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Wednesday, November 03, 2010, 08:40 am PT (11:40 am ET)

T-Mobile US ad parodies Apple, shows iPhone 4 saddled by AT&T

A new advertisement from T-Mobile parodies Apple's iconic "Get a Mac" ads, suggesting that the AT&T network and the lack of 3G support for FaceTime have weighed down the iPhone 4.

The commercial, which debuted this week, features a woman wearing T-Mobile's trademark magenta color, introducing herself as a myTouch 4G handset. The TV spot spoofs Apple's award-winning "Get a Mac" ads, which Adweek declared the best campaign of the last decade.

The myTouch 4G is flanked by a man playing the iPhone 4, who is carrying the "AT&T network." The commercial says that the iPhone is slowed down by AT&T, as the actor portraying the personification of Apple's handset says the carrier's network is the "price" he paid for 3G speed.

The commercial goes on to criticize the fact that FaceTime on the iPhone 4 is only available on Wi-Fi, touting that the new myTouch 4G allows video chat "practically anywhere" over T-Mobile's network.

When Apple announced the iPhone 4 and FaceTime video chat earlier this year, company co-founder Steve Jobs acknowledged that they need to "work a bit" with cellular providers to enable video chat over 3G.

T-Mobile is pitching its wireless network as the largest "4G" network. While technically built on "3G" technology, the carrier's HSPA+ network operates at "today's 4G speeds," the company has said, though it is not available everywhere.



T-Mobile, of course, is not the first to directly attack AT&T's network and its exclusive hold on Apple's iPhone. Last year, Verizon and AT&T engaged in separate back-and-forth attack campaigns which even led to legal action, before a truce was reached between the two largest wireless carriers.

T-Mobile is the smallest of the four major wireless carriers in the U.S., but its network is built on the same wireless standard as AT&T's. Because of that, T-Mobile has long been rumored to be a potential home for the iPhone, should Apple's exclusive agreement with AT&T end.

But the current iPhone 4 would not work with T-Mobile's high-speed 3G network in the U.S. without modifications, as the carrier uses the unique 1700MHz spectrum. The iPhone is compatible with UMTS/HSDPA 3G connections at the frequencies 850MHz, 1900MHz and 2100MHz.