The iPhone Blog\'s This Week in Smartphone Schadenfreude for July 5th, 2008

Not evil twin to 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!

In this week's edition: Nothing. Sorry. No time. We're already lining up for the iPhone 3G. Dieter got here early, but the rest of us are way back, forced to climb over ever-growing mounds of junked Crackberries and WinMobs and about a million Centros -- ouch! Heckuva tailgate going on, though. Ballmer keeps breaking out the Monkey Boy while Colligan and Lazaridis take turns timing their virtual keyboarding.

So yeah, sorry. Zip this week. Zilch. But it's totally not our fault. We don't even think the sister sites have been updated. (We'd ask Kevin and Jennifer but they're off playing hacky-sack with Sergey and Larry.)

UPDATED: Okay, fine. The Commenterati have spoken. We'll scour the interwebs. We'll find something. You'll get your fix. Anything to stop from harshening our pre-launch mellow!

Blackberry Kickstart Special TV Offer -- While Supplies Last!

Attention Crackberrians! You're not gonna pay $249 for the new RIM Kickstart Flipberry, are you? No! And you're not gonna pay $149 either, are you? Nope! You're not gonna pay $99 or $79 either. All you're gonna pay is one easy payment of $49! But wait, there's more! Act now and we'll throw in near-weekly service outages, and the classic StarTac form factor, for FREE! Tell them Crazy Mike sent you, and we'll even throw in a free Flowbee!

(Yeesh, when did entry level become throw away? We know Amazon was even paying people to take Blackberry's off their hands for a while, but crack open Palm's books sometime, Mr. Canadian CEO of the Year, and see what selling stuff for less than it costs to make it does for the old bottom line, b'okay?)

Blackberry Done Copying iPhone, Starts Copying Windows 95

Yeah, so the Thunder will still iClone the iPhone, at least as much as the old-but-not-Palm-old Java "OS" is capable of, but RIM isn't intent on just copying Apple, oh no. Their next target -- Windows 95! Seems just like good old Win95 (which knowing MS was probably release in 1997, right?), one day in the distant future a Blackberry OS may -- wait for it -- try to avoid "nuked" or "bricked" units by allowing users to -- wait for it again -- boot into safe mode!

(We need to pause here to explain to iPhone users that those poor unfortunates with "smartphones" rather than mobile computers don't have OS's for realzies like OS X, just weird little management systems that are far less stable and are just as likely to turn on as they are to spontaneously cease functioning. Think Xbox 360).

Rather than a function key, the tic-tactile escape key will do the trick. Press it and you're in safe mode. Kind of makes you wonder just how unsafe regular mode is if you have to escape it...?

In faker news, head BBOS developer Marty McFly tells us we can look back to a DOS-style CTRL-ALT-DELETE "feature" by 2020...

Windows Mobile Gets... Facebook!?

Confession: We're not sure what the story is here. Windows Mobile finally gets an application even the Palm Centro's already had? Or is it that Pocket IE is such a non-browser that WinMob requires an entire application (GUI created in MS Paint, really?) simply to load Facebook? Or is it that people with WinMob have just now discovered this neato new site called Facebook where -- just maybe! -- all the cool kids used to hang out?

Now it's WMExperts Giving With the Paper Cuts and Lemon Juice

Not enough that last week made fun of the disgusting money grab that passes for Rogers' Canadian iPhone price plans, this week the diabolical editor of WMExperts just has to point out that the HTC Diamond Touch, is getting all-it-can-eat unlimited data from Bell for $30.

Well done, Rogers, you've succeeded where neither HTC nor Windows Mobile have before -- you've actually made people consider getting a Diamond Pro. Enjoy whatever layer of Hell greedy telco's get condemned to (we forget the exact number, same as the latest WinMob release number, right?)

Palm Hires Interface Designer!

How about that? We can't believe we typed it either, but this is big news from Treocentral. Huge. Palm actually hiring someone to consciously improve their user experience is like... hmm... if Windows Mobile actually hired someone to consciously improve their user experience (taking notes there, "J"?)

Turns out they got someone ultra-hip, ultra conceptual too. Same guy who did Helio, which according to Google Image Search has an interface consisting solely of a white flame brand over blue field. We're not kidding. That's all there seems to be. Makes the Google homepage looks busy. But who knows how the kids smartphone these days.

What'll he bring to Palm? Probably something just as innovative. We're guessing no screen at all. Joke all you want, but it would be light years ahead of Palm's vintage-yet-still-sadly-current anti-anti-aliased 8-bit circa 1990s groove.

And in No Other News

That's it. We have to go. The Motorola boys are playing the "iPhone 3G is the only reason we have left to live" card, trying to cry their way up in line. Brian and Casey aren't buying it, but Chad might let them in. Meanwhile, the Nokia and Samsung iClone teams have gotten bounced for trying to get early peaks inside. We feel for them, really. Rules are rules and all, but c'mon. If they don't find out what Apple is releasing this year, what'll they have to copy for next year?