Apple and Brits argue semantics as iPhone ad is banned

When I saw the an iPhone advertisement was getting banned in the UK, I assumed it was the one showing ridiculously fast web browsing speeds that no iPhone user had ever seen. I had to laugh when I saw that the actual ad causing controversy basically amounts to a semantics argument.

“You’ll never know which part of the Internet you’ll need, which is why all the parts of the Internet are on the iPhone,” a voiceover tells us in the ad.

It’s one word that is causing all this fuss: All. The Advertising Standard Authority (ASA), a UK group on the look out for false or misleading advertising, has gotten complaints that while Apple says “all,” the iPhone cannot run Flash or Java content, according to The Guardian. Apple claims “all” refers to website availability and not functionality.

The ASA sided with the consumers and ordered that the ad (seen below) be pulled from the airwaves.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVbkT5YiHIo&hl=en&fs=1%5D

While it’s true that both Flash and Java are used quite a bit on the Internet, they are third-party technologies. There are quite a few more third-party technologies that Apple doesn’t include in the iPhone version of Safari. Even if Apple allowed the two to be included, this argument could probably go on forever.

Most arguments over semantics could.

That being said, the iPhone really should have Flash support. Back in March Adobe said it was working on a version specifically for Apple’s device, but so far we have yet to see it show up.

The real ad which should have people up in arms is the one below. This ad, which runs in both the U.S. and UK, shows the iPhone 3G running at near light-speed. Browsing the web, downloading an attachment and locating yourself with GPS all seem to go much faster than in real life. I’m not sure we’d see those speeds even if the iPhone had an Ethernet jack in it. To me, this seems misleading.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQTJXnCv1ns&hl=en&fs=1%5D

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