Verizon iPad goes prime time. iPhone to follow?

Nov 9, 2010

Now that those obnoxious political ads have finally disappeared in the vapor of Decision 2010, the airwaves and YouTube are alive with ads for smartphones and other mobile devices.

The latest to join in the fun is Verizon Wireless (VZ). And it already has tongues wagging about what will be next.

Verizon has shown the engagement on TV: an ad for Apple’s (AAPL) iPad linked with a Verizon MiFi 2200 Mobile Hotspot.

Will the marriage soon follow with an iPhone for Verizon?

The ad, called “Breakaway,” shows a guy seated in a house switching on the iPad and the MiFi. The walls fall away, taking him outdoors. Even though he’s outside, on a seaside cliff no less, the MiFi keeps delivering to the iPad.

The product combo was introduced last month as a cobbled-together Verizon answer to iPads with built-in connection to AT&T’s (T) 3G network.

Maybe Microsoft (MSFT), with its new Windows Phone 7 just launched on Monday in the United States, will retool its Season of the Witch ads? These commercials make fun of zombie-like smartphone users wandering the streets staring at their screens and substitute zombie-like Verizon iPad users seated on park benches clutching their mobile hotspots.

GizmoCrave said: “The Verizon launch has been a threat to AT&T as the data-based plans for iPads on Verizon offer more usage than the AT&T’s pre-bundled plans. The commercial that is now on the air is part of the “Rule the Air” campaign of Verizon and has marked a remarkable opening for the era of Verizon iPads.”

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The Next Web describes the Verizon commercial as “impressive” as it shows iPad working with a mobile hotspot, emphasizing how it functions outdoors. TNW said “Obviously, unlike Mark Zuckerberg, Verizon thinks of the iPad as a mobile device.”

The Facebook founder said last week: “Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to be rude to Apple products… but I don’t think the iPad is a mobile device in the way a phone is.”

Meanwhile, the gurus see the ads as a prelude to nirvana: an iPhone on the robust Verizon network, breaking the AT&T stranglehold on the iPhone. The Verizon iPhone is expected next year.

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