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iPhone ad suggests Flash, no 2-year need?

updated 09:40 am EDT, Thu June 7, 2007

4th iPhone Ad Hints

Apple's fourth iPhone ad may allude to previously unexpected features of the iPhone and its service, careful studies show. A look at the new promotional piece shows that the embedded Flash video on the New York Times website, while unplayed in the commercial, is properly visible -- displaying its typical controls rather than the error message which typically appears on the site when a browser lacks the necessary Adobe plugin to handle the content. The news suggests that most or all sites enabled with Flash for animations and controls will work properly, broadening the iPhone's usefulness online.

Equally significant may be the alterations to the ad graphics, observers note. Beginning with the airing of the fourth ad on TV, the end sequence no longer contains the "use requires 2 year activation plan" message that had accompanied the AT&T logo. Apple has also retroactively erased the notice from its earlier three ads.

The motivation behind the sudden change is unknown but may indicate either simple preference to remove the disclaimer or a new expansion of payment options beyond the two-year contract agreement that would otherwise be necessary to use the iPhone with AT&T's service. The carrier has just recently introduced a data option to its GoPhone pre-paid service but has made no indication that the Apple handset would qualify for such packages. [via Flickr user Andreas]

by MacNN Staff




  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Change the landscape...?

    If Apple wants to unmuddy the mobile contract landscape the wat they appear to want to improve the phone they might consider clarifying cost structure:

    - unlocked gsm cash purchase - financing for those that prefer such - pay as you go option

    Let the uncontracted carriers outside the USA fight it out & actually compete on a fee for services basis rather than the current obfuscating mix of variable airtime, subsidized phone & 'network access' fees...

  1. mmmdoughnuts

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yea Flash!?

    Now I can play

    while I am driving home!

  1. Clive

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Isn't it actually more likely that the video input for the ad is "faked", because it would be pretty difficult to film this device in real time usage? Thus the real input is from a desktop system, and its not surprising that such would have the Flash plug-in.

    On the other hand, it shouldn't be all that surprising anyway, because Flash is handled by core services in MacOS X.

  1. Gee4orce

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No fake

    I think it's unlikely to be a fake. If you watch closely, you can see things like the number of unread email messages (9) change to an (8) as the user opens an email. Looks like the real deal to me......

  1. njfuzzy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The screen is probably not fake. Most (if not all) advertisements with simulated screens on computers etc. include a disclaimer.

    However, it may simply be that iPhone's Safari includes streamlined ways of dealing with content it can't handle, replacing it with a preview rather than an ugly error message.

  1. Geobunny

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Defnitely not fake

    The definitive answer's real. Apple have posted it on their website. Go take a looksee

    I think given the content of the ads, it'd be a bit ironic and unlikely, not to mention illegal vis-a-vis false advertising, if the iPhone's browser were to be watered down. Yes, I know Steve originally said "no flash"...but maybe he was meaning the camera!

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969


    plan requirements...

    the best thing they can do here is let you off the hook for an early plan change - at these prices, another penalty would be the dealbreaker for me. i'd get the low end one tomorrow if i didnt have to pay the upgrade / penalty fee.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Big news?

    Why is this big news? If the iPhone is running OS X and safari, and safari now handles flash, why is it surprising that the iPhone would handle flash? You'd expect it to work with Quicktime, right?

    BTW, to geobunny, I didn't realize Steve-o said "No flash". But it seems more likely that's for the limited camera on the thing then for web support (and Flash is used heavily on a lot of sites, and it would be hard to say its a full-featured browser without support for some plug-ins.)

    And, more importantly, and more sign of the mysterious 12th app????? Because we know it couldn't have been a slip-up in the ads, using an older picture or phone OS, but that Apple was trying to hide something but, for some reason, let the advertisers get a hold of the phone with the mysterious app anyway.

    And how come no one's here being an a** and complaining about how the add talks about the "internet", but should say "world wide web". Someone raised a ruckus over this on AppleInsider!

  1. OtisWild

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0 lockin

    But to handle the iPhone voicemail involves some server stuff at ATTingular that other carriers won't have, so you lose the 'visual voicemail' feature if you use a different carrier (though probably not while roaming data, I suspect it's some form of IMAPS, given that most decent IP phone systems will present voicemail over IMAP or as forwarded attachments).

    Given that I have at least 1 year left with tmobile and a Nokia E70 with a little new-tech smell left on it, I think I shall wait for the higher-capacity iPhone with builtin GPS and a landscape touchscreen keyboard..

  1. Geobunny

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Testudo, it's entirely possible that I'm wrong and I would love for that to be the case, but for some reason it's in my head beside the part where Steve said it wouldn't support Java either.

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