back to article Ads watchdog bows to iPhone's might

The UK's ad standards quango has rejected Google phone fans' claims that Apple ads had overstated just how messianically wonderful the iPhone is. The Advertising Standards Authority said it had received ten complaints about a TV ad which demo'd a range of applications for the iPhone and included a voiceover which said: If you …

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So take that...

and put it in your pipe and smoke it Google that told you!

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FAIL

Cutting pasta?

Personally I find it more annoying with the adverts that overtly suggest that the iPhone is the first device ever to have the amazingly innovative "Cut and Paste" feature...

... like no other phone or device has ever had that and, of course, it's an Apple innovation.

Closer to the truth would be "Hey, it's our third phone iteration and we've finally got around to implementing a basic feature that everyone else already has!".

Yeah, it looks like it does it in a neat and useful way but c'mon Apple, it's taken you three phones to get around to world's most fundamental text processing feature...

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Silver badge

Then we can all pack up and go home?

You know, if there's now an app for just about everything. Are the ASA not allowed to find that some statements are explicitly and obviously meant to be taken as mere marketing puff? If not then that would explain the decision here.

Analogously, if a car salesperson tells you that your life will be better in a particular car and you buy it then you can't sue him for misrepresentation even if you have evidence that your life is now worse. It's assumed that customers can recognise statements that aren't meant to be taken purely literally.

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very bad at basics

Like signal strength, Texting & MMS to multiple recipients...

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FAIL

S60? Windows Mobile?

Okay, there's no single shop selling these to provide stats on how many apps there are for these OSes, but I bet both of them have more than 50,000, so it really isn't "only on the iPhone" at all.

ASA fail.

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Jobs Horns

"there's an app for just about everything"

there is a long list of things there isnt an app for eg. shaking a baby, looking at boobs, looking at nude people, using voip services, looking at the karma sutra and running multiple apps just to name a few

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Alert

Context

The crux of this is about context, are they saying....

If you want apps for the three examples then you can only do that on the iPhone (not true)

If you want apps for lots of stuff then you can only do that on the iPhone (not ture)

If you want these *specific* apps from *this app store* then it only works on the iPhone (True)

So if the ASA ruling is base done the context being the last then its correct. However I find it strange that they qualified the ruling by saying the iPhone had "the most aps" as thats not relevant to the "true " asserion, only the not true ones, so it only adds to the confusion.

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FAIL

ASA in Apple's Pocket

Whilst on the face of it this decision seems reasonable. I think it is also fair to say that the ASA are clearly in Apple's Pocket. Remember the "I'm a Mac" adverts. These should have been outlawed in the UK because you aren't allowed to do directly comparative advertising. But the ASA said that Apple weren't being directly comparative because they were talking about "PCs in general". The acid test should actually be that if Microsoft made an equivalent advert would it be acceptable - and the answer would clearly be no.

Personally, I find the whole "app for everything" adverts a bit out of order since huge swathes of the app space are outlawed. How about an app for google voice? Or an app for comedy breasts?

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Jobs Horns

Whatever

There isn't an app for everything on the iPoo. I haven't found replacements or alternatives for the tons of apps that I used to have on my old WinMob phone - some of which dates back years ago.

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WTF?

Apple seem to think they own the term "app" as well

Been calling applications apps for years here.

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Joke

50,000 apps?

About 49,900 of those apps are farting cellphone jokes, lottery number generators and "flashlights".

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Split a bill?

"Or figure out your share of the bill for a table of five, there's an app for that"

Funny, every one of my (non apple) mobile phones owned over the past decade has had a calculator built in, and I didnt even have to go hunting for it on an app store and install it, not to mention pay for it.

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everything except what your not allowed.

ideas are first come first served, if sombody comes up wth an app that does the same but better...bad luck.

also it seems that some things apps will never be leagally avalible on iphone due to EULA restrictions(unlike googlephones).

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WTF?

@ very bad at basics

You have an iPhone I take it?

"Like signal strength" (mine is fine, far better than the tocco POS my wife has on Orange)

"Texting & MMS to multiple recipients" (not a problem for me, I just select a contact, add another and another and another then send the message)

I know I sound like a fanboi but the iPhone is the only apple I own and wouldnt own that if I couldnt put my work SIM in it. It is, withou doubt, the best "phon" I have ever had, bar none.

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Coat

@AC 14:57

"looking at boobs, looking at nude people,"

You can do that in the web browser

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Jobs Horns

I would love to see Apple get a kick in the balls.

But I think their case was a weak one. Sadly there will be people who watch that copy and paste ad and think "Oh copy and paste, that looks good." As with everything Apple do, there are competitors who have offered the same features for years, but they just don't have the brand image Apple does.

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Anonymous Coward

Here we go...

@ Cutting pasta? - I don't recall Apple claiming that the iPhone is the only mobile device that has copy and paste, or that they 'invented it'. It is, from personal experience, implemented better than on most other mobile phones though and I don't think that it took them 3 iterations to implement. I imagine that it was either overlooked - or completely ignored. Either way, it's there now, and works very well.

@very bad at basics - Signal strength is better on my iPhone than it was on my Blackberry in the same places and generally, but I'll concede that it's entirely dependant on the coverage in the area you are in. As for multiple SMS and MMS recipients, works a treat on my standard iPhone thanks. Get your facts straight first mate...

@S60? Windows Mobile? - A total irrelevance. The point is are Apple being misleading about the iPhone, not whether there are more apps for S60/Windows Mobile or not. ASA admittedly muddied the waters with their statement. I doubt that many Nokia users actually know where to get apps from...

@ASA in Apple's Pocket - Hardly, or no more than Microsoft and their "any 7 year old can produce the Titanic using Windows Movie Maker without any instruction" ads - which are far more misleading. see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11/26/iphone_ad_pulled/ for evidence.

@Whatever - Name them then. Also, look up the meaning of 'almost' - I think it's in the ladybird My First Dictionary, I'll ask my nephew...

@Apple seem to think they own the term "app" as well - No. They (and the rest of the English speaking geek world) have also called applications "Apps" for well over a decade...

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WTF?

"figure out your share of the bill for a table of five"

If you're not smart enough to divide by five surely you won't be able to find the power button on your iphone either?

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B 9

Wow, does anyone have common sense over there?

Some of the objections on this thread (and the original one submitted to the ASA) seem pretty nitpicky and lame. If you're going to get that picky then just outlaw all advertising because it's all BS.

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WTF?

How quickly we forget history

@Jay 28

Apple _did_ invent cut, copy and paste... in 1981. They might have taken their time implementing it in OS 3 but at least it's done right.

=:~)

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Headmaster

You can do comparitive ads

Anonymous coward said "These should have been outlawed in the UK because you aren't allowed to do directly comparative advertising"

Not so, the law was changed a few years back (hence the Tesco has this many vs asda/sainsbury/lidl has this many adverts on the TV)

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Joke

Huh! Take that G1 Joe!

Well - perhaps G1 formal fanbois should have kept their powder dry or drier still?

On the other hand it did get published on astute of the astutes (eg el reg) so a bit of almost free publicity didn't do too much hard harm?

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WTF?

Split a bill?

People who buy iPhones are people who can't divide by five?

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Troll

Well...

I found it more annoying that the new ad for the 3G S says "Amazing new features, like video".

Wow. I've never seen that on a phone before...

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Silver badge

Ho hum.

Calculating the bill for a table of five?

It's called a calculator. All handheld organisers/PDAs had that feature since dot.

Heck, you can still even buy dedicated boxes to do that too, some portable enough to fit in a wristwatch. Wow.

Wobbly shelf?

Ok, I give this one to apple. Shove the iPhone under the wobbly bit and you've fixed it.

You wouldn't dare do this on anything else, as anything else is actually useful for other things too.

Even pocket calculators...

So far, the only thing the iPhone has done for my life is give me something to make fun of in my free time... Thank you Apple. :-)

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Jobs Horns

Competing on price

They don't mention that most of the Google apps are free...

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Jobs Halo

This halibut is good enough for the iPhone

After using a range of different phones I forked out £180 for a 3GS after having a go on a friend's 3G.

It's the bomb.

Best hardware, best browsing, best UI. Yes there are some things that could be improved but simple feature comparison doesn't show the whole picture.

There are things I could do on Windows Mobile that I can't do now, however WM is and abject P.O.S. Since abandoning it my acne, diarrhea, alcoholism and domestic abuse have all cleared up. Of course there are better OS to compare it to but the point stands.

The proprietory USB cable and limit of one iTunes instance to sync with are amongst the list of severe disabilities but over all it really is the Jesus phone.

Fact.

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@jay28

The iPhone advert does NOT say the iPhone is the first to use Cut/Paste. In fact, it makes no mention of being the "first" for any feature it's ever introduced in any add with the exception of Visual Voicemail (which it did bring to market with the help of Cingular for cellphones before any other vendor, though several corporate VoIP products, including ShoreTel, did it forst for desk phones, but even that they never overtly promoted as "first" in an add).

They simply show off the innovative (and I admit, after using it a while now, incredibly easy, hanbdy, and intuitive compared to any other mobile implementation of a similar feature) feature and demonstrate it;s ease of use.

As for the add for the app store, at its time of release, the iPhone had over 50,000 apps. At the time of filing the lawsuit, G1 has about 500 (It had about 2,100 when they actually appeared for the case, but by that time Apple had crossed 60,000). They also do not claim to "have an app for everything", but instead for "just about" everything, and the web itself pretty much fills in the gaps. The G1 has a lot of great apps, sure, some of which are not available on the Apple device(mostly as the iPhone does not require such features as graphed battery utilization or multitasking resource controlls), but they do not hit nearly as many categories of application, nor are they adding apps at any where near the pace, so for the expected run time of this commercial series, Google really doesn't have a leg to stand on.

That said, I'd love to see what this group would have to say about Microsoft's 'PC shopper" adds. Those are clearly inappropriate product comparrisons, associating midrange systems to low end products that don't share common specs on any level, yet still associating the perceived "value" difference. Even my father questioned why the Macs were "so much more expensive;" that is, until he bought a PC notebook at Bestbuy without first asking me for $900, and 5 days later returned it and bought another Mac for $1400... and ate the 15% restocking fee on the PC quite happily. My mom's nearly 3 year old macbook Pro was faster and more powerful than the PC, heck even running Windows in a VM instance on the old machine ran circles around the new HP... Actually, the PC only had a 0.2GHz faster processor, and had slower RAM than her older machine! Also, the sticker shock on the software he needed to buy for the PC to do what his old Mac did for free was a big part of it... Office, Pinnacle Studio, Nero, AV and AS added more than $500 to the price tag, and that software sucked by comparrison to iLife.

As a disclaimer, I own 3 machines that run Windows (1 vista, 2 XP), a server running '08, a Linux box, and a beat up old AIX server. I do not have a Mac in my house currently (last I had was nearly 4 years ago). Granted, I work in enterprise IT analytics, so using non-OS X systems is a daily job requirement, and we don;t own a digital camcorder or digital camera (I have an SLR with about $2000 in lenses, and haven't taken the bite to replace the filb body with a good digital one yet) so other than a pretty OS, i don;t currently have a need to have a mac. However, Christmas that;'s changing, and we're getting the digital body, an HD camcorder, and a 17" Mac pro...

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FAIL

Delusional? There's an app for that!

@ Glen 9 - Apple Fanboi at work says "Show me another phone that does cut and paste!"

Well, there's one here in my right hand, and another in my left hand, neither of which are apple

@ AC 08:35 - "It's the bomb" - anyone who uses phrases like that are not qualified to give opinions on ANYTHING

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Bronze badge
WTF?

Call me picky...

But isn't this the same ASA that got condemned for being Apple haters because it made Apple take down some actually misleading ad a short time ago. Something about making it look a lot faster than it actually is.. Hardly the actions of a group in someone's pocket..

Note to all fanboys of all devices/OSs/brands etc....

The ASA is not an ad removal service. It's an advertising standards watchdog. It listens to complaints, adjudicates, and finds for OR against the advertiser. Not always for, and not always against. This is the way a watchdog is supposed to act.

In this case, no rational person honestly believes that there is an app for everything on any device any more than they believe that a specific deodorant will cause attractive young women to launch themselves in your direction. No matter how much I pu.. er.. Obviously there is a certain amount of creative licence before it becomes misleading. . The ASA's job is to define and enforce that line.

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Pint

Split bill calculator: the bloater's nemesis

Bill calculator is actually useful for the occasions when the bloater from accounts (every company has one...) tucks in to starters, the premium surf & turf, the most expensive dessert, cheese, coffee, and of course, the obligatory bottle of vino-collapso, and not forgetting the additional service charge for exceeding the weight-limit of the normal chairs.

All while you had the macaroni cheese + water.

And you just *know* they'll try and get you to split the bill equally amongst 12 people.

Damned right I'm calculating split bills.

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Jobs Horns

but

all that stuff IS available either for free on the marketplace or already installed on my HTC Hero :/

A phone I would so far happily call messiah :D

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