By Harry McCracken | Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 10:32 pm
Back in February, I wrote about “Free iPad” offers. They dangled a product that wasn’t available yet to get people to sign up for a gaggle of marketing schemes. But at least the dangled product was real.
Tonight I ran across a similar ad for a “free” iPhone 4G:
The phone depicted looks suspiciously like the one Gizmodo snared. It has that handset’s front-facing camera, plus three features which Apple has already told us will be in iPhone OS 4: iBooks, multitasking, and improved e-mail.
I clicked on the ad, and was sent to ad with, um, more specs:
64GB? Sounds entirely logical, since new iPhones generally double the storage of previous models. 3.2MP camera? Sounds on the low side, given that the iPhone 3GS has a 3MP model–I was expecting something in the vicinity of 5MP. OLED screen? Doubtful, I think. Removable battery? Not unless Steve Jobs has stopped being Steve Jobs. Little “4G” next to the AT&T logo? That would indicate this phone will run on AT&T’s due-in-2011 4G network–and it’s just too early for that. The offer carries plenty of fine print, but none of it says “This product doesn’t exist, and probably never will.”
I clicked enough further to peruse the first of thirteen offers you’ve got to complete to “qualify” for your “free” prize:
Can anyone explain to me why companies like Netflix and Disney don’t do everything in their power to prevent people from using their affiliate marketing programs for this kind of stuff?