Apple tried open source defence in ad case

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an iPhone ad that claimed the handset could handle "all the parts of the internet", because it can't - particularly sites using Flash and Java.The adjudication actually makes pretty interesting reading.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an iPhone ad that claimed the handset could handle "all the parts of the internet", because it can't - particularly sites using Flash and Java.

The adjudication actually makes pretty interesting reading. For a start, Apple was trying to argue that the iPhone is better than cheap featurephones for web browsing (true, but not the point), but here's the really brazen bit:

Apple said the Safari web browser on the iPhone was built to open internet standards, the same as Safari on a home or office computer, and supported open standard languages such as CSS, JavaScript and Ajax. They said proprietary languages or technologies, such as Flash or Java, were not open source and required a plug-in or individual download in order for content to appear within the specific browser, regardless of whether the access to a site was made from an iPhone or home computer. They said they could not ensure compatibility with every third party technology in the marketplace and, in order to create the best customer experience, had created their platform on open standards. They said Java and Flash were examples of proprietary software they had chosen not to enable on the iPhone.

Say what? So, to translate: "We at Apple only want to use open standards. We won't include stuff we can't control. It's for the user's own good. Even if they can't access all the intarwebs as promised. Unless they're using Safari on the desktop, in which case this argument doesn't apply." Is that about right? If so, it's certainly a thought-provoking approach to take...

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