Apple misled iPhone users over internet capability

The iPhone, the latest must-have gadget from Apple, fails to give users complete access to the internet, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) rules today.

It said the combined phone, music player and computer is flawed because of the absence of two common website programmes, Flash and Java. As a result, the authority said Apple's claim that the iPhone gave access to "all parts of the internet" misled customers about its power as a web browser.

Users of the iPhone cannot access the graphics, videos and games on many websites, including the BBC's, because of the absence of Flash. Java's absence deprives users from making use of website shortcuts, typically the copying of personal details on order forms.



Watch the ad


In its ruling, the ASA said Apple failed to take account of the shortcomings in a TV advertising campaign. An iPhone owner was shown using the device to check the weather in Cape Town, a Heathrow airport map, hotels and a stock market site.

The voice-over said: "You never know which part of the internet you'll need. The 'do you need sun cream part'? The 'what's the quickest way to the airport part'? The 'what about an ocean view room part'? Or the 'can you really afford this part'? Which is why, all parts of the internet are on the iPhone".

Two viewers complained, saying the claim was mislead-ing. Apple said the aim of the advert was to highlight the iPhone's ability to offer availability to all websites, in contrast to other handsets which offered only limited web browsing (WAP) or sites selected by service providers. It argued that surfing the internet with an iPhone was similar to surfing from a home or office computer and the appearance and the websites were the same.

The ASA said: "We noted Apple's argument that the ad was about site availability rather than technical detail but considered the claims 'You'll never know which part of the internet you'll need' and 'all parts of the internet are on the iPhone' implied users could access all websites and see them in their entirety.

"We considered that, because the ad had not explained the limitations, viewers were likely to expect to be able to see all the content on a website normally accessible through a PC rather than just having the ability to reach the website.

"We concluded the ad gave a misleading impression of the internet capabilities of the iPhone."

The ruling is a blow to the iPhone's otherwise strong reputation. Reviewers have praised its slimline design, sophistication and versatility. Priced up to £159 each, the iPhone allows users the chance to switch instantly between voice calls, music and email.

But there have been two major criticisms. It is only available through an exclusive deal with the O2 network, meaning customers have to sign up to 18-month contracts, costing between £639 for the 8GB model and £1,350 for the 16GB model.

It has also been criticised for being slow to download web pages, although the latest generation iPhone uses faster 3G technology. The ASA ruling underlines the continuing problems that the iPhone and other mobile devices have in downloading web pages.

Cliff Saran, technical editor of ComputerWeekly, warned that – despite improvements – mobile phones were still vastly inferior to desktop computers for browsing the internet.

* The ASA ruled that an advert for Arm & Hammer toothpaste was wrong to suggest that it could help sensitive teeth through the use of "liquid calcium". After an investigation, the regulator said there was no scientific backing for the claim.

Upwardly mobile

10,000,000 Apple's global iPhone sales target for 2008.

1,000,000 Number of 3g iPhones sold in first weekend on the market, despite complaints of dropped calls, bad signal reception and service interruptions.

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Extras
indybest
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Manager

£50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Mana...

Senior Account Executive / Account Executive

£25 - 30k (DOE) + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are looking for an Accoun...

Account Manager / Sales Account Manager / Recruitment Account Manager

£25k Basic (DOE) – (£30k year 1 OTE) : Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright A...

Resourcer / Junior Recruiter

£15-20k (DOE) + Benefits / Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright R...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits