This Week in Smartphone Schadenfreude, August 23th Edition

Not evil twin to theiPhoneBlog.com Week in Review, not an invasion by Fake Steve, This Week in Smart Phone Schadenfreude brings you all the feel-better news you need about the smartphone world outside Apple’s current media dominator. (Who knew there was such a world? We were just as surprised! Inelegant, interface challenged, keyboardy, crashy, single-touchy place — best not to linger…). Join us as we mock review the big news from last week at our sister sites. Everybody loves sibling rivalry!

This week: A day late but sadly no jokes short, Boldly browsing, unboxings galore, big love from HTC, who does Rubenstein really work for, and ZOMG! a new Android beta!

b.engadget.com...

...the Blackberry specific, RIM-browser optimized version of one of the most popular tech blogs on the planet... doesn't exist. Neither does t.engadget.com for those of you who've actually figured out how to load a semi-functional browser on a Treo.

Nope. Turns out one of out-going Editor-in-Chief Ryan Block's final acts at Engadget was to set up the iPhone, and the iPhone alone, with the keys to its own special gate. We wonder why...

(Hint: Palm Treo 755p: 0.1% share. Blackberry Anything: didn't even make the list...)

And special well wishes to Mr. Block, with thanks for all the hard work he put in at Engadget, and best wishes for whatever he chooses next. Health, happiness, and much success!

Speaking of Blackberry Browsers

Lots of brouhaha this week over some dodgy iPhone vs. Blackberry Bold browser battles. Crackberrians cried foul, saying the Bold was hamstrung by a pre-release ROM and faulty WiFi connection. The initial test was against the original, iPhone 2G, however, and subsequent tests run on the iPhone 3G still smoked the poor little Bold. Admittedly, the Bold was again a pre-release ROM, however anyone who's ever used an iPhone 3G running 2.x knows that's pretty much a pre-release ROM as well, every bit as buggy. So until Crackberry.com runs some of their own tests, no doubt against a specially prepared iPhone, we're calling it fair fight, and iPhone by complete domination.

Attention Blackberry Developers

Remember RIM's answer to Apple's iFund? You know, the VC pool established to fund Google-class iPhone App development? Yeah, us neither. But Crackberry.com has confirmed what we'd already forgotten: Even though "Blackberry" is in the name, RIM has nothing to do with it (just like Apple really has nothing to do with the iFund, we swear), and -- get this -- neither does the Blackberry.

Just tell the money-bin that one day you might possibly (wink) consider thinking about maybe porting (wink wink) a future beta of your hawt new iPhone App to the Blackberry, and you're golden. Literally.

The Hunt for Bold All Over

Congrats to Crackberry Kevin on actually finding a Blackberry Bold in stock somewhere in the harshest hinterlands of Canada. With RIM reportedly only shipping 1 or 2 units per metric googlometer, his threats of SMASH no doubt precipitated Lazaridis to pull up in front of Crackberry HQ, fresh new Bold offered atop a red velvet cushion.

Palm-Treo Games

Likewise, congrats to Dieter on getting his already over-phone'd hands on a Treo Pro. Though his story wasn't as blog'd out as Kevin's, it was probably every bit as Tom Clancy-worthy in its own right. And if you're into fringe smartphone Pr0n, check out WMExperts Treo Pro vs. Everything video. They even sacrifice it to an iPhone 3G, poor little [redacted].

Speaking of [Redacteds]

Last time we asked why the Treo Pro bore little-to-no resemblance to it's 700 series forefathers. Turns out the 700 series might not have been any of its fathers. Mamma Palm, it seems, went and dallied with HTC. Given how the 800w turned out, however, can you really blame the old girl?

The HTC Xperia'nce

Sparing us all some overly obscure Foxworthy-esque joke about the HTC Palm Treo Pro and HTC Sony Xperia getting divorced but remaining cousins (whoops, so much for sparing), we'll just point out that the next in a long line of nouveau-chic Windows Mobile handsets that were announced ages ago but have yet to actually ship, has now been announced to still eventually actually ship. One day. In Europe.

For those who don't remember that far back -- and who can honestly blame you? -- yes, this was the banana slider Sony abandoned Sybian and cozied up to Microsoft for.

What's the UI Equivalent of a Paper Bag Over the Face?

Seems to be a third party shell or launcher. And if you've been afraid to take your Windows Mobile out in public looking like its been beaten with the Redmond stick, Brian heartily recommends this... er.. iPhone "inspired" full facial replacement.

Looks good to us. Now how do you fix the OS?

All Rubinstein, All the Time

Rubinstein helped Steve Jobs and Apple launch the iPod to the stratosphere, and while Jobs' second mobile act, the iPhone, has pretty much revolutionized the industry, Rubenstein's has... er... had somewhat less of an impact.

The man who left Apple when he wasn't allowed to jam a tic-tactile keyboard on the elegant, full screen iPhone, is now overrunning Palm (or, at least, serving as plenipotentiary most excellent to Lord Bono), canceling "several" Treo's, and tweaking many others (though sadly not the cosmetics on the 800w...).

Why? Not to make an iPhone killah. Oh, no. That might harshen Poppa Jobs' mellow and lead to the resurgence of Palm. No, Rubenstein simply wants to kill Treo make a killer Treo. Even if that honor currently belongs to HTC...

(Anyone bother to check and see if Rubenstein is really off Apple's payroll?)

Another Beta

No, not the 4th release of Apple's iPhone 2.1 Beta in almost as many weeks, but the first new beta build of the Android "platform" in Google knows how long. (And no, we're not counting those secret builds given to select privileged elite developers while the common mundanes were left to wonder what "open as in beer" really meant to the folks in Mountain View).

Dubbed 0.9, this new beta, which seems prepped to give Gmail's beta period a run for its money, may eventually set the possible stage for the OS that finally ships one day with HTC's Dream handset (2nd cousin once removed to both the Treo Pro and Xperia for those charting smartphone genealogies at home).

And no, we're not poking a little fun at Andorid here. Android is poking a lot of fun at all the developers and users who really, truly want something to keep Apple competitive. Let's hope they get serious sometime that is soonish.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 3 comments. Add yours.

Derek says:

your such a fanboy it makes me sick.

Kent Morwath says:

It's funny to see how much iPhone lovers are scared by the new Treo. You wouldn't waste so much time to criticize it if you weren't. You would have ignored it simply.

Rene Ritchie says:

You mean the new HTC device running WinMo 6.1? That's the Treo Pro, or is it the Xperia, or the Diamond Touch?
As a former longtime Treo user (from 600 through 680), I kind of miss, you know, an actual Treo running Palm is all... A little differentiation, a little Zen.
Where's my Palm OS?