The Verizon and AT&T dustup is turning out to be far more entertaining than any tired old Microsoft vs. Apple campaign. After a series of scorching "there's a map for that" TV ads by Verizon mocking its competitor's spotty 3G coverage, AT&T ran to a federal judge crying "Daddy daddy daddy, that mean old man is making fun of me."
Yesterday the No. 1 cellular company issued a statement on its Web site to "set the record straight on Verizon ads." Among the rebuttals: 75 percent of the U.S. population has access to AT&T's 3G net, and 300 million can log onto its slower EDGE and GPRS offerings (though the site conveniently fails to mention the slower speeds).
[ Apple, AT&T's partner in iPhone, has garnered its share of grievances too. Get a load of Cringely's take on Steve Jobs' empire in "It's Apple's world, we just click in it" | Stay up to date on Robert X. Cringely's musings and observations with InfoWorld's Notes from the Underground newsletter. ]
As GottaBeMobile blogger Warner Crocker notes:
Touting EDGE and GPRS coverage numbers as a part of [AT&T's] strategy is, in my pea brain, akin to advertising Windows by saying you can run a DOS prompt.
AT&T is also demanding that Verizon pull its latest holiday-themed ads featuring elves [video], Elvis ("Blue Christmas"), and the Island of Misfit Toys. That last one is my favorite.
Is Verizon pushing the envelope of truthiness just a bit? Sure -- the iPhone is not a pink-spotted elephant or a jack-in-the-box named Charlie. But so does AT&T's "we've got the fastest 3G network" claim, which obscures its gaps in coverage. As they say, all is fair in love, war, and advertising.