The Macalope: Canceled flights of fancy


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Writing for Forbes (slide whistle), Anthony Wing Kosner wants you Apple derps to witness the firepower of this possibly priced and coming real soon Samsung phablet!

“Galaxy S4: The Inescapable Economics (And Ergonomics) Of The $579 Phablet” (no link, but tip o’ the antlers to Srini Addepalli).

Yes, he can feel the hate welling up inside you!

Samsung indeed has the next big thing on its hands with the Galaxy S4.

You know, there’s providing positive feedback on a manufacturer’s product and then there’s literally repeating the marketing slogan in your lede.

Samsung has inadvertently revealed the approximate retail value of the S4 to be $579 U.S. in the terms and conditions of a contest to win one of 48 promotional units. Assuming the promotion is for the base 16 GB model, that would place it $70 cheaper than the comparable unlocked iPhone 5, at $649.


Because of the S4′s large screen size and ultra high resolution, the “phablet” also competes against Apple’s iPad mini.

Kinda sorta. You can sense that Kosner thought he got ahold of a thread of an idea here. Now watch as he keeps pulling on it, unravelling any sweater of logic that might once have existed.

A 16 GB iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular will set you back $459 with a month-to-month contract from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. It may arguably provide a superior content consumption experience than the S4 on all accounts—but you still need a phone.

Uh …

So on the economic front, you would need to pay Apple (and its assigns) a total of $1,108 to get the combined functionality that $579 buys from Samsung.

Whaaaa?! It has become a cliche to “translate” such sentences as “I am as high as a kite” but the Macalope really has to ask, are you in fact as high as a kite? Look around you. Do you see any mushroom stems?

Empty bags of Cheetohs and Doritos?

Andy Dick?

That’s almost twice as much! Plus a second data plan. And, on the ergonomic front, you have to carry around two devices.

First, if one bought into the ridiculous idea that you need both an iPhone and an iPad mini to replace an S4, you would not need a mini with a data plan, since the iPhone could provide tethering. So, not only are you wrong about the data plan, you’ve jerktastically overstated the price of the Apple option by $130. But more importantly, why is the Macalope even bothering to argue this point with you?

The S4 is not perfect. It’s a little big for a phone and a little small for a tablet.

Yet you feel fine comparing its price to both.

Part of the reason you’re having trouble with this is that phablets are the very definition of a niche product. As the Macalope has noted, the reason these came into being was that Android OEMs were having little success in selling tablets, so they tried to jam tablet-sized screens into phones.

Somehow Kosner thinks he’s comparing “apples to apples.” Yet he forgot to throw in a stylus! Dude, that’s like another dollar twenty-five!

If you wanted to feel your brain actually oozing out of your ears, you could read through the comments where people defend Kosner’s analysis from the “iSheep” (direct quote!). Ah, but you can’t, because the Macalope didn’t provide the link, as a public service. Consider yourself lucky: Some dumb is so weapons-grade that only a mythical beast can handle it.

The kicker to all this? The Macalope checked out the link that Kosner provided, which purportedly reveals the price of the S4 as $579. While it may have said that when Kosner wrote his piece, here’s what it says now:

First Prizes: 48 First Prizes will be awarded, each consisting of a Samsung Galaxy S® 4 mobile device. Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): $650*.

Oops. Oh, well!

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