UK: Flash is officially part of "full Internet"

MJ Ray mjr at
Wed Aug 27 17:17:41 UTC 2008

"David Gerard" <dgerard at> wrote:
> "It said the combined phone, music player and computer is flawed
> because of the absence of two common website programmes, Flash and
> Java. [...]

Please read the source material which is available online at
rather than these inaccurate secondary sources.  UK newspapers are
particularly terrible when it comes to technical subjects and ZDnet
sometimes isn't much better.  The original says:-

  "The ASA noted that Java and Flash proprietary software was not
  enabled on the iPhone and understood that users would therefore be
  unable to access certain features on some websites or websites that
  relied solely on Flash or Java.  We noted Apples argument that the
  ad was about site availability rather than technical detail, but
  considered that the claims "You'll never know which part of the
  internet you'll need" and "all parts of the internet are on the
  iPhone" implied users would be able to access all websites and see
  them in their entirety.  We considered that, because the ad had not
  explained the limitations, viewers were likely to expect to be able
  to see all the content on a website normally accessible through a PC
  rather than just having the ability to reach the website.  We
  concluded that the ad gave a misleading impression of the internet
  capabilities of the iPhone."

I think the key point was that "Java and Flash were examples of
proprietary software they had chosen not to enable on the iPhone".

Also, this isn't about "full internet" but "all parts of the
internet".  That's a silly claim for a mobile phone because it's never
going to have all internet access tools on it.  It's a particularly
silly claim for a locked system like an iPhone which will never have
all tools available because some will harm the profitability of the
system for the providers.  (I actually use some Java apps on my 3g
phone which let me connect to my servers and avoid the provider's
10p-per-email charge most of the time, but that wouldn't be possible
with an iPhone-type platform.)

The ASA ruling isn't brilliant, but the O2/iPhone adverts were awful,
so I'm happy that one mustn't be broadcast again.

I think you could advertise a free software system as "all parts of
the Internet" because it wouldn't be the system maker who had "chosen 
not to enable" Flash or Java if they weren't possible - it would be
Adobe or Sun or whoever, choosing not to recompile to run on it.

Is that enough, or should we lodge a complaint with ASA that "websites
that relied solely on Flash or Java" are not websites because they
follow no standards from the World Wide Web Consortium or similar?
MJ Ray (slef)
Webmaster for hire, statistician and online shop builder for a small
worker cooperative
(Notice tel:+44-844-4437-237

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