Before Verizon Wireless announced that it's getting the iPhone 4 on February 10, some of us thought a shouting match with rival AT&T would be inevitable. But trash talk is nowhere to be found in Verizon's first iPhone ad.
That's not to say the commercial is subdued. "To our millions of customers, who never stopped believing this day would come," the voiceover says against a backdrop of ticking clocks and atonal droning, "thank you." The familiar white iPhone ad screen takes over, and the words "It Begins" flash in bloody Verizon red.
Over the top for a freakin' phone? Of course. But you won't find a single reference to AT&T.
In fact, I can't find any examples of Verizon slamming AT&T after the iPhone 4 announcement. Sure, the rival carriers were at each others' throats immediately before the news broke, but not any more. (T-Mobile, for what it's worth, has been dissing both of them.)
My wackier theory is that Apple ordered Verizon to lay off the smack talk for now. After all, AT&T still sells the iPhone, and it doesn't behoove Apple to make either of its partners look bad. But more likely, this is just good marketing, focusing on the positives and generating hype instead of vitriol. Besides, Comedy Central's The Daily Show has been doing Verizon's dirty work.
Over time, I'm sure the negative campaigning will creep back. AT&T will claim that its network gives you the fastest iPhone experience, and Verizon will say that its network is the most reliable. One thing you won't see: an iPhone banished to the Island of Misfit Toys.