The Macalope: Misfit toys


Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by Macworld's Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect's Editors

Writing for The Motley Fool, Sam Mattera warns “Apple and Samsung Could Be Dethroned by Asus’ Radical New Device” (tip o’ the antlers to Paul Baptist).

“Warns” is maybe the wrong word. This is more like some sort of interpretive dance that no one really understands.

When it comes to the U.S. smartphone market, it’s mostly a two-horse race. Cumulatively, Apple and Samsung sell two out of every three smartphones …

Apple, of course, sells more than 50 percent of the smartphones in the U.S., meaning that Samsung’s share must be about 15 percent. So, one of those horses is Secretariat and the other one is Mr. Ed.

But that could change next year, when Asus brings its PadFone to the United States.

Not only is this an iPhone killer, but it’s a Galaxy killer. Must be some kind of space- and time-bending phone. What could its mystical powers be?!

The device, powered by Google’s Android, is particularly revolutionary …

As opposed to those phones that are just “meh” revolutionary.

… and has the potential to disrupt the mobile market.

Ugh, OK, the Macalope apologizes for dragging you through this ridiculous build-up, but it really has to be read to be believed.

… Asus’ PadFone might be the ultimate phablet: Buyers get both a tablet and smartphone, but none of the trade-offs that traditional phablets entail.

How is this dark magic accomplished?! TELL US!

… it has one huge advantage over its competitors …


… a proprietary dock.


The PadFone Infinity comes with a 10.1-inch touchscreen dock. By inserting the phone into the dock, owners can transform their 5-inch smartphone into a 10.1-inch Android tablet. Take it out of the dock, and you’re back to a standard smartphone.

Congratulations, Mrs. Asus. You’ve given birth to a freak of nature.

Buyers of the PadFone Infinity are basically getting two devices in one. Instead of buying Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and a Galaxy Note 10.1 or Apple’s iPhone 5s and full-size iPad, consumers can simply get Asus’ PadFone.


Pricing for the PadFone in the U.S. has not yet been announced …

But let’s just assume it’ll be super-awesome.

Moreover, if the PadFone concept catches on …

Every year someone hails the entrance of hybrid devices and predicts they will lay waste to the status quo. Somehow, however, they always wither on the vine, probably because they always suck at both the things they’re trying to hybridize. The other thing Mattera doesn’t seem to realize is that phablets just aren’t that popular in the U.S. They’re really popular in Korea, partly because many of them are made by hometown favorite Samsung.

The Macalope doesn’t like to prognosticate, because technology is a constantly changing environment and it’s hard to see how the pieces will move in coming years, but let him be clear about this one thing: phones that dock into tablets will never catch on. Period.

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