updated 10:55 pm EDT, Tue November 2, 2010
T-Mobile TV spot jabs iPhone FaceTime limits
T-Mobile kicked off a new campaign for its HSPA+ 3G network today with a TV commercial (below) poking fun at the limitations on the iPhone's FaceTime video chat. The 30-second spot blames AT&T for Apple not allowing FaceTime over cellular until 2011 and portrays the rival carrier as an overweight man keeping the iPhone down. T-Mobile's faster 21Mbps HSPA+ "4G" network and reduced congestion let phones like the just-shipping myTouch 4G join two-way video chats without being tied to an airport or another public Wi-Fi hotspot, the carrier's's beautiful female stand-in suggests.
The ad goes so far as to borrow Apple's since discontinued "Get A Mac" theme of two personifications talking to each other against a pure white backdrop.
The Android 2.2-based myTouch is limited to 14.4Mbps and has less elegant video chat options that require traditional apps, such as Fring or Qik, but T-Mobile also hasn't encountered the widespread 3G congestion problems of AT&T in hotspots like New York City or San Francisco. Apple's decision against cellular FaceTime has also likely stemmed from its need to negotiate with many carriers that might be concerned about heavy traffic on their networks.
In creating the ad, T-Mobile is careful not to attack the iPhone itself, suggesting that T-Mobile might not want to directly antagonize Apple in the event that it gets an iPhone deal of its own. AT&T's exclusivity is commonly expected to end in 2011 and would raise the possibility of a T-Mobile US iPhone if Apple is willing to develop a version with the carrier's native, primary 1,700MHz 3G band.