The Macalope Weekly: Scandal-making for dummies

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One Wall Street analyst smells what Apple’s competitors are cooking and decides to get take-out. Then, speaking of Wall Street, who let the Journal in on the Apple rumor business? There goes the neighborhood. Finally, Ryan Block shows us how to try to start an Apple scandal with items you might find around the home!

What part of “open” don’t you understand?!

Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore sniffs the iPad competitor vaporware and says:

Ultimately, we expect the slew of upcoming competition to fall flat from a user experience standpoint while stuggl[ing] to materially undercut the iPad on price.

Chris, Chris, Chris! Don’t you know that open always wins? Open, open, open! Yay, open! (Actual openness not included. Void where prohibited by law.)

If Android’s success as a mobile phone platform is really because Android is open and not just because it’s available on more carriers, then we should see the Android-based tablets outsell iPads. Right?

Well, it may happen. But they’re sure starting at a heck of a disadvantage.


About those carriers…

We’ve been hearing about the iPhone coming to Verizon for, well, years actually. But now it’s in a big name newspaper!

Apple Inc. is making a version of its iPhone that Verizon Wireless will sell early next year, according to people familiar with the matter, ending an exclusive deal with AT&T and sharpening the competition with Google Inc.-based phones.

Cue the chorus of angels.

At first the Journal reported only that Apple would “begin mass producing a new iPhone by the end of 2010 that would allow Verizon Wireless to sell the smartphone early next year.” Then it doubled down and said “iPhone’s totally coming to Verizon, homey. Word to your mother.” (Because the Wall Street Journal is, after all, your father’s newspaper and, as such, still digs Vanilla Ice.)

But, whatever! Come January, the game’s afoot! Maybe! If this is true, we’ll get a better idea if Android’s success is about “open” or just “available.”

Page views are down. Quick! To the BaloneyMobile!

With “Antennagate” mostly behind it, Ryan Block of gdgt (he left Engadget because it was taking him too long to spell the name) says Apple’s got a new problem: Glassgate! (Tip o’ the antlers to the Angry Drunk.)

As we all now know, the story ended with a semi-contrite Steve explaining how all cellphones have “weak spots” and that iPhone 4 customers upset with their device’s wireless performance would be entitled to a free iPhone case. The offer has since expired…

Hey, we’ve reached our first bit of misinformation just 90 words in. Not a record, but a decent enough effort. iPhone 4 customers upset with their device’s wireless performance can still receive a free case—the Apple bumper—by calling the company and requesting one.

…but it had the desired effect: people pretty quickly shut up about the issue, and Apple got back to the business of selling a LOT of iPhones.

When was Apple out of that business?

Although Apple has just this week reestablished a wide variety of cases for sale, as of only a couple of days ago the only iPhone 4 case Apple even so much as mentioned on its site was its own first-party Bumper — and still conspicuously absent from its lineup are slide-on cases.


Yes, the free case program could have had something to do with this shift…

You think?! You think maybe Apple might not bother to stock a plethora of cases when they’re giving some away for free?

…but there’s a huge market for cases outside the standard fare (like, say, those with integrated battery packs).

Is there? When the company was giving cases away for free? The Macalope really doubts this. Also, please ignore the fact that the Mophie Juice Pack Air only came out a month ago and the Energizer battery pack this week. Totally irrelevant.

If the absence of these accessories seems as strange to you as it does to me, well…

Have your head examined…

…there’s a reason why.

…for tin foil poisoning.

Apple has apparently found that non-bumper style cases — specifically those that slide onto the iPhone 4, which are occasionally prone to particulate matter getting caught between the rear of the phone and the case — can cause unexpected scratching that could quickly develop into full-on cracking or even much larger fracturing of the entire rear pane of glass.

What kind of particles and cases are we talking about, here? Ones made of kryptonite or adamantium?

To put it another way: Apple is afraid you might buy a standard slide-on iPhone case, put it on your phone, and then discover the next time you take it off that the entire back of your device has been shattered by no fault of your own.

Right! It’s no fault of your that the inside of your iPhone case looks like the lunar surface and yet you still shove the phone into it, regardless of any resistance or horrible noises.

Block himself notes that Apple’s already selling slip cases on the online store which would cause a lesser rumormonger to question his wild assumptions. But not him! Onward and downward!

So before things escalated out of control and they had “Glassgate” on their hands, Apple swiftly moved to block sales of nearly all third-party iPhone 4 cases from its stores…

Ryan, when you decide not to eat a bagel, do you say you “blocked” yourself from doing it?

Oh, what’s the use? This piece is a hopeless mess of unsourced accusations blended with inflammatory rhetoric and vomited onto the Internet like an Apple rumor ipecac. That, of course, didn’t stop it from being picked up with jerktastic credulity across the Web. “We love potential scandals because they make our jobs so much easier! Someone said a thing. Quick, report it without considering whether or not it’s true!”

Is a glass phone more likely to break than a plastic one? Sure! Particularly because pieces like Block’s make the Macalope bang his iPhone 4 against his head. But color the horny one brown and skeptical that this “scandal” isn’t more about page views than it is about black helicopters with Apple logos disappearing slipcase manufacturers.

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