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Verizon ad describes negotiations with Apple?

A print ad for the Verizon Droid uses far more personal anti-iPhone references than any of its TV spots. Is this a barely subliminal description of Verizon's negotiations with Apple?

The thing about the finest of soap operas is that they must create conflict in order to inspire truly dramatic love.

This is why I was rendered temporarily cynical by a Verizon print ad in a recent edition of Sports Illustrated. The ad was for the Droid. The words were directed at the sensitive regions of the iPhone. But the sentiment seemed to refer to a slightly larger picture.

In case you have not seen this particular work of art, it is headlined "This is a world of 'Nope', Nuh-Uh' and 'Sorry, Charlie.'" The first line gives a clue that perhaps this is not just another anti-iPhone ad. "A world of smiling denial," it begins.

But the next line offers a shudder with every consonant: "Petty tyrannies have made their way into our cell phones."

Smiling denials. Petty tyrannies. Are they talking about a competing cell phone or perhaps a certain individual at the competing company?

Chris Matyszczyk

This is not the rather charming exile of the iPhone to the Island of Misfit Toys. This isn't even the rather teenage assertion of the iPhone's alleged "semi-functional, giggling-brat-vanity".

This print ad strains to mask its truly adult feelings and fails in quite a spectacularly positive way with the phrase: "these arrogant little devices."

Alrighty, now. The use of the word "arrogant" makes this a deeply personal work that might have been inspired, well, by whom? By someone who might have been personally involved in Verizon's negotiations to secure Apple's iPhone, perhaps?

The hearty phraseology of the Droid campaign is admirable, in the way that the Ultimate Fighting Championship can, I am told, sometimes be admirable.

However, one wonders whether Verizon's confidence in its wireless coverage is making the company feel far more assured in its ability to soon offer the iPhone as well as BlackBerry and Droid products.

Is Verizon suggesting that Apple needs Verizon's coverage just as much as Verizon needs the iPhone's cachet? Is it suggesting that the alleged smiling denials, arrogance, and petty tyrannies cannot prevent a slightly altered world order?

The upliftingly personal nature of this ad might just portend a new, big love between Apple and Verizon in just a couple of episodes. A 4G Verizon iPhone? There won't be a dry eye in the house.