Apple free to flout Apps Store superiority

Apple is free to advertise that its iTunes App Store is the only game in town, after winning an appeal with the advertising watchdog.

Apple free to flout Apps Store superiority

In Apple’s advertisement for the iPhone 3GS the company showed off a variety of different applications, before finishing with the line “Only on the iPhone”.

Ten viewers took issue with this statement, pointing out that Android-based phones could access similar apps through the Google Marketplace.

Apple defended the line, claiming it followed the phrase “there’s an app for just about everything” which couldn’t be said about Google’s Marketplace. It based this claim on the fact that there are currently 50,000 applications available through the iTunes App Store, as opposed to 2,100 on the Marketplace.

The ASA agreed claiming “we considered viewers would understand the claim ‘only on the iPhone’ to refer to the range of apps available and the user experience of the App Store and iPhone, and not that they were the only company to provide applications for mobile phones.”

Elsewhere, Microsoft has also escaped censure from the ASA’s adjudicators. Viewers had complained the company’s ad for photo-stitching, which placed the process in the hands of a seven-year-old and sped up the process from 40 seconds to around two seconds, was misleading.

Not so, found the ASA. The advertising watchdog “considered most viewers would understand the ad to be a demonstration of the applications ease of use, and not a literal recording of the time needed to stitch a large number of photographs together.”

Apple may have cause to feel aggrieved by the advert. It’s advertisement for the iPhone 3G last year was banned for misleading customers as to the speed of browsing on the device. However, the ASA claims they’re two very different cases.

“The Apple ad was promoting the product based on its speed and users would be tied into a long-term contract if they purchased the iPhone. It was therefore important that, as the advertiser had made speed its selling point, it portrayed the speed of its product accurately,” responds an ASA spokesperson.

“Microsoft, on the other hand, was advertising a product where its speed is innately variable because it depends on user input ?€” this will vary based on the number and size of photos that a consumer uploads. It is also for a free product and the emphasis was on the product’s ease of use rather than speed being the predominant message,” he concludes.

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