updated 02:50 pm EDT, Sat October 17, 2009
Verizon ad campaign to attack Apple
Verizon today sent signals that it's about to launch an aggressive campaign against Apple through a combination of marketing and devices. A leaked note regarding an upcoming ad series, nicknamed "iDoesn't," specifically targets the "iDevice" and will allegedly focus on all the features the iPhone doesn't have. The details Engadget sees are vague regarding the ads themselves but do mention that Verizon will keep branding to a minimum.
The first of the ads is due to play during the imminent Angels/Yankees baseball game, which begins at 8PM Eastern this evening, but should see heavy airplay during NFL games on Sunday and is likely to continue past that point. It promises that "big things" will come in November to take advantage of the campaign.
It's likely that the campaign is meant to steer customers towards a wave of major smartphone introductions at Verizon that will include the BlackBerry Storm2, the Android-based HTC Desire and the already publicized HTC Omnia II. All three are running smartphone platforms that have similar features to iPhones, but with multitasking and typically less restricted app catalogs. Verizon has stressed that its approach to Android won't overly limit apps and should allow Google Voice among other software Apple and AT&T have sometimes sought to ban on the iPhone.
Verizon has had a relatively poor history of marketing against Apple and on the iPhone's June 2007 launch day chiefly reiterated its variety of phones rather than any one "halo" device to lure users. The original BlackBerry Storm was also trumpeted as an iPhone rival one year ago but, aside from an initial rush of buyers, has sold relatively slowly since October 2008.
Alongside the existing smartphone push, Verizon on Friday also reiterated in a Twitter update that it plans to carry the Palm Pre "early next year." The company has in the past publicly expressed a desire to carry the multi-touch webOS phone once Sprint's US exclusive ends but until today hasn't publicly committed itself to the smartphone until now. It's so far assumed to be a functionally identical version but hasn't received more definitive release details.