The Macalope Weekly: Baloney. It's what's for lunch.

Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by Macworld's Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect's Editors

Apple’s pulled off another successful product launch. You know what that means! Time to try to trash it! Quick, to the baloneymobile! And if you like baloney, you’re going to love the new iPhone rumor.

The gates of heck

Seems like it’s been forever since we had a trumped-up Apple scandal. Where by “forever” the Macalope means “six months or so.” OK, “last week.”

Remember Antennagate? Man, those were good times. People were actually saying that Apple would have to recall the iPhone 4. Quick! Before it’s too late and you sell a bazillion of them!

And then there was Glassgate and a whole bunch of mini-gates that all amounted to, uh, let’s see, multiply by six… carry the two… and that gives us…



Let’s do it again!

This week alone has brought us Heatgate, LTEgate, and Linegate! Let’s meet the new gates!

Read more…

You’re probably already familiar with Heatgate, as some owners of new iPads have noticed their devices seem to run warmer than previous iPads. Just how much warmer? Don’t worry, Consumer Reports is on the case! And who else are you going to trust except the publication that refused to recommend the iPhone 4, despite the fact that you suckers kept buying them by the pallet?

Our finding that the new iPad can heat up to as much as 116 degrees Fahrenheit when plugged in and continually running a game has prompted widespread coverage and comments, as well as questions from consumers on our blog post, Facebook page, and via Twitter.

And mockery. Don’t forget the mockery.

Thank god Consumer Report is on this, because you know you won’t get a minute of sleep until the magazine that your parents used to figure out which blender to buy weighed in on how hot the new iPad is. And when they say “hot,” they really mean “warm.”

Well, if that’s not enough to get you to file a class-action lawsuit, perhaps you’d like to sue Apple because—hold on to your hats now—it turns out that having more bandwidth means you can chew up your data plan faster (tip o’ the antlers to 9to5Mac)!

No. Way.

And here the Macalope thought 4G was consequence-free. To be fair, though, we all remember the Wall Street Journal article about Motorola Xoom owners who used up all their data after they waited months to send their tablets back for the two-week 4G upgrade hahahaha of course not.

Well, don’t get used to this last gate, because it’s already come and gone. Alas, poor Linegate! You left us too soon!

“Was the new iPad launch a dud?”

The lines were distinctly shorter than past years, some whispered, the rollout more subdued.

Too bad that those who were “whispering” (by posting things on their websites), like Gizmodo, had to issue follow-ups saying “oops, never mind.”

Oh, Gizmodo! Are you guys still mad about that time you bought a stolen iPhone?!

Yes? OK, good.

Cynicism rewarded

The Wall Street Journal is keeping busy this week by throwing up ridiculous arguments about the new iPad. Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with “CIO Journal, a new premium edition launching soon,” could it?

Stop being so cynical!

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Clint Boulton (late of eWeek, where he wrote other ridiculous things, like how Apple should buy Yahoo) says “The New iPad Could Create High-Speed Headaches for CIOs”:

Apple’s new iPad may prove taxing to corporate networks and mobile data plans, an IT expert said.

An “IT expert.”

If usage of the new tablet takes off at work companies may need to spend more money on high-speed data lines, said Amtel CEO P.J. Gupta. The company sells software that sets alerts and notifications on bandwidth consumption to help clients avoid overage charges, which kick in when limits on data plans have been exceeded.

Guy who sells software that monitors bandwidth says you need to worry about bandwidth. Surprise!

But Gupta isn’t the only person the Journal quoted. Oh, no.

“As you have better quality displays, and try to present better images on those displays, the network bandwidth required increases, and the amount of data you use goes up dramatically,” says analyst Jack Gold, of J. Gold Associates. Companies need to be careful about handing out iPads to employees because the data plans that support them aren’t cheap, Gold said.

If the name Jack Gold sounds familiar, that’s probably because you read the Macalope’s column from almost exactly one year ago, where he noted Jack dismissing the iPad 2. Interesting coincidence! Jack was also not impressed by the iPhone when it was announced. Very strange! A cynical person like you might think that the man is simply getting his name mentioned by routinely coming up with anti-Apple money quotes. A cynical and correct person like you.

Well, at least Jack can’t be accused of clogging up corporate networks by serving up any of those “better images” from his site. Loads just as fast now as it did on Windows 3.1 when Jack made it!

Much of the discussion centers around LTE bandwidth caps and how you can blow through them pretty quickly by coming down with a bad case of March Madness (seriously). Which prompts Ben Brooks to wonder:

…I don’t get why this argument doesn’t end with the simple solution of allowing iPads onto corporate WiFi networks.

Well, it turns out that’s not OK, either:

Here’s a scenario that could give network managers pause: iPad owners looking to avoid downloading high-definition videos or movies over LTE to avoid steep data costs may instead do so over Wi-Fi at work.

“In a 100-person office, if just 20 percent are using the new iPad, you are talking about a tremendous amount of network traffic,” [Ed O’Connell, senior product manager for WAN optimization products at Blue Coat Systems] said…

Hang on a second. You have a 100-person office and 20 percent of them are watching March Madness in HD on their iPads? You’ve got bigger problems than network traffic, Mr. IT Manager Dude.

Look, if your employees have a business need to stream HD video, you have to suck it up and make sure your network can handle it. If they don’t have a business need, then you have to ask why they’re spending their day watching basketball in HD.

Ultimately, however, the Macalope can sum up these arguments in one word said twice: Booga booga.

Saturday Special: Done deal

Well, it’s time to move on from trashing the iPad and instead look to the future. Because according to Wired’s Christina Bonnington, you’re going to need to buy yourself a pair of relaxed fit jeans. The giant-sized iPhone is on its way!

“A Larger iPhone Is Near Inevitable—But How Big Will It Be?”

Inevitable! It’s just a question of whether it will be 42 inches or 47 inches. Users are demanding gigantic, aircraft carrier-sized cell phones! Apple must respond!

Now that the new iPad is here, speculation has shifted back to the iPhone—specifically, whether Apple will be upping the screen size of its Retina display smartphone. Developers and analysts tell us that a larger iPhone screen size makes sense, and should arrive in Apple’s next refresh.

Basically we have a rumor from a Korean newspaper about a 4.6-inch iPhone that Reuters cited as a “report”… aaand now everyone thinks it’s a done deal!

4.6 inches. That’s not just a bigger iPhone, that’s huge. A veritable whale of an iPhone. A great swath of iPhone that only André the Giant would be able to comfortably stretch his thumb across. Too bad he’s dead. There goes the target market.

But when rumors give you unbelievable details, just ignore them!

[Canalys principal analyst Pete Cunningham] expects the next iPhone will have a 4-inch or 4.3-inch display, rather than the 4.6-inch behemoth reported by Reuters.

So, the Maeil Business Newspaper—which, we can all agree, is the go-to source for solid Apple rumors—is wrong about the size, but right that there will be a larger iPhone. Because, according to Cunningham, the fact that you can reach all the way across an iPhone comfortably with your thumb is a “noticeable weakness” of the iPhone.

Really. He said the size of the iPhone is a “noticeable weakness.” Despite the fact that it’s the best-selling smartphone. He really said that. You can click through and see. It’s hard to believe, the Macalope knows, but this is how some people think.

The problem, of course, is that when you set aside the “analysts” and check with the people who actually know what they’re talking about, they don’t think this makes a lick of sense. John Gruber notes the obvious problem with this idea, which is pretty much the same problem with the “iPad mini” concept. Developers would have to recode their apps. Jim Dalrymple—a man who can be drunk out of his mind on Heineken and still be right more times than any “analyst”—says succinctly that Gruber has a “good point.” That’s like taking a rumor out behind the shed and shooting it in the head.

The trend for larger displays is definitely being embraced by consumers, and if Apple wants to stay competitive, it will need to go bigger.

Ah! The Macalope is glad you linked to that piece of yours from a few weeks ago, Christina, because he made note of it at the time, but didn’t have a chance to point out how its logic is about as sound as the physics in a Road Runner cartoon.

Forbes recently reported that two million Galaxy Notes have been sold since the device went on sale in Europe some three months ago, and Samsung is on pace to sell 10 million more before the year’s end. That’s a fairly remarkable degree of success considering the Note’s niche positioning.

Actually, no, it’s not. While 10 million a year sounds like a lot in absolute numbers, in the smartphone business that is exactly what a niche is. Does Bonnington not know that Apple sold 37 million iPhones last quarter? Somehow she thinks it makes sense to make the iPhone more like a phone that sells a fraction as well. The Macalope’s just trying to come up with helpful ways to explain this, and ignorance seems more charitable than some of the other options.

While a 4-inch or larger iPhone would certainly benefit users…

Objection. Assumes facts not in evidence. Certainly some users want larger screens, but it’s apparently fewer than want 3.5-inch iPhones. The Macalope, for one, decidedly does not want a larger iPhone.

This screen size argument is just another instance of feature chasing. Saying “Other phones have it so Apple must ship one, too!” is just admitting “I have no idea how Apple designs products.”

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon