updated 05:35 pm EST, Fri February 4, 2011
ATT iPhone ad focuses on mixing calls and data
AT&T refused to remain silent on Verizon's iPhone ads and today posted one of its own (below). The appropriately titled "Answer" focuses on the ability to call and use data at the same time on an HSPA phone and shows an example of where it could be useful. A husband who forgot to reserve a restaurant for a date with his wife manages to start looking up his options at the same time as he's promising that it was already set.
"Only AT&T's network lets your iPhone talk and surf at the same time," the spot touts at the end.
The original iPhone carrier has been facing an uphill battle in marketing over the past three weeks. Verizon has largely counted on the known pent-up demand for a iPhone and has had to do relatively little, starting with a countdown ad. It hasn't had to defend CDMA's inability to support simultaneous 3G data and has used the simple ability to make phone calls as a core marketing point.
AT&T's ad is technically valid and could prove vital to workers who need the ability at any time. Some of the value could nonetheless be rendered moot in common situations, since a Wi-Fi link gives the same mix of talk and data. The advantage so far hasn't been a deterrent; Verizon sold out of advance orders in 17 hours and may have moved up to 100,000 iPhones just to eager existing customers.