Apple says iPhone users don't mind being on hold, a dig at Verizon

Apple's latest message is that iPhone users don't mind being on hold during a call.

The company pumped out three new adverts over the weekend which focus on the array of iPhone apps available. The first advert entitled "On Hold" demonstrates the ability to use a 3G data connection whilst being placed on hold during a call. The person in the advert states "with the iPhone I don't even mind being on hold" and goes on to check emails, make payments and play games whilst remaining on hold. The advert is a clear attack on Verizon's CDMA network which is unable to transmit calls and data at the same time. Only GSM networks such as AT&T are able to. The main advantage is being able to tether your device on a GSM network and talk at the same time.

The second advert (YouTube) entitled "first steps" focuses on the MMS and phone conference abilities of the iPhone. Various phones have the ability to make conference calls with more than one participant but this is usually phone and network dependant and on most plans you would need to pay extra for this functionality.

The final advert (YouTube) demonstrates various travel applications whilst away from home. The user completes a flight check-in, finds a place to eat and then watches a movie. At the end of the commercial the user then turns off the lights at home using an iPhone app.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

RIM, iPhone & Android market share up, Windows Mobile down in 2009

Next Story

Mozilla: 77% of Brits don't know about browser ballot screen

64 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I'm getting so tired of these stupid commercials... Apple's commercials used to be so good, but now they're focusing on the most useless features to try to make a horrible network viable... I don't care if I can use the internet while I'm on a call... I'm on a call... So stupid. At least with Verizon, when I'm on a call, I'm ON A CALL UNTIL I DECIDE I'M DONE TALKING... LOL

Wait a minute... Pay extra to have conference calls!? WTF??? C'mon american mobile phone users, I think it is time for you guys to unite and fight those ancient charges... Are you guys still being charged for incoming sms and calls!? C'mon people, put those operators in their place and make them stop abusing so much!

If you look at consumer reports AT&T is consistendly last in consumer satisfaction. Why apple would want to be on a network with the lowest satisfaction rate I don't know.

Melfster said,
If you look at consumer reports AT&T is consistendly last in consumer satisfaction. Why apple would want to be on a network with the lowest satisfaction rate I don't know.

I think its because (1) Apple can have "their way" with AT&T, and (2) it was easier to develop for a GSM carrier in the US since Apple wanted to target a worldwide market for the iPhone. Verizon Wireless iPhone's will be crippled in comparison to AT&T iPhones if VZW has their way. That's my opinion.

Shadrack said,

I think its because (1) Apple can have "their way" with AT&T, and (2) it was easier to develop for a GSM carrier in the US since Apple wanted to target a worldwide market for the iPhone. Verizon Wireless iPhone's will be crippled in comparison to AT&T iPhones if VZW has their way. That's my opinion.


I used to work for store that sold multiple cell phone carriers when the Iphone first came out. The reason that apple "chose" AT&T was because first both Verizon and Sprint turned them down. Too many strings

The two networks also have quite a bit of difference in technology. The reason Verizon uses CDMA instead of GSM is becuase CDMA tower systems can transmit a lot further. They are a bit slower, but At&t will never catch up on the coverage. They would need almost twice the number of towers that Verizon has.

Can you not call someone and also text message/browse the internet with all carriers? Obviously AT&T says you can with their service. I know you can with Sprint (can even do GPS and talk on the phone), but I don't know about Verizon. I have a HTC Hero with Sprint and I love it. My boss has the Eris and we compared speeds with the Speedtest App and Sprint was a bit faster. He's never tried to talk and do anything else, so he wasn't sure if it could multitask.

ndoggfromhell said,
Can you not call someone and also text message/browse the internet with all carriers? Obviously AT&T says you can with their service. I know you can with Sprint (can even do GPS and talk on the phone), but I don't know about Verizon. I have a HTC Hero with Sprint and I love it. My boss has the Eris and we compared speeds with the Speedtest App and Sprint was a bit faster. He's never tried to talk and do anything else, so he wasn't sure if it could multitask.
That's what I heard. At least the online part. Texting might be doable. I'm mainly interested in having Maps work while being on the phone and I'm not even sure if that would work. Is the LTE switch taking place? That would fix this problem I bet.

Edited by error404ts, Feb 24 2010, 1:45am :

Hey Apple, you know what I do mind? I do mind the call quality! And it sucks. It sucks to hit the recall button 5 times during a conversation.

Verizon, if you ever need an ad, just drop by and tape me while I am trying to call someone on Iphone. Can't think of better ad for you.

zagor said,
Hey Apple, you know what I do mind? I do mind the call quality! And it sucks. It sucks to hit the recall button 5 times during a conversation.

Verizon, if you ever need an ad, just drop by and tape me while I am trying to call someone on Iphone. Can't think of better ad for you.

Talk to your Cell Phone provider and not Apple.

Kingv84 said,

Talk to your Cell Phone provider and not Apple.


You should tell apple not to make an add that involves carriers. In the case of iphone, carrier and phone manufacturer are not decoupled. You can not get an iphone on another network. And, the carrier choice was made by apple.

Nobody seems to have noticed the iPhone in the On Hold ad is actually conntected via WiFi which doesn't make this spectacular at all - I'm sure Verizon could manage WiFi and talk at the same time?
I must say that my O2 phone, even on 3G displays 'cannot activate cellular data network' whilst on a call?

Jordan Wharmsby said,
Nobody seems to have noticed the iPhone in the On Hold ad is actually conntected via WiFi which doesn't make this spectacular at all - I'm sure Verizon could manage WiFi and talk at the same time?
I must say that my O2 phone, even on 3G displays 'cannot activate cellular data network' whilst on a call?

Yes verizon can do wifi and call at the same time if you have the right phone.... but I bet they did wifi because data was so slow where they recoreded the commercial at during a call so they wanted it to be fast as possible so they ran it that way...

Jordan Wharmsby said,
Nobody seems to have noticed the iPhone in the On Hold ad is actually conntected via WiFi which doesn't make this spectacular at all - I'm sure Verizon could manage WiFi and talk at the same time?
I must say that my O2 phone, even on 3G displays 'cannot activate cellular data network' whilst on a call?
My iPhone 3Gs on the Rogers network has no problems browsing (3g not wifi) while talking on the phone

Has Apple EVER made an ad that didn't take shots at another company? Why don't they try making an ad that touts the advantages of owning an Apple product instead?

Or are there no advantages? <- rhetorical question

ahhell said,
Has Apple EVER made an ad that didn't take shots at another company? Why don't they try making an ad that touts the advantages of owning an Apple product instead?

Or are there no advantages? <- rhetorical question

This would qualify as an ad touting its features. Sure others can do it too but does everything have to be unique to please you.

And whats with Americans thinking everything revolves around them. The iPhone is distributed worldwide. This "Verizon attack" is a feature I have with my provider. Many others have this as well. More importantly not all users know you can exit a call screen without hanging up. Not everything is just about AT&T vs Verizon, geez, self obsessed much?

ahhell said,
Has Apple EVER made an ad that didn't take shots at another company? Why don't they try making an ad that touts the advantages of owning an Apple product instead?

Or are there no advantages? <- rhetorical question

The Mac Guy vs PC Guys had gone too far and people were starting to roll their eyes more and more at them. The Luke Wilson ads by AT&T (NOT APPLE) were straight up attack ads on Verizon Wireless. These Apple adds (MADE BY APPLE) just demonstrate what is possible with the iPhone on AT&T. Their only "attack" is the catch phrase "Can your network do that?" This is hardly an attack. This does exactly what you are asking for when you say "Why don't they try making an ad that touts the advantages" so what exactly do you want since that is what they have done? Just to bitch?

ahhell said,
Has Apple EVER made an ad that didn't take shots at another company? Why don't they try making an ad that touts the advantages of owning an Apple product instead?

Or are there no advantages? <- rhetorical question

It is more fun to poke at the other companies.

Xero said,
This would qualify as an ad touting its features. Sure others can do it too but does everything have to be unique to please you.

And whats with Americans thinking everything revolves around them. The iPhone is distributed worldwide. This "Verizon attack" is a feature I have with my provider. Many others have this as well. More importantly not all users know you can exit a call screen without hanging up. Not everything is just about AT&T vs Verizon, geez, self obsessed much?


Hi, Apple is an American company, and only has any market share to speak of on our side of the planet. If their core market is in the States, well, yeah. Discussions about Apple are going to be pretty America-centric. Just like discussions about horrible sandwiches will be UK-centric.

techbeck said,
Poor Apple, feeling the pressure. You can always tell this since a new slew of commercials gets released...

Pressure on what?

What really annoys me about the map commercials is that Verizon's commercials make AT&T's 3G coverage look really bad, until you actually look at a map of the population density of the US. AT&T's 3G map very closely follows a population density map. Yeah, you might not have 3G coverage in the middle of nowhere or in some rural areas, but you can bet that you will have coverage in any larger town or city, and along the interstates. In other words, you have coverage in most of the places where you are actually likely to need it.

Couldn't edit my post, but here is a link to an image that gives a little better picture of things: http://images.appleinsider.com/att.verizon.3g.coverage.png

Edited by roadwarrior, Feb 23 2010, 2:01pm : deleted quoted text

roadwarrior said,
Couldn't edit my post, but here is a link to an image that gives a little better picture of things: http://images.appleinsider.com/att.verizon.3g.coverage.png

For 3G coverage, which is what the ads are about...it is accurate. Last I checked EDGE isn't 3G so it doesn't count.

roadwarrior said,
What really annoys me about the map commercials is that Verizon's commercials make AT&T's 3G coverage look really bad, until you actually look at a map of the population density of the US. AT&T's 3G map very closely follows a population density map. Yeah, you might not have 3G coverage in the middle of nowhere or in some rural areas, but you can bet that you will have coverage in any larger town or city, and along the interstates. In other words, you have coverage in most of the places where you are actually likely to need it.

That's why everyone in SF and NYC has problems with AT&T.

roadwarrior said,
What really annoys me about the map commercials is that Verizon's commercials make AT&T's 3G coverage look really bad, until you actually look at a map of the population density of the US. AT&T's 3G map very closely follows a population density map. Yeah, you might not have 3G coverage in the middle of nowhere or in some rural areas, but you can bet that you will have coverage in any larger town or city, and along the interstates. In other words, you have coverage in most of the places where you are actually likely to need it.

It's a legit comparison though. That's what competition is about. I agree that for a lot of people it doesn't matter but for a lot of other people it does. Case in point: I use Sprint because their prices are the lowest and they also have excellent coverage in all the areas of high population density (urban and suburban). I also roam for free on Verizon, which has better coverage in the rural areas due to buying up lots of regional carriers years ago. This works fine for me since I am in the city 98% of the time and when I go out in the middle of nowhere I still have free coverage. Still, my girlfriend's family lives in the middle of nowhere so it's not an option for them. They would be roaming all the time at their house until they went into town. For them, Verizon is a lifesaver and totally worth the extra cost since the other carriers don't cover their house.

I'll be the first one to advocate using any carrier so long as they cover where you spend most of your time but to ignore the fact that plenty of people need coverage in a wide variety of areas is disingenuous.

roadwarrior said,
What really annoys me about the map commercials is that Verizon's commercials make AT&T's 3G coverage look really bad, until you actually look at a map of the population density of the US. AT&T's 3G map very closely follows a population density map. Yeah, you might not have 3G coverage in the middle of nowhere or in some rural areas, but you can bet that you will have coverage in any larger town or city, and along the interstates. In other words, you have coverage in most of the places where you are actually likely to need it.

Or if you work or travel even a mile or two outside the 'zone' and have crap data service.

1) Even the ATT maps are not accurate, look at the 3G coverage on I5 through California and Oregon. Unless you are IN a major city, the 3G coverage on the map is usually a lie. (For example, Eugene Oregon, near the airport, in the middle of a large 3G map chunk, NO 3G service.)

2) ATT EDGE markets are usually handled by 3rd party companies that have horrid relationships with ATT. I know of EDGE areas that the tower carriers that contract with ATT will only allow 2MB of transfer, or disallow full EDGE speeds and even though it is an EDGE connection, bandwidth is restricted to 14.4 for ATT customers. (Drive across California, Nevada, Utah on I80 to watch these in action.)

roadwarrior said,
What really annoys me about the map commercials is that Verizon's commercials make AT&T's 3G coverage look really bad, until you actually look at a map of the population density of the US. AT&T's 3G map very closely follows a population density map. Yeah, you might not have 3G coverage in the middle of nowhere or in some rural areas, but you can bet that you will have coverage in any larger town or city, and along the interstates. In other words, you have coverage in most of the places where you are actually likely to need it.

This is true, but in some areas of the map that show solid 3g (like my area), their 3g data network goes in-and-out of service multiple times a day. Let me check my phone real quick, yup its on Edge. In about 30 minutes it might have 3g...probably not though. Some areas are like this and AT&T needs to fix this problem (or hire someone to stand there and reset their 3g router every-so-often).

You may think its a useless feature but it comes in handy especially on tech support calls when your away from your machine .I mean when your providing the tech support to say a family member.

I also used this to do something that i completely forgot about while on the phone with somebody.

majortom1981 said,
You may think its a useless feature but it comes in handy especially on tech support calls when your away from your machine .I mean when your providing the tech support to say a family member.

I also used this to do something that i completely forgot about while on the phone with somebody.

I looked up movie times while on the phone with my dad the other day discussing what movie to go see. It is a good feature to be able to do this. Advertising this strength and downplaying the weaknesses of the AT&T network seems like a completely rational strategy for an advertisement campaign.

No no no no no. As an iPhone 3G user on AT&T, I would not advice doing anything else 3G data related while on long holds of a call. You will significantly increase your chance of dropping a call or have a "Call Failed", then all that time being on hold is wasted and you have to get back in line again. However, playing games or using apps that doesn't use 3G data is fine, which you can also do on the Verizon Driod.

Maybe that's why they use WiFi mode in the ad instead of 3G, which isn't a stab at verizon since you can do the same on the Droid. But knowing Apple, they intend to mislead. Another iFail.

mayamaniac said,
No no no no no. As an iPhone 3G user on AT&T, I would not advice doing anything else 3G data related while on long holds of a call. You will significantly increase your chance of dropping a call or have a "Call Failed", then all that time being on hold is wasted and you have to get back in line again. However, playing games or using apps that doesn't use 3G data is fine, which you can also do on the Verizon Driod.

Maybe that's why they use WiFi mode in the ad instead of 3G, which isn't a stab at verizon since you can do the same on the Droid. But knowing Apple, they intend to mislead. Another iFail.

As someone that does this daily, I have to disagree. Never had my data affect my voice or my voice affect my data. I constantly have to send out emails, even while on the phone. The majority of it is done without wifi available (on a speeding train even).

Ahh yes, can just imagine, someone calling AT&T because they're ****ed off, being on hold, and searching google for original swear words while being on hold.... Indeed quite practical! lol

protocol7 said,
Just get enough concerned women to complain about how these ads offend them and maybe Apple will pull them.

That made me lol.

thealexweb said,
Is AT&T still claiming their network is the fastest? Is lots of parts of America it doesn't work at all lol.

I am supposedly in the bad att area . I have an ip[hone get tops speeds a lot and only have had 3 dropped calls in the 6 or 7 years i have been with att/cingular.

thealexweb said,
Is AT&T still claiming their network is the fastest? Is lots of parts of America it doesn't work at all lol.

I think their claims of being the fastest are true. But their 3g data coverage is so poor in comparison to Verizon's data coverage that I'm not sure anyone cares.

Shadrack said,

I think their claims of being the fastest are true. But their 3g data coverage is so poor in comparison to Verizon's data coverage that I'm not sure anyone cares.


Yup, they're fastest in a handful of areas where they have 3G coverage. But if you took the average data speed available to its customers, at&t would look terrible compared to Verizon, or possibly even Sprint.

But ads are all about misleading the consumer. I can't get over the anti-FIOS ads that pop up on TV from the local cable marketers. They've been dropping money left and right on 30 second spots to read letters from "actual customers" complaining about how FIOS has longer hold times for customer support, long installation times, etc. Never once actually bringing up the quality of the product. It's how this stuff works--attack whatever you can think of.

kazuyette said,
stupid iphone ads.

I'd take an iPhone ad any day than listen to Luke Wilson one more time...

Edited by dead.cell, Feb 23 2010, 4:35pm :

dead.cell said,

I'd take an iPhone ad any day than listen to Luke Wilson one more time...

The Luke Wilson AT&T ads are terrible. Most don't make any sense or have seriously flawed logic.

kazuyette said,
stupid iphone ads.

Sorry to hear you are sadden about the iPhone Ads. Please be brave to switch to another channel.

I'm getting really sick of these stupid attack commercials. AT&T's attack commercials show no statistical data or any real advantages to their network. They're too focused on making Verizon look bad to improve their own reputation. These attack commercials need to come to an end. AT&T is essentially advertizing the iPhone on all its advertisements now. Thats what I'm getting out of it.

(Sorry of I don't make too much sense it is still real early in the morning and schools a drag.)

RedFlow said,
I'm getting really sick of these stupid attack commercials. AT&T's attack commercials show no statistical data or any real advantages to their network. They're too focused on making Verizon look bad to improve their own reputation. These attack commercials need to come to an end. AT&T is essentially advertizing the iPhone on all its advertisements now. Thats what I'm getting out of it.

(Sorry of I don't make too much sense it is still real early in the morning and schools a drag.)

What do you expect when verizon comes out and directly attacks att , Att will fight back. Go and complain to verizon for starting the whole mess.

Being able to use the phone while on a call is very nice (although I thought most phone could do it?? My old HTC Magic could...)

Rudy said,
Being able to use the phone while on a call is very nice (although I thought most phone could do it?? My old HTC Magic could...)

Good point, a lot of smartphones can do this and real multitasking, that is pushing what the iPhone can do it it's limits, proper smartphones have real multitasking.

majortom1981 said,

What do you expect when verizon comes out and directly attacks att , Att will fight back. Go and complain to verizon for starting the whole mess.

You're right I forgot about that. It's true neither side should have done it. But the way I see it at least Verizon was somewhat accurate. Some of the AT&T commercials are just utterly pointless.
Maybe it has to do with me being a Verizon user >_>

Rudy said,
Being able to use the phone while on a call is very nice (although I thought most phone could do it?? My old HTC Magic could...)
You aren't on Verizon. Which is what this article is about.

On Verizon, you [b]cannot[/b] browse or while in-call.

markjensen said,
You aren't on Verizon. Which is what this article is about.

On Verizon, you [b]cannot[/b] browse or while in-call.
I'll be the first to admit I don't keep track of the US carriers :P

I just thought the capability was based on if the phone can or cannot....but I guess it's not just the phone :D

markjensen said,
You aren't on Verizon. Which is what this article is about.

On Verizon, you [b]cannot[/b] browse or while in-call.

Then explain how I was doing it with my droid a while back :P

beardly said,

You were hooked into a wifi connection.


Well yea..I know that. He just said it wasn't possible at all...didn't actually specify what network :P

RedFlow said,
I'm getting really sick of these stupid attack commercials. AT&T's attack commercials show no statistical data or any real advantages to their network. They're too focused on making Verizon look bad to improve their own reputation. These attack commercials need to come to an end. AT&T is essentially advertizing the iPhone on all its advertisements now. Thats what I'm getting out of it.

(Sorry of I don't make too much sense it is still real early in the morning and schools a drag.)

Wait a second....Verizon Wireless opened the door for these attack commercials with their "There's a Map for that" ad campaign. Verizon Wireless Stepped up, AT&T Brought It, and now It's On.

If attack ads make you sick, then just state that. But don't try to make this an AT&T is evil with their attack ads against poor VZW. They are both playing the same game here.

Edited by Shadrack, Feb 23 2010, 6:29pm :

SharpGreen said,

Well yea..I know that. He just said it wasn't possible at all...didn't actually specify what network :P
Sorry. I didn't figure the nit-pickers would come out of the woodwork to point out a phone with two different communications methods.

I was talking about the Verizon crappy CDMA network that I, unfortunately, am a customer of. I have a household full of phones with them (kids and all that) due to discounts from my old job. Trust me, I have wanted to switch for a while. Probably will bite the bullet sooner or later. :-/

Are iPhone users on hold so much because they are waiting for their call to connect, drop, or waiting for AT&T to up their coverage map?

grewnd33 said,
Are iPhone users on hold so much because they are waiting for their call to connect, drop, or waiting for AT&T to up their coverage map?

you=fail,
and besides, iPhone users exist outside of AT&T

profets said,

you=fail,
and besides, iPhone users exist outside of AT&T

Well you say that, but my best friend and I regularly find that we 'drop out' when on the phone to one another. We both have iphones

When we reconnect, the mantra is "iphone to iphone mate, we don't stand a chance".

O2, in UK.

Edited by macf13nd, Feb 23 2010, 1:51pm :

macf13nd said,

Well you say that, but my best friend and I regularly find that we 'drop out' when on the phone to one another. We both have iphones

When we reconnect, the mantra is "iphone to iphone mate, we don't stand a chance".

O2, in UK.

AT&T and o2 have been compared for being equally as rubbish as eachother for quite a while

Everyone i work with have iPhones, one on o2 (drops out iPhone to iPhone) the rest (3 people + myself) are on Orange and never have dropout issues between eachother

Easy to "blame" the phone, but in reality the networks do have their issues

When we reconnect, the mantra is "iphone to iphone mate, we don't stand a chance".
O2, in UK.

Heh, sounds familiar!

O2's network in London is shocking, and I regularly get call drops. The moment my contract's up I'm off to Vodafone.

macf13nd said,

Well you say that, but my best friend and I regularly find that we 'drop out' when on the phone to one another. We both have iphones

When we reconnect, the mantra is "iphone to iphone mate, we don't stand a chance".

O2, in UK.

lol, i like that quote. didnt realize O2 is that bad.

does get annoying that iPhone is always associated with AT&T, when iPhone is used worldwide with many carriers.

profets said,

you=fail,
and besides, iPhone users exist outside of AT&T

Your fail attempt has been placed on hold, but since you use an iPhone, you don't mind.