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Steve Jobs and Co. to Apple customers -- "Were you really crazy enough to believe our ads?? Psych!"  (Source: MSNBC)
"There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

It’s hard to deny the appeal of Apple.  The Cupertino darling has the best brand image according to recent studies and its logo even has subliminal effects on viewers, according to one study.  Some have criticized or merely analyzed the so-called "snob-effect" that comes with using Apple. 

However, after years of ads attacking competitors that could easily be said to stretch the truth Apple's penchant for wild claims is finally catching up to it.  Two iPhone commercials were taken off the air in the UK for false advertising, after claiming the iPhone could browse all the web (it can't) and showing it loading webpages faster than it really can.

Inspired by the UK rejections, William Gillis, a San Diego resident and disgruntled former iPhone user, has filed suit against Apple in Californian court over Apple's claims that the iPhone 3G ran "twice as fast for half the price".  He says this is blatant false advertising.

Apple filed a nine-page legal response which contained a rather unusual passage, which basically equates those who believe its ads to fools.

Apple states, "Plaintiff's claims, and those of the purported class, are barred by the fact that the alleged deceptive statements were such that no reasonable person in Plaintiff's position could have reasonably relied on or misunderstood Apple's statements as claims of fact."

Michael Ian Rott, Gillis's attorney points out that a company saying that you would have to be stupid to believe its ads is a rather strange tack.  He says that there have been five lawsuits about the iPhone 3G's  speed, which hope to gain possible class action, but his client's is the strongest, as evidenced by the fact that Apple has not filed to dismiss it, unlike the other suits.

He states, "Ours has the most teeth and the most legs to it.  If there was any way that Apple could get out of it, they would have filed a motion to dismiss here, too. Their M.O. has been, 'File motion to dismiss and let's get out of here,' but they haven't done that with ours."

The iPhone 3G speed problems stem from underlying hardware issues, which according to AT&T result when one of the communications chips on the iPhone, developed by a third party, requests too much bandwidth.  This can quickly lead to service outages in areas with lots of iPhones.  Thanks to the 2.2 firmware update, the problem appears to be at least partially fixed, getting fewer dropped calls.  However, there have been numerous complaints about iPhone reception and speed, indicate that something may still be amuck.

"BarJohnG" writes in the Apple forums, "I keep waiting and hoping for a fix.  So far the reception is still lousy. I can't believe that Apple is not fixing this issue but merely trying to mask it and keep the customer confused by showing more bars than there is signal. When you look at the logs it is shocking the number of crashes and problems with the phone and OS."

When it comes to customers believing Apple's claims about the iPhone and its other products, though, maybe they shouldn't be so quick to believe them, according to Apple.

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This is why we have ....
By HVAC on 12/3/2008 10:18:42 AM , Rating: 5
... truth in advertising laws. So there is no argument about the definition of a "reasonable person" in court.

If you make a claim in an ad, you better have reason to believe it is true at the time of publication or airing.

The issue should revolve around truth in advertising laws, not whether or not the public is gullible.

RE: This is why we have ....
By BBeltrami on 12/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: This is why we have ....
By foolsgambit11 on 12/3/2008 8:22:26 PM , Rating: 5
Which terrorists are you talking about? The Afghani terrorists who we called freedom fighters 20 years ago when they were fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, and now call terrorists when they are fighting the U.S. in Afghanistan?

What about Nelson Mandela? He led a paramilitary movement to sabotage government targets, and arranged their training. He was arrested (with the CIA's help), tried, and convicted for, essentially, trying to overthrow the government. When he was finally released in 1990, his first speech called for the continuation of armed struggle against the government. Terrorist or freedom fighter?

RE: This is why we have ....
By Myg on 12/4/2008 6:14:42 AM , Rating: 5
One man's freedom fighter is another man's terroist?

I forgot where I heard that...

RE: This is why we have ....
By louzamos on 12/4/2008 9:51:01 AM , Rating: 5
Terrorist is what the big army calls the small army - Wolverine (i think)

RE: This is why we have ....
By Targon on 12/4/2008 10:17:09 AM , Rating: 5
That may be true, but a true terrorist is one that intentionally targets civilians. Government and military targets are generally considered to be acceptable to those outside of a fight, and civilians that are killed as a result of attacks on government/military targets would then be considered an unfortunate side effect of the fighting.

This leads to the view that insurgents may not be viewed as terrorists automatically, but when these insurgents start to go after civilians, that is when the line is crossed.

Now, don't get me wrong, I hate to see US and allied forces, or government buildings get attacked, and further hate any deaths as a result. I do understand the idea that in places like Iraq, there will be a number of people who feel that the USA is an invading force, so people fighting that invading force should be seen in that light. Things like suicide bombings and such just cross the line since they tend to target civilian targets. This is why I feel the USA should get out of Iraq, but stay in the area to attack the true terrorists.

RE: This is why we have ....
By BikeDude on 12/8/2008 4:08:12 PM , Rating: 4
A few years ago, a Palestinian tricked a group of Israeli soldiers into a house that had been rigged with explosives. Many media outlets called him a 'terrorist' afterwards.

But... One question that springs to my mind: Back in 1940, my country was occupied by the Germans. Their forces cut through our defense like knife through butter.

If one of my countrymen, back then, had walked into a big building in the middle of Berlin and blown up a few Germans, then I think we would have labelled him a 'hero' in our history books.

Sixty years ago, killing civilians was considered OK. Obviously. They would not have firebombed Hamburg and Dresden if the voters in England and USA had felt otherwise.

It is still considered OK to kill civilians. Georgia used heavy artillery against a city in South Ossetia, and McCain claimed Obama didn't grasp the conflict since Obama had told Georgia they overreacted (pretty much a 100% accurate statement by USA's future President). But nobody else seemed to realise this. Civilians were being killed by Georgians, and when Russians intervened we (EU+USA) started cheering for the terrorist forces that started killing civilians in the first place... Hmm... We are so desperately trying to pick a fight with Russia, that we are prepared to back up the neighbourhood snotty bully who is still weraing diapers. Putin&Co gave him a slap over the wrist, and everything is back to normal again. (I was in Tbilisi a month ago, and I couldn't tell the russians had been close by)

I think we should get better at choosing our leaders. They poke about in all the hornet's nests they can find, and then act surprised when the hornets strike back.

RE: This is why we have ....
By timmiser on 12/10/2008 2:29:55 PM , Rating: 2
That may be true, but a true terrorist is one that intentionally targets civilians. Government and military targets are generally considered to be acceptable to those outside of a fight, and civilians that are killed as a result of attacks on government/military targets would then be considered an unfortunate side effect of the fighting.

So with that definition, any country that drops a nuclear bomb on a city would be viewed as terrorists?

War is hell no matter how you try to spin it.

RE: This is why we have ....
By Avitar on 12/4/2008 1:39:57 PM , Rating: 2
Mao of Pol Pot

RE: This is why we have ....
By mal1 on 12/5/2008 9:51:07 AM , Rating: 2
Well said sir, you deserve a 6. It's also worth noting that Mandela won a Nobel Peace Prize despite being considered a terrorist by many.

RE: This is why we have ....
By luseferous on 12/4/2008 11:03:43 AM , Rating: 5
Yeah and those American terrorists that were led by the informous terrorist leader George Washington.

Or the South African terrorists led by Nelson Mandella

What about all those terrorists that formed resistance groups against Nazi Germany during 1940's

Time to start using your brain instead of Fox news.

RE: This is why we have ....
By luseferous on 12/4/2008 11:05:47 AM , Rating: 1
Not that I'm tryng to equate Al Quaeda with any of the above groups.

(damn the lack of edit button)

RE: This is why we have ....
By Smilin on 12/4/2008 1:15:09 PM , Rating: 2
Time to start using your brain instead of Fox news.


RE: This is why we have ....
By Hexxx on 12/4/2008 8:35:13 PM , Rating: 5
Umm, as a South African I believe Mandela to be a great man. Mainly for what he did after he got out of jail by uniting the country, something he truly did get right, which was no mean feat to accomplish without civil war breaking out.

But the ANC targeted non-military targets as well as military. They blew up people in restaurants and as a result we all lived in fear while they condoned violent hate crimes against whites. That I can't rationalize. I'm sure you couldn't rationalize the direct targeting of civilian population. "One Settler, one bullet" was a common slogan. Many whites were adversed to the policy of Apartheid. In fact it was something like 75% in the referendum preceding Mandela's release. And crime has only gotten worse since then.

The "ex freedom fighters" currently elected to government are involved daily in scams (including our next president's - Jacob Zuma's - rape trial, AIDS scandal and racketeering/corruption charges which he keeps tied down in red tape, even though his co-conspirator and financial advisor is now in jail). There is also massive intimidation of supporters of the opposition parties (called cockroaches by the leader of the ANC youth league - "and cockroaches are meant to be killed"). Jacob Zuma's theme song is "bring me my machine gun". A nice song for the president of the ANC, right?

Our country is falling to pieces. Terrorists run the country and the people living in close proximity to the militant supporters are literally "terrified". The Xenophobia crisis ring a bell? There is an official policy of no large contracts awarded to white owned business - called BEE. Does that sound like freedom to you? I'd remove "the South African Terrorists led by" from the list and keep Nelson Mandela on there with those other people who truly were freedom fighters. After he gained power, he was a great leader (our best) and will always be a great man.

RE: This is why we have ....
By Headfoot on 12/6/2008 3:20:20 PM , Rating: 3
Fighting an army or oppressive government is one thing, murdering innocent civilians is another.

Terrorists kill innocent people, women, children, anyone. Rebels or insurgents attack the opposing military.

Don't try to tell me they are the same thing.

RE: This is why we have ....
By helios220 on 12/3/2008 11:15:42 AM , Rating: 2
'Truth' these days is subjective, truth in advertising even more so. Sure, if you are making claims about a medical product you should be held to a high degree of accountability... but other than that I'm often amused at how upset people get over Apple advertisments and their blatantly untruthful claims...

Have these people turned on their TV, opened a magazine, or even opened their eyes in general recently? If there was any grain of truth in advertising I'd be elbow deep in vagina thanks to that Axe I put on this morning, I could freeze those who dare cross me with a huff of my minty fresh breath and there would always be a soft and cuddly puppy available every time I needed to wipe my... never mind.

The truth is that there is almost no truth in advertising; I have about as much faith in most of Apple's claims as I do in increasing my girth by 4 inches thanks to this new cream. I am aware however that the problem is that many people do believe Apple's claims as truth, I don't deny this and I don't disagree... but at the same time the irony does not escape me when people rise so valiantly to defeat the false idol Apple while never raising so much as a peep about the constant flood of other misleading and outright false BS that we are subjected with on a daily basis.

RE: This is why we have ....
By Digimonkey on 12/3/2008 11:46:15 AM , Rating: 5
You're missing the point. Those products show over the top footage, not to fool you but to be amusing. They don't claim their product will cause these effects. Apple explicitly stated in their slogan that the new Iphone was twice as fast as their old one.

It's like ordering a 1/2 lb burger at a fast food place and getting a 1/4 lb burger instead. Then when you complain they just say they were exaggerating the size on the menu.

RE: This is why we have ....
By bmheiar on 12/3/2008 12:25:36 PM , Rating: 2
Or get told that is the weight of the burger (meat) prior to cooking.

RE: This is why we have ....
By Targon on 12/4/2008 10:20:44 AM , Rating: 2
They do say that the weight is prior to cooking. Note the *.

RE: This is why we have ....
By Dreifort on 12/4/2008 12:26:34 PM , Rating: 2
And they also note that developing heart disease resulting from eating such burger is not thier fault.

RE: This is why we have ....
By Hexxx on 12/4/2008 8:40:43 PM , Rating: 2
It's not really their fault. It's the fault of the person gorging on them everyday. Unless they market them as 1% low fat health burgers or something.

RE: This is why we have ....
By Headfoot on 12/6/2008 3:21:16 PM , Rating: 2
Because it isn't...

RE: This is why we have ....
By Solandri on 12/3/2008 3:18:48 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, sounds like they're going for the Joe Isuzu defense. Problem is in those Isuzu commercials it was obvious the ad was over the top - the humor relied on it. Apple's ads give no such signals. Any reasonable person would assume it's legit. Best case they'd think it's staged, but the speed comparison neuters that. If its twice as fast under ideal conditions for both products, people will assume it's around twice as fast under normal conditions.

RE: This is why we have ....
By kkwst2 on 12/4/08, Rating: -1
RE: This is why we have ....
By anotherdude on 12/3/2008 11:48:07 AM , Rating: 2
This argument fails, ultimately. First because products like 'AXE' are already in a category where ridiculous puffery is EXPECTED and secondly because Apple trades on its hipster/cool image and at some point the market it is pulling from will wake up and say WTF with this BS. So acting like everybody else won't cut it for Apple, not if it wishes to keep the kind of goodwill that has rightly or wrongly put them in a very lofty brand position.

RE: This is why we have ....
By omnicronx on 12/3/2008 12:13:04 PM , Rating: 5
AXE also has disclaimers at the bottom of every add.
Apple has no such disclaimer saying speeds may vary, it just says 'speeds are twice as fast'.

RE: This is why we have ....
By FITCamaro on 12/3/2008 3:06:47 PM , Rating: 5
Maybe we should rub iPods all over our bodies so women will randomly attack us sexually then.

RE: This is why we have ....
By GoodRevrnd on 12/3/2008 6:42:10 PM , Rating: 5
I suspect many purchasers are already operating on that theory.

RE: This is why we have ....
By Avitar on 12/4/2008 1:46:53 PM , Rating: 2
Somebody from Apple would have to have been attacked by women somewhere, sometime first.

RE: This is why we have ....
By Reclaimer77 on 12/3/2008 12:24:28 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not defending Apple.. buuuutt

Can you really drop 50 tons of boulders into the back of a truck from 30 feet high and it be fine ? Can you really take a full size truck and do all of the insane things the car industry has claimed for decades on end ?

RE: This is why we have ....
By FITCamaro on 12/3/2008 1:18:55 PM , Rating: 3
I think of all the truck commercials I've seen Toyota's have been the most over the top.

RE: This is why we have ....
By sprockkets on 12/3/2008 4:20:42 PM , Rating: 2
I guess you haven't seen Dodge's new Ram commercials.

RE: This is why we have ....
By deeznuts on 12/3/2008 2:48:34 PM , Rating: 3
Those have disclaimers though. Did apples ad have one?

RE: This is why we have ....
By Reclaimer77 on 12/3/2008 5:24:41 PM , Rating: 2
Those have disclaimers though. Did apples ad have one?

Splitting hairs much ?

I hate Apple as much as the next guy, but come on.

And those commercials usually say " performed by test driver on closed track to not attempt bla bla bla ". They don't actually SAY " This truck physically CAN'T jump across the Grand Canyon with 400 sandbags in the bed ". or whatever stunt they are pulling.

I honestly don't see a difference. I would love seeing Apple get nailed, but unless I see similar standards applied to ALL advertising it just feels cheap.

RE: This is why we have ....
By Headfoot on 12/6/2008 3:22:51 PM , Rating: 2
Splitting hairs is also known as "Law"

The distinction makes the case and saying otherwise is incorrect....

RE: This is why we have ....
By weskurtz0081 on 12/3/2008 2:56:42 PM , Rating: 2
Do people buy trucks thinking that they will be able to do those things? Do there ever even try to do those things? Of course not..... it's called puffery.

Do people buy the iphone 3G expecting it to be twice as fast as the old iphone? Sure, the old iphone is SOOOO slow that it wouldn't be hard to be twice as fast now would it.

RE: This is why we have ....
By Smilin on 12/3/2008 3:20:15 PM , Rating: 2
Who said it was fine? Did you ever see one actually drive off?

Remember the old dodge ram commercials where they dropped a truck from the ceiling to land just behind the spokesperson? After the commercial was shot they dismantled those immediately without trying to drive them away. That way they would have plausible deniability. As far as dodge knows the trucks were fine.

Apple? Not so much. They have benchmarks on both iPods so they know which one is faster. Also there is nothing other than download speed they could be talking about. The processors are almost identical in speed.

RE: This is why we have ....
By someguy123 on 12/4/2008 2:18:06 AM , Rating: 2
actually yes, they can. obviously there will be damage to your car but those claims are true. the difference is the false claims like the 50 tons of boulder commercials or driving through four seasons are INSANELY exaggerated and have disclaimers. even axe has disclaimers even though there really is no need because their commercials are otherworldly.

apple on the other hand makes direct claims, such as no viruses, better film/video/image software, and in this case faster speed without any sign of dramatization. sure, MAC VS PC ads are meant to be funny, but the "mac guy" always speaks directly about superiority as though they are fact and the only jokes are PC's failures in the social world. the iphone ads can't even claim this at all, because all it is is a hand using the iphone.

RE: This is why we have ....
By kelmon on 12/4/2008 11:25:37 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry but I have to bring this back to something much more products. I have absolutely no idea what adverts are like for cleaning products in the US but here in Belgium they are constantly shown to magically remove stains from clothing and grime from the bathroom with no effort whatsoever. And, of course, it's all utter BS. But the thing is, this is what these products are supposed to do.

However, I absolutely agree with the point - advertising is full of exaggeration. I'd very much like to see entirely truthful advertising, although I suspect that would make adverts much duller in the future.

By Rodney McNaggerton on 12/3/2008 5:21:15 PM , Rating: 1
This is how I see the Apple case going down. Apple argues for hours that it is impossible for anyone to take it's ads seriously, and proves it to the jury. The jury cannot deny Apple's amazing marketing of the irony. The jury finds Apple not guilty. It's the Wookie defense all over again.

RE: This is why we have ....
By mondo1234 on 12/3/2008 5:40:22 PM , Rating: 5
I am still looking for that McDonalds hamburger that looks like the one on the Billboard - with the meat hanging outside the bun ;)

RE: This is why we have ....
By kelmon on 12/4/2008 11:27:34 AM , Rating: 3
I still remember the first (and, coincidentally, last) time that I bought a Big Mac. It looked great in the adverts, it looked great on the display and what came out of the box looked absolutely nothing like it. In the end I was convinced that I'd have been better off simply eating the packaging.

RE: This is why we have ....
By Dreifort on 12/4/2008 12:29:37 PM , Rating: 2
or what about Subway? where they have the same sub sitting under a plastic guard showing you how delicious their subs are? for example, the bright shiny pink glow of their ham, the neon red of their fresh tomatoes and who could forget the paper shredded perfection of their bright green lettuce.

and their subs must last for ages, as the same sub has been under that plastic cover for over a year now and everything still looks fresh!

RE: This is why we have ....
By Hexxx on 12/4/2008 8:49:18 PM , Rating: 2
They apparently even used to paint food to look better before taking shots, prior to digital alteration methods.

WHY is Apple 'puffing' so heavily?
By anotherdude on 12/3/2008 11:16:19 AM , Rating: 3
Puffing or false advertising? I think Apple is walking a fine line in most all of their adds lately - MAC vs. PC is clearly misleading, the 'greenest' campaign seems horribly smug and probably just a lie, and with this iPhone thing they are pushing the line between puff and false too - but what amazes me is that a company that relies on it's hipster/cool image is pushing that line at all! Isn't there a backlash at some point where all those youthful Apple devotees start to say WTF with this BS? I think long term Apple is risking their goodwill with the very market they are pulling from. It really doesn't work to say oh well, Apple is just doing what everybody else is doing because the very heart of the Apple appeal (real or imagined) is that they are NOT doing what everybody else is doing - that they are above that. When the backlash on this type of thing comes it usually gels rather suddenly and the effect can be very long lasting. I think such a backlash might be in the incipient stage right now.

RE: WHY is Apple 'puffing' so heavily?
By ZachDontScare on 12/3/2008 2:41:19 PM , Rating: 5
but what amazes me is that a company that relies on it's hipster/cool image is pushing that line at all! Isn't there a backlash at some point where all those youthful Apple devotees start to say WTF with this BS?

You would think there would be. But the human ego is a fascinating thing. It would require people who have invested their ego heavily into the Apple cult as a means propping up their self-perceived superiority (over silly Windows users) to admit they were wrong and that Apple really isnt any better than any other company. In a lot of ways, Apple is a lot worse (like these ads). It's easier on the ego to just ignore Apple's faults and go on being an Apple drone. Think of it more as devotion to a favorite sports team, regardless of how many problems the team has.

I've long said Apple is more a 'fashion' statement than anything else. Sure, there are people who have technical reasons for choosing macs, but given that most people I see with Macs nowadays (students) do the same things with their computers that Windows people do (browse, email, photos), the choice of a more expensive Mac over a Windows machine comes down to its hipster image more than anything else. So to a Mac user, admitting that Apple is engaging in questionable activity is equivalent to admitting they aren't actually hip or cool.

By anotherdude on 12/3/2008 4:09:11 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, devoted Mac users are probably quite willing to rationalize away most of this, to a degree anyway, but what of those yet to switch and what happens when the BS piles up enough that the press/blogosphere and other trend setters and image makers finally drop Apple as their darling and turn on it instead? Why is Apple even risking this when the lapdog tech press seems all too willing to do their work for them?

By maverick85wd on 12/3/2008 6:01:00 PM , Rating: 2
Think of it more as devotion to a favorite sports team, regardless of how many problems the team has.

Well, a sports team is providing an entertainment service, while Apple is providing a physical product. The team probably doesn't advertise "we will win every game".

More like extremist devotion to your favorite religion ;-)

By kelmon on 12/4/2008 11:30:31 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't there a backlash at some point where all those youthful Apple devotees start to say WTF with this BS?

What about the old ones? Sorry, we're not all youthful - those days have gone and suddenly "Just For Men" is looking less ridiculous than it once was...

Same old strategy..
By Xonoahbin on 12/3/2008 10:23:22 AM , Rating: 5
Almost every company, ever, has relied on stupid people to be its customer base. Apple is admitting that with their statement--only stupid people, the people who we are targeting, would believe these ads. That being said, it's pretty insulting to its user base because they are the ones that were brought in by the advertisements and the hearsay. Ads are generally meant to be believed unless they are satire, so obviously Apple has been targeting uninformed people. That being said, should it be illegal to mislead people who don't have the intellectual capacity to distinguish propaganda from truth? Probably. It seems that Apple has shot itself in the foot with that statement, somehow.

I do believe we have witnessed an iFail.

RE: Same old strategy..
By maverick85wd on 12/3/2008 6:02:21 PM , Rating: 3
I do believe we have witnessed an iFail.

well played, sir.

RE: Same old strategy..
By Shmak on 12/3/2008 10:46:48 PM , Rating: 2
Actually you have discovered the reality behind the ads. The point, though, is that Apple is not aiming these ads at their own camp, they are aiming them at Joe Sixpack in the midwest or some-such. I would venture a guess that most Apple devotees hardly ever see the broadcast ads, just the slick designs and billboards. I live in NYC and you can't spit without hitting someone with an iPhone, but I haven't caught one of these ads on TV yet.

The point is, Apple fanboys are already in the bag, this marketing pressure is being placed elsewhere.

Anyway, bravo. I hope this little escapade takes that shiny fruit image down a notch or two.

One more thing...
By mpjesse on 12/3/2008 10:28:55 AM , Rating: 1
Obviously there are going to be areas in major metro cities where 3G is going to be only slightly faster than EDGE due to peak usage issues. From my own experience I always get at least 1mbit in Albuquerque. But on my travels I've seen 3G speeds as low as EDGE in places like Orlando and Dallas. This, however, is not the fault of Apple. Apple's 3G chip is rated at 3.6mbits (if I recall correctly). Any 3G speed problems are solely that of the network they run on (in the U.S.'s case, AT&T). Furthermore, AT&T's agreements clearly state that 3G speeds are not always available at all times and places. So if anyone wants to blame iPhone 3G speed problems on Apple, they should be looking at AT&T.

RE: One more thing...
By Digimonkey on 12/3/2008 10:54:22 AM , Rating: 2
You mean apple didn't understand they were going to have to rely on AT&T's 3G network before they made their claim of 2x faster? Also remember a firmware update to the phone mostly fixed the dropped calls issue, so it's possible the hardware is still buggy.

RE: One more thing...
By omnicronx on 12/3/2008 12:26:13 PM , Rating: 2
DT outlined the issue a month or so ago, the problem lies squarely with the 3g chip Apple chose to implement. This is a worldwide problem, not just AT&T, so your entire argument goes out the window. Blaming the network for a phone not following the worldwide spec does not make any sense. Apple chose to use an chip which was not thoroughly tested, this is nobodies fault but their own.
Furthermore, AT&T's agreements clearly state that 3G speeds are not always available at all times and places.
Which only applies to the service supplied by AT&T and does not apply to problems with the handset itself. As previously stated the problems lies with the the iPhones 3G chip and not the network, your argument makes no sense.

RE: One more thing...
By just4U on 12/4/2008 5:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
How fast is the Iphone anyway? I've always been under the impression it was like dial-up on the internet. Am I wrong?

Apple Customers: A Definition
By monitorjbl on 12/3/2008 12:07:42 PM , Rating: 5

Did we not already know this?

Some advertising rules of thumb
By kyleb2112 on 12/3/2008 3:11:01 PM , Rating: 3
There really are some sensible laws about product claims. For example, if you're selling milk you can dye it white to look better on camera (which is common), but you can't dye it white and say "buy it BECAUSE it's whiter". Apple fails that test because speed is definitely what they're selling.

You can also get away with making humorously exaggerated claims if they're obviously impossible (Joe Isuzu ads/Axe body spray). But Apple's 2x speed claim comes nowhere close to falling into this category.

Avoid the temptation to blow this off saying all commercials are lies. If we let this stuff slide with a such a high profile company it'll only get worse.

RE: Some advertising rules of thumb
By kelmon on 12/4/2008 11:45:09 AM , Rating: 2
Blimey, when you think about the claims that the chemical companies have been making for years about how white your shirt will be once you wash it in RazzleDazzle (patent pending) and the amount of money they make, Apple really is small fry.

Yes, it's a ludicrous statement to make and I don't think that it should be allowed. But getting in a huffy because it's Apple is really rather sad.

Huffin' and Puffin'...
By Landiepete on 12/3/2008 12:22:58 PM , Rating: 3
I don't know about the US, but over here 'puffing' is indeed allowed if the statement is blatently overstated.

Freely translated,if Mercedes advertises 'get a new car for peanuts' showing up with a bag of peanuts at the dealership will not see you driving off in the latesta SL.

If a courrier advertises it's service as 'lightning fast', you cannot sue them for not actually reaching relativistic speeds on the A6.

Classifying comms simply as 'twice as fast' or 'half the price' will be classified as 'false statement of fact' and NOT puffing, since doubling comms speed is entirely withing the realm of technical possibilities.

Peter R.

My guess is...
By jeff834 on 12/3/2008 9:37:43 PM , Rating: 3
Apple has nicknamed the general public "diots" so they can then affectionately refer to their customers as iDiots.

Simpsons Mapple
By Paulywogstew on 12/3/2008 12:50:24 PM , Rating: 2
By kilkennycat on 12/3/2008 2:05:01 PM , Rating: 2

UN-"Truth in Advertising"

Apple lied to me?
By croc on 12/3/2008 5:40:12 PM , Rating: 2
"Say it isn't so, Joe... Steve Jobs is an honourable man. He'd NEVER lie to me, one of his most trusting and loyal supporters..."

Stick It To 'em
By mindless1 on 12/3/2008 8:59:11 PM , Rating: 2
It's hard to believe they actually put up this defense, maybe some drug tests are in order.

Apple is a jackass
By Darkk on 12/4/2008 12:42:39 AM , Rating: 2
Amazing Apple is jackass for saying "If you believe our ads then you're stupid".

They might as well market a new product called, "iStupid"

Define this....
By crystal clear on 12/4/2008 6:30:37 AM , Rating: 2
Apple in Court Case: No Reasonable Person Would Believe Our Ads

....then which off these words best describe those ads-

addle..... mix up or confuse
footless..... lacking substance
affectation..... exaggerated display; pretense
Lucullan..... profusely extravagant
volte-face ..... an about-face
otiose..... ineffective; also, being at leisure; also, of no use.
misprize..... to despise; also, to undervalue
execrable..... detestable; extremely bad.
hubris..... overbearing pride or presumption.
panache..... dash or flamboyance in manner or style

As for this comment-

verbiage: an overabundance of words.

"twice as fast for half the price"
By ts1973 on 12/4/2008 11:07:34 AM , Rating: 2
"...filed suit against Apple in Californian court over Apple's claims that the iPhone 3G ran "twice as fast for half the price". He says this is blatant false advertising."

Well, I don't know about the chances of speed-based claim in court, but I do know that the"twice as fast for half the price" is and always will be a blatant lie. Imho a claim relating to the advertised price would be more justified.

It should be known to everyone that the iphone 3G is actually more expensive (when adding all costs, not only initial buying cost) than its predecessor.

Regulation on electronics?
By Dreifort on 12/4/2008 12:39:39 PM , Rating: 2
what's next for electronic devices?

putting labels on the back of them showing thier daily output production numbers?

So an Apple sticker would look like this:

Serving Size: the WHOLE world.
Suggested Daily Serving: eat it all, as much as you can handle

Calories per serving: -3,000 (we burn 'em off by adding stress)
Download Bandwidth: 2x as fast as previous unmentioned bandwidth
Upload Bandwidth: [see authorized service provider for details]
Addictive Applications: 8 (infinity) * new apps added daily
Upgrade Options: wait for new version

Finger Use: 100%
Dropped Calls: 40%
Memory Used: 10%
Full Songs Listended To: 33%
Purchase made from App Store: 4%

By kayronjm on 12/5/2008 6:19:59 PM , Rating: 2
At the grave risk of sounding big-headed, I feel I'm too intelligent to fall for Apple's marketing gimmicks. Screw 'em to hell.

By DOPE on 12/9/2008 10:44:34 PM , Rating: 2
is a prerequisite here I see...this discussion of terrorism is hilarious...what are you people smoking? Yeah Fox News sucks! All news should be liberal! No diversity! Hate only America! Yeah! Go fascism! Go Communism! What a bunch of maroons...

Which is worse
By djc208 on 12/10/2008 2:58:38 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure which is the worse issue here:
-That apple tried to use this defence on such a popular and well known product at the expense of alienating it's customers?

-Or that they might be right and all the iPhone sales go to prove how many "unreasonable" people are living in the US?

By SpaceJumper on 12/11/2008 8:56:02 PM , Rating: 2
The title said it loud and clear. The people who believe Apple's ads are unreasonable people or stupid people.

By TomZ on 12/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: Puffing
By Trisagion on 12/3/2008 10:27:36 AM , Rating: 5
They forgot to put this at the bottom of the ad:
'Warning: Screen images are simulated.'

RE: Puffing
By HVAC on 12/3/2008 10:42:39 AM , Rating: 5
Puffing refers to the use of hyperbole instead of data.

You still cannot knowingly make a false claim. This is why in advertising one sees asterisks with references to studies or test results or additional explanations.

Yes, you can say your product is "the fastest" and that would be puffing. But, state that your product is "the fastest at 3G web browsing" and you better have reason to believe it beyond mere corporate pride and a desire to make money.

RE: Puffing
By anotherdude on 12/3/2008 11:41:26 AM , Rating: 2
and 'up to' 2x as fast or '2x as fast or faster in some usage scenarios'

RE: Puffing
By MonkeyPaw on 12/3/2008 10:47:38 AM , Rating: 5
True, that in the case of iPhone speeds, this is probably "puffing." Of all the Apple commercials, I find the iPhone ones to actually be the best, since they actually show the product doing something useful. Of course the footage is accelerated--commercial time costs money. Apple could have just said "faster than the original" and "internet capable," but they of course did the Apple thing and iExaggerated.

My main issue is with Apple's Mac vs. PC ads, where Apple clearly stretches the truth or outright lies. From things like "Macs don't get Viruses" to "MS spends all its money on Ads," Apple has notoriously lied over the years about performance, stability, and even who wastes more money on TV commercials (ever notice how much more Apple advertises?), much to the appetite of its userbase. Even review sites talk up Apple's claims as facts. As a former Mac user, I can tell you that the claims were more than puffed, they were lies. My PowerMac was the most frustrating piece of hardware that I ever owned.

RE: Puffing
By spread on 12/3/2008 12:02:44 PM , Rating: 3
Most commercials are lies.

If you buy a Mac only because of the Mac vs PC commercials, you deserve the purchase.

RE: Puffing
By FITCamaro on 12/3/2008 1:21:26 PM , Rating: 2
Of course the footage is accelerated--commercial time costs money

They don't tell you that though. If you're advertising the phone to be fast and show someone supposedly manipulating the UI with it supposedly being extremely snappy, it better be somewhat close to that in real life. Otherwise you need the disclaimer saying "accelerated image" or "simulated image".

RE: Puffing
By Digimonkey on 12/3/2008 10:51:24 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure if what Apple stated falls under that category. It said 2x as fast right? They are explicitly saying their new product is capable of something, which in this case is doubling the speed of the old Iphone.

RE: Puffing
By TomZ on 12/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: Puffing
By Fronzbot on 12/3/2008 12:10:51 PM , Rating: 2
But it wasn't a fact! It was someone trying to downplay false advertising by labeling it "puffing" (which it clearly isn't).

I think that's called "ignorance".

RE: Puffing
By Targon on 12/4/2008 10:31:27 AM , Rating: 2
"exaggerated commendations" being the key here. You propose that the lawsuit in this case will fail due to puffing, but a direct statement saying "twice as fast" rather than "up to twice the speed" is the real key here. Also, if there are no real world cases where the new iPhone can be twice as fast, or even close to it, that would be considered false advertising.

Unless you had a good reason to feel that Apple was not caught in a complete lie, not just an exaggeration, there would be no reason to even bring up puffing in relation to this issue.

Now, some valid comparisons...

Up to five times the speed of phone company DSL services is one that Cablevision uses compared to Verizon DSL. When DSL has a theoretical maximum of 3Mbps and the theoretical maximum from Cablevision is 15Mbps, that is a fair comparison. It doesn't claim higher speeds compared to FiOS since the comparison is cable to DSL services.

You can say that the product is also "much faster" than the old one, which means that anything over 10 percent faster in several tests would fit this statement.

Not false advertising
By mpjesse on 12/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: Not false advertising
By DASQ on 12/3/2008 10:52:25 AM , Rating: 5
Yes, yes it is false.

You can't compare EDGE to 3G when the older iPhone already had EDGE.

I guess you're the kind of person who falls for these ads (Hey, at least Apple gave you a shout out in court! Go you!)

RE: Not false advertising
By FITCamaro on 12/3/2008 12:15:07 PM , Rating: 3
Their very argument that you have to be an unreasonable person to believe their ads claims to be true is proof that its false advertising. They're admitting that their claims are false but you were stupid enough to believe them.

RE: Not false advertising
By DASQ on 12/3/2008 1:58:51 PM , Rating: 2
They're not so much admitting their claims are false, they're just saying they are embellishing so heavily that intelligent people should realize it is a joke.

But what they ARE saying is that everyone who has ever quoted a Mac ad as a reason to buy a Mac, is an idiot.

By amanojaku on 12/3/08, Rating: -1
By nycromes on 12/3/2008 11:58:14 AM , Rating: 2
I agree that we don't want every ad to need a warning label on it, but I think we do need to hold companies to what they tell us their products are capable of. As to what companies tell us... they tell us the features they have that are much better than the competition. If they are only 0.01% faster, that fact doesn't get in the ad.

In this case, I believe that Apple misrepresented it's product to consumers. They wanted consumers to believe that their product was faster and more capable than it really was. People are going to start scrutinizing Apple more and more as their market share grows and things like how they advertise are going to have to evolve with that scrutinizing.

By omnicronx on 12/3/2008 12:17:47 PM , Rating: 2
These laws date back 100 years to protect the consumer, whining about does not make it right, regardless if taking the word of the manufacturer is always a risk. Having tiny disclaimers at the bottom is a common practice, and Apple knowingly(they are the kings of marketing after all, so I am not going to believe they did not know) decided not to add one, even though they knew their adds were misleading.

They either have to post real figures, or they have a disclaimer, its not that hard to comprehend, Apple just thought they could pull a fast one.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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