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Ads watchdog bows to iPhone's might

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The UK's ad standards quango has rejected Google phone fans' claims that Apple ads had overstated just how messianically wonderful the iPhone is.

The Advertising Standards Authority said it had received ten complaints about a TV ad which demo'd a range of applications for the iPhone and included a voiceover which said:

If you need to find a cab in a strange city, there's an app for that. Or figure out your share of the bill for a table of five, there's an app for that. Or fix a wobbly bookshelf, there's even an app for that. Yep, there's an app for just about anything. Only on the iPhone.

On-screen text stated "Network speeds may vary. Apps sold on apps store ... Only on O2."

The complainers suggested the ad was misleading, "because although the voiceover stated 'Only on the iPhone', the G1 phone had a similar application market place from which a range of applications could be downloaded".

According to the ASA, "Apple UK Ltd (Apple) said the claim 'Only on the iPhone' followed directly from the phrase 'there's an app for just about everything'".

The organisation was told by Apple that its app store carried over 50,000 apps. By contrast, the Android market place stocked around 2,100, which were only available in nine countries.

Apple had not declared it was the only firm to market mobile apps, the ASA ruled, and there were "far more" available for the iPhone than for the G1. Consequently, the ASA concluded Apple's claim was "justified and not misleading". ®

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