The Macalope Weekly: Free Apple Tablet!

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Whoops, sorry, the Macalope meant "Apple tablet-free", because this week's edition is just that!

Got Apple tablet fatigue? This is the article for you! We'll check in on how badly the Nexus One is crushing the iPhone and look at some Mac sales estimates. Then it's time once again to ask "Is Apple the new Microsoft?!" One out of one silly pundits says "yes"!

(Macworld, let's discuss the horny one's cut of the search engine return on "free Apple tablet" at your leisure. Kisses!)

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Well, we're a week into the iPhone being totally killed 100-percent dead for sure by the Google Nexus One. How's it going so far?

• Study: Google Nexus One's first week of sales were weak

Oh. Well, it's just after the holidays, so maybe people aren't ready to spend again yet. But it's probably receiving rave reviews for its user experience, yes?

• Google Nexus One Leaves Customers Sour

Nexus One has been plagued by consumer complaints including spotty 3G connectivity, a high early termination fee, poor customer support from Google and problems with the touchscreen.

OK, to be fair, it's not like the iPhone launch was flawless, either. Although Apple sure managed to move a few more units.

Most disturbing for Google, however, is its attitude toward customer support. The company only provides support via e-mail. But at least where you're supposed to go for help is completely clear-cut and not at all confusing!

A T-Mobile spokeswoman said that T-Mobile is providing support for phone service, including billing, while Google supports device sales and software, and HTC supports the hardware, including device troubleshooting, warranty, repairs and returns.

Uh... wait. So, if you get dropped from the 3G network, is that phone service, software, or device troubleshooting?

Hello? Hello?

Why is the Macalope talking to an e-mail?

You're looking at the wrong number

Both Gartner and IDC released sales estimates for the just-completed fourth quarter this week. While the market-research firms both reported that Apple increased its sales by a healthy margin over last year's figures to match the overall growth of the market, they also have Apple failing to keep up with some competitors and slipping to the number five spot in the PC market. The firms point to the giant mass of cheap notebooks and netbooks HP, Toshiba and others dumped onto the...

OK, look, the Macalope is trying to avoid an unfortunate biological metaphor here. Believe him when he says that if he were to make it, there would be no winners, only losers, so please try to use your imagination. Or not.

Before the usual jerkweeds break out the histrionics about how netbooks are killing Apple, let's remember a little thing called margin. Apple's margins are more than three times those of HP and 75 percent higher than those of Toshiba. Not only that, it doesn't compete in the low-cost arena. HP and Toshiba may be selling more machines, but on each sale they take a smaller percentage of a smaller price. Each additional Apple sale is worth far more.

If you're an investor, which company do you want to invest in? Apple or the computer-industry equivalent of First CityWide Change Bank?

The Macalope's Law

Computerworld's Sharon Machlis asks the musical question is Apple the new Microsoft?

You know, every time this piece gets written as if it's some brand-spankin' new piece of brilliance that just occurred to the author, the Macalope wonders why they have not heard of the thing the kids call "the Google." There should be a law--the Macalope's Law?--that says the minute you say Apple is Microsoft, you lose the argument.

Sharon's particular riff on this now-tired saw involves iTunes not supporting her Palm Pre and how there are lots of iPhone apps. You know who else had lots of apps? Hitler! Microsoft!

There's nothing wrong with popularity...

Except that it makes you Hitler Microsoft.

Apple is clearly the market leader in the electronic music world. And its decision to block the Palm Pre from syncing with iTunes is telling.

Telling Sharon that Apple is Hitler Microsoft!

Apple's still in a strong position, though--strong enough, it turns out, to try to crush a little guy just as ruthlessly as any other company seeking to ward off competition.

C'mon, Sharon. Palm is the "a little guy?" Palm ruled the PDA market in the late '90s. Did its software including syncing functionality for the Newton? No, it did not. So why is Apple, out of the kindness of its heart, supposed to throw Palm a life preserver?

What's particularly galling is that I'm trying to sync up music from my own home collection. ... However, if I bought a CD, in the old days it was easy for me to listen to it while I was out for a walk (remember portable CD players anyone?)...

Yes! They stunk!

...or in my car. Why shouldn't I be able to do the same with a version on my own hard drives?

You can. Just move the files. All you're really complaining about is losing the playlists. Even in the realm of first-world problems, that rates pretty low.

But, then, you know who else tried to trivialize first-world problems.

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

This story, "The Macalope Weekly: Free Apple Tablet!" was originally published by Macworld.

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