His friend the Bigfoot had one reserved and only had to wait in line about three hours (two-thirds of which was before the store opened).

The Macalope hesitates to call the device stunning, but if your predilections swing the technology way, there’s no denying it’s a looker. And, like all the good-looking ones, this one’s a little crazy.

Turns out Apple’s nifty design choice in putting the antenna on the outside comes at a price (tip o’ the antlers to Michael Gartenberg). When the heel of your hand touches the bottom antenna (the phone-cally one), the signal can drop dramatically. Notice the use of “can.”

According to Steve Jobs, there’s a simple solution:

Just don’t hold it that way then.

You can guess how Scott Moritz reacted (tip o’ the antlers to Kevin P. via email). That link is subscription-only, probably because Scott’s rendition of the pea-soup scene from the Exorcist is disturbing to pregnant women and small children.

While Steve did elaborate in a further reply, it’s this ill-chosen sentence that everyone will latch onto. What Steve meant to say was the antenna placement is why the phone is so freakin’ beautiful and small and that you can mitigate the issue by buying a case, but if you like you can also return the phone and he’s very sorry for any inconvenience.

InfoWorld’s Paul Venezia pretty much nails the review. Despite the antenna problem—which buyers need to be aware of and weigh against the device’s many benefits—the iPhone 4 delivers.

According to the Bigfoot, the Apple Store sales reps were pushing the Bumpers hard. Which, if the Macalope were extremely cynical, would make him think it’s because they were aware of the problem and hoped to mitigate it while also reaping what must be a 99.9 percent margin by charging $30 for a band of plastic.

And he is that cynical.

Still, having held one in his hand, the horny one hopes to some day soon have an iPhone 4 of his own. Besides, hooves are less conductive than hands anyway.

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