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Apple slammed for misleading Power Mac G5 adverts

Not the fastest processor, no kidding
Fri Jun 11 2004, 08:36
THE UK ADVERTISING Standards Authority (ASA) upheld complaints against Apple UK for claiming a Power Mac G5 was the "world's fastest personal computer".

The complaints were apparently made by members of the public living in Middlesex and in Monmouthshire. When competitors complain about advertising, the ASA usually indicates that.

Apple claimed that the G5 was tested against the Dell Dimension 8300 and the Precision 650 by an independent technology testing company. But the ASA "took expert advice" - it does not say who gave the advice - and that advice was that although the Power Mac G5 was faster than the other two machines (not processors as the ASA says) "on some applications under certain conditions", it was not the the fastest processor "in all circumstances for all applications".

The G5 in question was also "still under development and the tests seemed to be configured in a way that might have given the Power Mac G5 an unfair advantage". No kidding.

But the toothless body, funded by the advertising industry itself, said that Apple's claim it was the first personal computer with a 64-bit processor was accurate. The reason for that, said the ASA, was that although 64-bit chips were available before the G5 launch, these computers were "workstations" and not PCs.

The ASA said it accepted that some people might have used 64-bit machines as PCs before Apple made the claim, "most people" would interpret the claim in the "context of machines" designed for personal computing.

Another complaint about Apple's ad, which said "systems built around the G5 can shatter the four gigabyte memory ceiling that limits every other PC on earth", was also not upheld.

The ASA asked the advertisers about this, and they said that the system "built around the G5 allowed users to scale memory up to 8GB as workflow demanded". Dell systems could only offer 4GB of main memory. The "Authority took advice. It understood that most personal computers were not equipped to address more than 4GB of memory and could not do so without additional hardware, whereas the Power Mac G5 had an inbuilt ability to address more than 4GB".

But hang on. "As workflow demanded?" Does this mean the ASA thinks that the Power Mac G5 is a workstation? We think we should be told... µ

ASA adjudications this week

See Also
Apple G5 ads banned from British televisions


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