• Apple Sucked Into AT&T vs. Verizon War

    Until now, Apple has largely stayed out of the incessant ad wars between AT&T and Verizon. Although a casual observer may have mistakenly believed that Apple was already involved in the ongoing battle, Apple has stayed above the fray despite the fact that its name along with the iPhone are constantly alluded to by the warring factions.

    But Apple's ad war neutrality has now officially ended. And last night, two retaliatory iPhone TV ads began hitting the airwaves. The Apple ads effectively serve as back up to AT&T's TV ad campaign that, as PC World puts it, aims to "set the record straight around Verizon's 'there's a map for that' campaign."

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    The two Apple ads show the iPhone's ability to browse the Web and manage phone calls simultaneously, a feat that's possible over AT&T's UMTS/GSM wireless network but not over Verizon's CDMA network, according to an account in Apple Insider. With its two ad spots, Apple is clearly taking aim at a Verizon ad message which mocks the iPhone for lacking a "real keyboard" and the capability to run "simultaneous apps," for example.
    As you might expect, Apple is similarly standing by AT&T in their new round of ads seeking to undo some of the damage done by Verizon, which claims that AT&T's 3G coverage is shoddy at best in comparison to Verizon's. The now infamous "map attack ads" are being invoked again as AT&T taps actor Luke Walker to argue that AT&T's mobile coverage extends to 97% Americans. However, that high number alludes to both 2.5G and 3G coverage.

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    The new series of ads from both Apple and AT&T comes only days after a federal court failed to grant AT&T a "restraining order" against Verizon and effectively curtail the company's aggressive attack ads. Far from over, the war will continue in court with no action being taken to pull any ad from either warring party.

    Watching the two wireless giants try to clobber each other over the TV airwaves should make for entertaining TV viewing straight through the holiday season, and maybe beyond that. well into 2010. Eventually, the public will probably lose interest in this breed of TV drama, just as people ultimately get tired of many types of television fare.
    Ultimately, however, both AT&T and Verizon may be fighting a pointless battle. While each presents a cogent argument of superiority, the masses remain emotionally uninvolved for the most part. And for as long as Apple sticks with the mobile partner it brought to the dance - AT&T- it's unlikely that Verizon will do too much damage to their competitor through their negative ads. After all, how many people do you know who actually switched their mobile carrier as a lone result of a television ad rather than a personal experience with a mobile operator's service?

    Image via Mobile Technology Guide
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