Ad for Apple iPhone banned after misleading claims

LONDON - A TV ad for Apple's iPhone has been banned after the ad watchdog ruled that it misled buyers over internet access.

Apple claimed in the commercial that its latest iPhone model allows owners of the coveted mobile phone access to all parts of the internet.

The spot attracted complaints from two viewers who said the ad was misleading because the phone does not support Flash or Java software, both integral to many web sites.

In the commercial for the iPhone, which was created by TBWA\London, someone's hand is shown using the iPhone.

Their finger navigates through a series of pages and during the ad a voiceover says: "All the parts of the internet are on the iPhone."

Apple defended the ad which it said was designed to highlight the benefit of the iPhone in being able to offer availability to all internet websites, in contract to other handsets, which could only access Wap versions or sites selected by service providers.

The California based firm said the Apple Safari web browser was built to open internet standards, but because Flash and Java are propriety software, they were not open source and require plug-ins or individual downloads.

Apple added that Java and Flash were examples of software they had chosen not to enable on the iPhone, which only affected access to particular content that used third party technology.

The Advertising Standards Authority told Apple it must not broadcast the ad again in its current form.

The ruling is not the first setback for Apple's ambitions to dominate the lucrative mobile phone market where it faces competition from Blackberry and the soon to launch Android from Google.

Already some online services such as the BBC's popular iPlayer TV catch-up service and video sharing website YouTube have been forced to come up with new systems that are compatible with the iPhone.

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