Ellen makes spoof iPhone commercial. Apple doesn't think it's funny.

Ellen iPhone Ad

Comedian Ellen DeGeneres played a spoof iPhone ad during her Monday talk show. In it, she is glorifying the iPhone, yet having difficulties with texting.

Apple didn't see the humor in her commercial and complained that she implied that the iPhone is difficult to use. Ellen responded during her Tuesday show by apologizing and explaining that the iPhone is in fact not hard to use, it's the only phone she can text on, and that she loves her iPhone, iPad, iPod, and even iHop!

Watch the ad and her apology below and let us know what you think. Is Apple being a little too sensitive?

UPDATE: Ellen's official YouTube video says "no longer available" (all her YouTube videos now say that(?!)) so we've switched to whatever non iPhone-friendly version they use on the official website. Sorry!


Ellen video link

Leanna Lofte

App and Photography Editor at iMore. Mother, wife, and math instructor. Follow her on Twitter @llofte and send her apps to consider for review at iosapps@imore.com

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There are 76 comments. Add yours.

Marcus says:

Seriously Apple? They took this too far. Ellen even admitted that she uses an iphone and has an ipad. Ellen is a comedian, it was comedy!

Matt says:

Apple are right, it's not funny. At all.

zeagus says:

They're right, it's not funny, but they didn't need to be douchebags about it. Grow up, Apple.

GinoDotCom says:

I can't see the video through my iPhone. Even by clicking on the link.

jay says:

obviously you can discuss senses of humor, but I thought it was really funny. You people need to lighten up a bit.

GinoDotCom says:

Just saw the update, nevermind. I wonder what exactly Apple said? When you're the most popular & powerful smart phone in the world, you have to expect spoofs like this.

iPheuria says:

I do think Apple is being a little too sensitive especially because she is a comedian but remember Apple is a business. There are millions of potential consumers watching Ellen's show and if they get the message wrong that will impact Apple and that's what they think about. Then the fact that it's a television show Apple knows it will be easy to get an apology because there are millions of witnesses to what happend, in the end they got a free endorsement from a celebrity on a show watched by millions and that's all they will care about.

sangs says:

My God. All these years I've heard and read what huge douchebags they are at Microsoft. I think editors must have been transposing Microsoft for Apple. Every day it's something else. Wonder if they'll sue her.

cardfan says:

Actually i'm surprised someone like Palm hasn't done such a commercial but insert the Pre showing the real kb and showing the difference. That's a great way to advertise.
You get away with copying Apple's style of commercial because you're mocking Apple.

ghostface147 says:

Apple and their pathetic feelings. Big damn deal. I thought the spoof was pretty funny. It's exactly how my parents treat the phone. The truth hurts Apple, some people simply cannot use your phone whether it be fat fingers, lack of physical feedback or whatever. Morons.

OmariJames says:

I recently discovered that Viemo supports HTML5 n I was watching it for hours on my iPhone. It's a real enjoyable experience vs mobile YouTube videos. HTML5 needs to take over now.

JonnyPancakes says:

Wow. How anal can a company get?!
Everyone has to be hones though, making the leap from buttons to the iPhone's responsive touch screen was a bit rough, but once you get the hang of it, you type faster than you thought you could.

India says:

Yeah, she did make it look like the phone is difficult to use, but like someone said she's a comedian so thats what she does. I guess apple has to defend their product from all angles though. Working in retail, and selling wireless I can definitely see a prospective iphone customer looking at this and not wanting to get it just because she's a popular person and they might take the video seriously.

Baustin says:

Can't really blame Apple here. EVERY company protects their product and name. So I could see other companies releasing the same statement to protect their product. No big deal.

Tom says:

Jobs needs to lighten up. God forbid if someone makes the CEO of the cult of Apple upset. They are not the Vatican though maybe they think they are. People it's just a phone. Keep things in perspective.

Ummm says:

Good thing Ellen does not have an iPhone app, or it would have been pulled from the App Store, for "user experience" issues no doubt.
I can't wait until the WSJ app is pulled the first time Mossberg says something less than glowing about an iProduct.
News orgs need to learn that a deal with Apple is a deal with the devil, at least as far as free expression is concerned.

TumnusMr says:

Whether you find it funny or not (I chuckled) it was a balatant parody. Apple needs to get over themselves and Ellen should not have apologised.
And have Apple PR never heard of the Streisand Effect? I imagine most people would never have seen the original clip had no fuss been made over it.

Darkstar says:

I'm pretty sure I did see an Ellen App in the iTunes store one day.

DoubleDown says:

Why is there a Flash Lego block under the article where the video should be ?

Michael says:

This is stupid. Ellen needs to be funny and original instead of lame and boring. Like 99% of the stuff she says this wasn't funny.
Apple needs to take a chill pill and use this kind of stuff as motivation for improvement.

keith says:

Are you sure she is a comedian? That was not funny at all. Does she ever say anything funny? What a bore!

keith says:

and what a douche for apologizing!

chippy19977 says:

I think Apple is being overly sensitive about this. I mean, do they realize how many Apple products Ellen has given away on her show? Apple needs to loosen up a bit. It was funny.

DC4242 says:

Apple needs to learn to take a joke! That was funny and obviously not meant to hurt apple. She could have brought up the dropped calls part and that would have been a true stab against apple. Apple is just worked up that they can't get a phone in oprahs hand but the HTC EVO is on her show and everyone knows that lady controls brains of so many women. I love my iPad and respect apple but they are being true douche bags lately.

I didn't say it. says:

She should not have apologized to the douche bags.

zeagus says:

"You people need to lighten up a bit."
Look, just because we don't think it's funny doesn't mean we need to "lighten up". Apple are being douchebags, but I don't find Ellen to be funny. Apparently, in a stroke of irony, I'm expected to apologize for having a different sense of humor :)

Joe McG says:

Tonight at 6: Police ransack Ellen's house and haul away all her computers, files, and video camera. The DA is investigating her for being an Apple poo poo'er and threatening to take away her birthday...

uph0m3r says:

The more Apple opens its mouth the more concerned I get. They are turning into microsoft. Fail.

Greg says:

Just go buy a Palm PRE, it is way better.

Booger McGee says:

The only thing funnier are the fanbois that are freaking out and crying foul about this.
Ellen isn't funny. The skit wasn't funny. However, it's not blasphemous. Some people's reactions, however, are.

Tom says:

How stupid is Ellen? She rips a product that makes her money. Wow. Apple should make her apologize for stupidity. I mean no wonder they flip out. "Hey Elle, we provide you with a means for making money and you rip us a new one on tv. You're kind slow upstairs huh?"
Ellen apologizing was absolutely the right thing to do.

bergman says:

Jobs needs to drag his scrawny body down to iHOP for some apple pancakes. Maybe he'll act happier after he increases his blood sugar level!

Johnsen says:

funny HAHA
damn, apple is so screwed...she's a comedian.
It's time for Google to acquire Apple.

Derek says:

The video is hilarious. Steve Jobs and Apple are babies.

Nelton says:

Mr. Macintosh !!!! Hilarious :-)

GinoDotCom says:

@Tom- how exactly does Apple products make Ellen money?

KC says:

Apple - just Microsoft for the liberal arts crowd. Same uptight bullsh*t, same quest for the almighty dollar.

Ron says:

What nonsense. It was clearly satire, which is the sincerest form of flattery. It associates the iPhone with a very funny and sophisticated skit (good marketing, not bad), and the irony of the skit, if one can get a clue, is precisely that the iPhone is, in reality, very easy to use and powerful.
C'mon Apple. You're smarter than that.

Noodles says:

Usually I couldn't care less what Apple thinks, but if Ellen was funny in general then maybe Apple would have passed on this. You discount Ellen's preference in lifestyle, which people are too afraid to NOT be politically correct, Ellen is just another boring comic, with another boring talk show.

Ashleigh says:

People need to understand that Apple has a business to run. No one would want their business "misrepresented" in that fashion. Everyone knows that Apple cares deeply about their products. With this being said they will be upset about a fake commercial being released. A lot of people watch Ellen and that exposure can be detrimental. It's all relative so Apple in this case is right.

excaliburca says:

Apple can't take a joke, which is sad but not unexpected from a large company like them.
Funny enough, she's right: I find it difficult to text, and write in general, on the iPhone. It's still the one major complaint I have with it, and it's a complaint not just on the iPhone but on touch screens in general.

Sadie says:

You know, I really can't make heads or tails of Steve Jobs' apparent insecurity. Apple is at the top of the technological services in the world, yet you'd think that everyone involved with it possesses transparent skin on account of its thinness.

Steve Jobs Hipster Army says:

Yes...my Apple hipster army is almost complete. Soon I will run the world and force everyone to wear weird hats, ironic t-shirts and exclusively drink Pabst Blue Ribbon. Humor will be outlawed and no one will be allowed to make fun of the almighty Apple!

LocoStrange says:

Its funny how they are allowed to talk negatively about PCs/Window 7 and what not. However, the second someone talks negatively about them, they will go cry and complain about it. REAL mature there, Apple!

Areeyesee says:

Why is apple such a cry baby. I mean they have the best products out and every 1 out of 4 Americans have some kind of apple product. It's not like they're the underdog or anything.

Mike says:

I think the reason Apple is upset over this is because they are a sponsor of her show. I can't even try to guess how many times she has given away Apple products.

Paul says:

I thought it was funny because I just had the same experience when I handed my Dad my iPhone and he did the same thing. It takes some getting used to. She shouldn't have apologized. In fact, if Apple gave her a hard time, she should stop endorsing their products. Apple is not the same company it used to be. And why has "douchebag" become the acceptable slang term in this forum?

OMG says:

To all of you that think a "lot" of people watch Ellen, really? Have you seen that show? Garbage. And while apple has a stockholder responsibility to defend it's products from criticism, what they should really be mad about is her using their popular product to draw attention to her lame show, and the took the bait, dumb.a.s.s.e.s

Damien says:

Its clearly understandable why Apple was upset.. What does Apple try to sell the most about their iPhone other than its numerous Apps? "Ease of use" so imagine if you sell sports cars and someone makes a Joke about how slow your car is.. There are a bunch of people who might write u off..

MaineBob says:

Fun! It's amazing that Apple is so sensitive.... For years Apple had those I'm a Mac, I'm a PC ads and we didn't see Microsoft and Bill Gates getting upset... Instead, Bill is off saving the world from mosquitos. And Steve Jobs is doing what to save the world?

TrinDawg37 says:

Nice recovery there, Ellen...nice! You better apologize or the apple police will get you!! LOL

Iphonney says:

Apple were right, its not funny, ellen isnt funny, the ad isnt funny, its not about product protection... i think they are trying to help improve the quality of TV - go apple... maybe they can try and get rid of simon cowell next...

TonyJohns says:

Don't worry about what Ellen has to say, worry about what Oprah has to say. She is the one who you want to care about what she says about your product. We all know if Oprah don't like it, the world doesn't like it!
falls out of Oprah's trance
But in all seriousness. Apple needs to GTFU. It was a joke. If their panties are really in that much of a bunch, just make a commercial explaining all that you want about the iphone and be done with it!

Ezekiel says:

Well, who hasn't accidentally launched an app you didn't intend to? Happens to all the time. I thought it was amusing.

Malaytim says:

Ellen. Not funny. Enough said.

DRUNK says:

The point of the skit was her basically saying "Hey, I'm such a huge dummie I can't even work an iPhone." Not that the iPhone is difficult to use. What's your malfunctions? Either way it was lame and not funny.

Kyle says:

I wish someone with actual balls would have made the parody, like jon stewart

Kyle4321 says:

I wish someone with actual balls would have made the parody, like jon stewart, he wouldn't give into some lame request.

Kyle4321 says:

sorry about the double post, it said "please make comment longer" but actually posted it

Al says:

Why does she feel the need to apologize to Apple? Is she afraid they won't send her anymore free stuff or something? You would think they had better things to do than respond to something that is obviously parody.

Ron says:

With regard to the argument that Apple is being protective of their products and their business by complaining about a satirical "misrepresentation" of their product, I suggest Apple has done themselves more harm than good by looking like a petulant child who can't take a GOOD-NATURED, complimentary in its irony, joke.

Nick says:

Way to go Apple! You've made CNN! This is one Apple that is getting rotten. I am beginning to think a lot of people outside of the Apple reality distortion field is seeing this happening.
Youtube- Cnn: Is Apple Acting Rotten? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIcFqiiq5Z4

jay0heavenly says:

Oh my God the horror of a comedian making fun of the iPhone...THE WORLD IS ENDING!!!!!!!!!!!

kallan42 says:

Apple does seem to be getting rotten. You know what happens to Apples when they go rotten? They get soft.
Get it...Apple-soft? Hip independent company acting more and more like corporate control-freaks? No?
Oh, well. This sounded funnier in my head. Move along people. Nothing to see here. ;)

kallan42 says:

Also, I actually found that video pretty funny. One of the major reasons I don't own an iPhone today is because every time I try to type on one, I have an experience similar to Ellen's.

Artur says:

So it was okay for Apple to make the "I'm a PC" ads but if someone makes fun of an iProduct they get "the treatment"?

macoficionado says:

As u can c by my name I, like Ellen, love Apple devices BUT please Mr. Jobs stop taking yourself too serious. It is not befitting of some one who is mainly responsible for resurrecting Apple Co., and a dynamic CEO as well.
Humble yourself a bit Mr. Jobs or maybe in the future you'll become the next .... while we all move on to a new dynamic company that offers services and apps all hosted on a server. Oh, that company already exist and its name is Google.

Jordan says:

...are you kidding me?
wtf. she shouldn't have to apologize. my iPhone was a bitch to text on for the first few WEEKS.

Don Reano says:

I remember this guy from late nite tv back in the day. I can't believe people actually fell for those infomercial get rich quick schemes but....at 2am in the morning, after a night of partying, I'd guess a lot of people did things they regret the next day.

Brett Austine says:

Yeah, the free app on my son's phone is pretty cool!!!

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Sue Lepak says:

I too have the same issue. No Cydia installed after the white screen ..

Donetta Baumler says:

Afu Ra and Jeru the Damaja both had similiar videos.