New iPhone Ads From Apple Jab at Verizon

AT&T (s att) wasn’t the only company that took offense to Verizon’s (s vz) “There’s a Map for That” ad campaign and responded in kind. Monday night, Apple (s aapl) premiered two new iPhone ads that are actually aimed at pointing out the downsides of Verizon’s network, though they don’t state that outright.

The two new ads, posted by BusinessWeek ahead of their U.S. television debut, depict different scenarios in which you want to access data-using features of your iPhone while also remaining on a call. This is something you can do on AT&T’s HSDPA/UMTS 3G network, but not something you can do using Verizon’s CDMA-based one.

In the first ad, three different scenarios where you might want to check something without leaving your call are depicted. They include a client call, talking to a friend and changing a reservation, and talking to your wife and ordering flowers for your anniversary.

The second ad depicts a single call with a friend, during which you can check movie times, location, and restaurant details. Both ads follow this post.

The ads are clearly aimed at Verizon customers. I was actually completely unaware that the ability to use both voice calling and data access at the same time was even a feature. I do it constantly without even thinking about it. Would I miss it if I’d never had it to begin with? Hard to say.

There’s another question the ads bring up. Does network reliability trump multitasking when it comes to cell phone usage? As convenient as it is to be able to pop in and out of the phone app to check on showtimes and other little luxuries, does it really matter if there are huge blackout zones where you can’t even take a call to begin with, let alone take one and use your network data simultaneously?

In my opinion, these ads fare very poorly when compared to their Mac counterparts. The “Get a Mac” series of ads manages to target an Apple competitor cleverly, and in an entertaining fashion. Apple’s iPhone ads have never been anywhere near as good, but so far, they haven’t had to be. I’d expect more from Cupertino in response to the first real challenge to the iPhone’s market domination, Verizon’s Droid, than this sort of middle-of-the-road effort that doesn’t address the main concern customers wary of AT&T still have.

Apple’s clearly doing this for AT&T, but both companies need to get their acts together if they want to counteract the clever work coming out of Verizon’s camp. Here’s a tip: A little Hodgman goes a Long way.