Print 96 comment(s) - last by PrezWeezy.. on Nov 20 at 7:42 PM

Verizon this week defended its commercials in court, calling AT&T's lawsuit against them ridiculous. It says that for AT&T "the truth hurts."  (Source:

The commercials seem to be working -- in recent months Verizon's image has soared, while AT&T's has sank, according to YouGov, which tracks brand reputation.  (Source: Apple Insider)
The nation's largest wireless provider fires back in court

AT&T and Verizon, the nation's second largest and largest telecoms, respectively, are at open war.  With Verizon's new Droid phone looking to challenge the iPhone as the reigning media smartphone, the pair wage battle in the court room over Verizon's commercials which depict AT&T's poor 3G coverage.

It has been reported that in some areas, such as New York City, that AT&T's call drop rates are as high as 30 percent -- or that it merely has no 3G service at all.  However, AT&T does have broad coverage under its older EDGE network, and it claims that Verizon's ads are deceptive.  AT&T's argument basically boils down to a claim that the average viewer is fooled to believe that the Verizon commercial's maps represent total coverage and not 3G coverage -- despite several textual and audio clues.  Thus it claims the commercials are misleading and damaging.

Initially AT&T only sued over Verizon's "There's a map for that" series, which introduced Verizon's rich red map and AT&T's lacking blue map to viewers, all while poking fun at Apple's iPhone slogan ("There's an app for that").  AT&T recently expanded the suit to include Verizon's new Christmas themed ads "The Island of Misfit Toys".

Verizon has flatly refused to stop airing the commercials, and to AT&T's dismay, the dispute seems unlikely to be resolved until well into the holiday season.  AT&T had hoped to quickly get Verizon's ads pulled from TV.

In court this week Verizon filed new documents, according to Engadget, which blast its competitor, saying that the lawsuit is a weak attempt from a player that just can't compete.  States Verizon's filing, "AT&T did not file this lawsuit because Verizon's "There's A Map For That" advertisements are untrue; AT&T sued because Verizon's ads are true and the truth hurts."

Continues the filing, "In the final analysis, AT&T seeks emergency relief because Verizon's side-by-side, apples-to-apples comparison of its own 3G coverage with AT&T's confirms what the marketplace has been saying for months: AT&T failed to invest adequately in the necessary infrastructure to expand its 3G coverage to support its growth in smartphone business and the usefulness of its service to smartphone users has suffered accordingly. AT&T may not like the message that the ads send, but this Court should reject its efforts to silence the messenger."

As it sees its hopes of a favorable court ruling in jeopardy, AT&T has tried to set the record straight among its own customers, writing them a letter asking them to ignore what it perceives as lies in Verizon's ads.  It writes that the Verizon commercials are "so blatantly false and misleading, that we want to set the record straight about AT&T's wireless data coverage".  In the letter, the company highlights what it sees as abundant mixed coverage on its older EDGE and new 3G networks.

Regardless of whether AT&T's dreams of silencing Verizon's commercials come true, evidence indicates that the damage has already been done.  In recent weeks Verizon's brand image has soared while AT&T's has sank, according to recent surveys market researchers at BrandIndex.  The surveys looked at whether customers would recommend the respective telecoms to their friends.  AT&T scored less than a -2 in the most recent study -- indicating not many customers would recommend getting an AT&T phone.

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Payback is funny!
By Luticus on 11/17/2009 8:27:58 AM , Rating: 5
I'm laughing pretty hard right now because this reminds me so much of apples anti-windows "get a Mac" commercials! Didn’t expect payback to come from Verizon though... karma is fun!

In reality though it's not "really" apple that's taking the hit from this though I guess it is hurting them indirectly.

Oh well it's all in good fun, I think the commercials are funny, and at least there is some mild truth to them, even though I feel they are a bit of an exaggeration. No one can deny Verizon’s massive coverage compared to everyone else though.

As for the iPhone, better phones have been available for a while now. ones that aren't tied to a stupid restrictive "app" store!

RE: Payback is funny!
By AyashiKaibutsu on 11/17/2009 9:16:12 AM , Rating: 5
Only thing is Verizons adds are actually grounded in fact while apples adds were at best based on opinions and at worst complete lies/distortions.

RE: Payback is funny!
By Tamale on 11/17/09, Rating: -1
RE: Payback is funny!
By Yeah on 11/17/2009 12:39:53 PM , Rating: 5
I do not think it is misleading at all. Throughout the commercial Verizon speaks of the 3G Network. And at the end saying they are the Largest 3G Network. How can it be misleading when they are simply stating the truth?

I think Verizon has no reason to pull any ad at all.

RE: Payback is funny!
By DFranch on 11/17/2009 12:54:44 PM , Rating: 2
The reason Macs don't get viruses is because it is a waste of time to create a virus for a mac. It will not spread well and can only effect a max of 8-10% of the computers in the world. But Apple makes it sound like it is because their OS is better.

RE: Payback is funny!
By weskurtz0081 on 11/17/2009 1:25:39 PM , Rating: 2
I don't understand how they are misleading at all. 3G is a big part of what will go into choosing my next phone and provider.

RE: Payback is funny!
By Bateluer on 11/17/2009 4:26:55 PM , Rating: 2
In case you missed it, Verizon clearly states that the maps are for 3G coverage only. There's nothing misleading about them. If the consumers don't bother to read, listen, or research properly, that is neither the fault of AT&T or Verizon. This isn't a nanny state where hand is held from cradle to crave, no matter how much some political leaders want it to be.

RE: Payback is funny!
By ThePooBurner on 11/17/2009 3:47:25 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I believe those are what apple followers call "reality".

RE: Payback is funny!
By FingerMeElmo87 on 11/17/2009 2:16:04 PM , Rating: 2
Oh well it's all in good fun, I think the commercials are funny, and at least there is some mild truth to them, even though I feel they are a bit of an exaggeration.

Although hilarious, they're exaggerating quite a bit. What Verizon is actually doing is classifying there 3G coverage as anything from .4 - 1.4Mbits. if they were to include AT&T's 2.5G EDGE service, since its high end is around .4Mbits, the coverage on the map would look completely different. since they are strictly stating 3G they aren't technically lying but they aren't exactly painting the full picture as well. Sure coverage is nice and all but does the average person travels every square foot of the US on a daily basis?

They also don't state speed, although thats another topic, which would show something completely different as well. AT&T's slowest UMTS/HSDPA 3G data speed is 1.8Mbits, which is already faster than Verizon's fastest, an in most areas 3.6Mbits with a few cities reaching 7.2Mbits. Since most devices that AT&T sells has HSDPA, your 3G speed range is from 1.8 - 7.2Mbits. Much faster that Verizon's.

Heres a pretty good article. Give it a read.

RE: Payback is funny!
By SanLC504 on 11/17/2009 2:56:45 PM , Rating: 2
The way it is described is not Verizon's fault. AT&T themselves call EDGE 2.5G and UMTS 3G. The IMT-2000 standard technically does include EDGE, EV-DO (Rev 0 and Rev A) and UMTS, but you can thank AT&T's marketing team for associating the term "3G" to their UMTS/HSPA system. (Plus, the original iPhone had EDGE, yet Apple called the iPhone with HSPA "iPhone 3G".)

It mirrors the discussion of "Broadband Internet," which can range from 256 Kbps to over 150 Gbps. It's not necessarily the speed at which the data is transmitted, it is more the technology used to transmit that data. It's all relative.

RE: Payback is funny!
By SuperFly03 on 11/17/2009 5:14:21 PM , Rating: 2
Oh sure... completely disregard actual throughput and talk about theoretical maximum throughput. Way to go ATT fanboi.

Actual testing:
ATT's network speed: 1Mbps
Verizon's network speed: 3Mbps

RE: Payback is funny!
By Alexstarfire on 11/18/2009 1:54:21 AM , Rating: 2
You kinda don't have a choice but to look at theoretical limits since actual speeds are going to vary. Just because YOU are getting 1 Mbps in that place at that moment doesn't mean the vast majority of people are. I really have no idea what the average user speeds are on each network, but please don't use your own experience as the de facto standard that everyone is going to get.

RE: Payback is funny!
By SuperFly03 on 11/18/2009 10:02:28 AM , Rating: 2
I never said they were the speeds everyone got. However, they are consistent speeds across the various locations I went to on both networks. Houston, Dallas, Denver, Chicago, etc. are all cities I've been to and noticed that significant a difference. So here it the short version: Actual speeds are substantially different and Verizon's network is faster.

Theoretical talk is absolutely useless because it doesn't tell me what I will get when I need to download a presentation on the go from my boss. It tells me what some engineer behind a desk says the technology is capable of under ideal testing conditions which never pan out in reality.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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