Apple drops iPhone ‘requires minimum new 2 year activation plan’ disclaimer from ads

Apple and/or AT&T have inexplicably dropped the following text from all iPhone ads:

Use requires minimum new 2 year activation plan.

For example, here’s the original iPhone “Calamari” ad via YouTube withthe disclaimer underneath the “Only on the new AT&T” screen:

And here’s the “Calamari” ad as it now appears on (and on TV airings):

Originally all iPhone ads on contained the “Use requires minimum new 2 year activation plan” disclaimer.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mike,” “Lori,” and “Judge Bork” for the heads up.]
If Apple’s and/or AT&T’s intention is to convey disarray moments before a major product launch, they’ve achieved it. Since the ads started just on Sunday with the disclaimer, and it only takes about two clicks of a mouse to remove the disclaimer during digital editing, that means the terms were changed sometime after Sunday, or about three weeks before product launch. If this is supposed to be some sort of PR stunt, it’s a bit misguided. Optional theory: the lawyers finally told them it wasn’t necessary on the TV ads or something equally mundane.


  1. This doesn’t make me feel like AT&T/Apple’s ducks are in a row just weeks before – but that just doesn’t sound very “Apple” to me.

    I choose to believe that the text was determined to take away from the clean look of the ads and therefore removed.

  2. Since the AT&T has locked in a deal with Apple, you wouldn’t be able to use any other company for phone service anyway, so why put the text there? It just gives people an excuse not to buy an iPhone.

  3. Well it’s a $600 phone, so that pretty much pays for it, so there isn’t a need for a 2 year contract to subsidize it.

    What Apple is getting is a kickback from AT&T from our monthly subscribtions, this is to cover new feature and content advances, hosting, software upgrades and the like.

    I think the flexability of not requiring a contract would appeal to a lot of people.

    Also the more Apple improves the iPhone with content, the more bandwidth customers will use thus the more of a kickback Apple gets.

    The customer can choose every month how much to throttle their content/bandwidth use according to their own budget.

  4. Well when you think about it, you don’t have to sign a contract to buy a phone from a cell phone company. If you just wanted to buy the phone you could (granted it wouldn’t do much without service), but maybe this is the thing AT&T and Apple have been discussing since january. Perhaps apple won this fight. I can think of plenty of people who would buy the damn thing even if it didn’t have the phone option. I mean the thing has wifi built in, and you won’t have to pay to connect to just a normal wifi network. Hell I know i’d buy it just to have a new ‘video ipod’, mac os x, and safari in my pocket. Then maybe later i’ll pay at&t to give me some cell service. Just a thought.

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