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]