UK ads watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority has published detailed findings of its investigation into complaints regarding Apple's advertising for its original Power Mac G5s.
Apple's claims for the product also drew criticism from the Independent Television Commission (ITC) in November last year. The TV ads watchdog declared Apple's claims that its new G5 was the "world's fastest, most powerful personal computer".
Responding to three complaints concerning two magazine ads, the ASA found similar criticism justified in one of the three cases.
Describing the complaints it says it received: " Objections to two magazine advertisements for the Power Mac G5. One stated "The new Power Mac G5 is here. It's the world's fastest computer, and the first with a 64-bit processor"; The other advertisement stated "Introducing the revolutionary PowerPC G5 processor, the world's first 64-bit processor for personal computers, the G5's 64-bit architecture addresses dramatically more memory – over 4 billion times more than 32-bit chips – so that the systems built around the G5 can shatter the 4GB memory ceiling that limits every other PC on earth…".
The ASA took advice to reach a decision on all three claims. It found that the independent tests Apple ran against competing Dell PCs to arrive at the claim, "showed the Power Mac G5 was faster than the other two processors on some applications under certain conditions, but not that it was the fastest processor in all circumstances for all applications".
"It also understood that the G5 machine tested was still under development and the tests seemed to be configured in a way that might have given the Power Mac G5 an unfair advantage. The Authority was not satisfied that the advertisers had justified the claim "the world's fastest computer" and asked them not to repeat it".
The ASA did agree, however, that the Power Mac G5 was the first 64-bit processor available for a personal computer. The ASA felt that others on the market before the G5 where not for personal computing, and accepted Apple's argument that its G5 was indeed the first-ever 64-bit desktop.
The ASA also accepted Apple's argument about memory. On advisement it agreed 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."
This means Apple can describe its Power Mac G5 as the world's first 64-bit personal computer and that it was the first computer to break the 4GB memory barrier of last century computing.