This Week in Schadenfreude, May 24 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!

BREAKING! RIM to Preemptively Release bbTablet!

We don't break fake news here often, so when we do, you know it's going to be big -- and dare we say -- bold. No, scratch that, BOLDER!

Keenly aware that Apple may be releasing the long-anticipated iTablet at WWDC this June, and fed up with being called on for blatantly copying the design of the iPhone, RIM has decided to strike first this time and rush out a tablet of their very own: the bbTablet, aka Blackberry 1200, aka BOLDER! probably has one on order from eBay as we speak, but it's tiPb that's scored the exclusive specs: ultra-wide 1920x320 "Lawrence of Arabia" screen, OSish 4.6, and full desktop size Qwerty keyboard! Take that, Apple!

Mike "Deadpan Funnyman" Lazaridis, when asked for fake comment, had this to say about what makes RIM's device the "iTablet Killer":

Full desktop Qwerty keyboards. I'm sorry, it really is. I'm totally not making this up. Totally. People don't like screens. They really don't. Makes them squint. And read. Totally. They're getting tired of looking at their old tablets and they're coming into the stores and they want to be able to do, like, Facebook and they want to be able to do, like, instant messaging and they want to be able to do, like, e-mail and they ask for those features thinking that they're going to get another tablet, and I tell them they don't need screens for those things, they need keyboards, big @$$ keyboards. Totally. They need the (BlackBerry) BOLDER because it's the best devices for doing those kinds of activities. And so what is the defining factor? The keyboard. I mean, if the suits would let me, I'd ship without a screen at all. 100% keyboard. Totally.

RIM Bends Over (Backwards) for India

Sadly, and shamefully, this is news of the unfake kind. We've covered the seemingly endless RIM vs. India debacle before (where by debacle we mean "India says they want to spy on all Blackberry traffic" and "RIM says want fries with that?") and now, according to, it looks to finally be resolved. So what was the sticking point? Did India want a way to reassure citizens they were restricting their surveillance to dully processed, court-certified "people of interest"? Nope. Did RIM fight for the privacy of their user base? Not so much either. Seems all RIM wanted was some legal @$$ cover in case, you know, giving India the keys to their digital vault resulted in personal data being made public.

Jeez. Ya think?

So India now joins China and Singapore as countries RIM actively helps violate the privacy of their citizens? Nice! Unless you're one of the citizens... But it isn't like you're not about to get a heckova better option soon anyway...

The Worst of All Worlds?

Corporate crony stuck with your company's massive overspending on a RIM server and legacy dependence on Microsoft monopolyware? Desperate -- willing to do anything! -- for some small sip of ice water in big, buggy server hell?

Okay, just DON'T DO THIS!

Not since Sony Ericsson's Flashenjavastein Monster has anything so hideous blighted the mobile world. (Note to Interwebs, why must you upload images we can never unexperience?)

If you want an iPhone, get an iPhone. If you want Vista, go tell Steve Ballmer you're the one. In either case, when it comes to these "themes", in the words of Casey and Dieter: EPIC NO!

Epic No to Vista Themese

Now GSM Can Has Outdated Treo's 2!

Not so fast, AT&T and Sprint users! Been making fun of the Palm 800w inflicted on the CDMA world? Well, it's karma time! and have double-teamed-up to bring a little payback in the form of the newly leaked Treo 850! That's right, 50 more Treo points wrapped up in the same 600-ish package, albeit with a sure-to-win-innovation-of-the-decade new feature: flush screen!

Hey Palm, 2003 called and they would kindly like their device back.

And in No Other News

It's happening just like we said it would: Apple has set the bar so high, other manufacturers are now ducking under it. Witness Nokia. Now, if you live in North America like we do, you might think Nokia is just that great Norfinwedish furniture store -- you know, where you pick up stuff on the cheap and then break a thumb and die cursing trying to put it together yourself? Well, apparently in the rest of the world they sell smartphones (we were just as surprised, honest). We might of known that, of course, if their US market share hadn't free-fallen from 20% to 7% in the last two years (not coincidentally the time frame between the N95's launch in Europe to the last neck-bearded blog post vaguely remembering it still hadn't really seen the light of day in the US...)