It has not been a good week for Android manufacturers in Europe. Shortly, after it was announced by a Dutch court that Samsung had infringed one of Apple's patents, a Motorola Atrix advertisement was banned in the UK for falsely claiming to be the "world's most powerful smartphone".

The UK Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) received complaints from Samsung users that the Atrix ads were misleading. The Atrix features a 1GHz dual-core processor, while the Samsung Galaxy S II has a faster 1.2GHz dual-core processor. The 200 MHz difference in speed was enough to convince the ASA that the Atrix was not the most powerful smartphone and so it could not claim as such.

In its defense Motorola alleged that the ad focused on the "combined features of the performance and capability of the product", which presumably means that the fact that the Atrix could dock and perform like a netbook made it more "powerful". Nevertheless, there was a good chance customers would be confused if they were to look at the technical specifications and see quite plainly that the Galaxy SII had a higher clock-speed. Hence, the ad can no longer be shown on UK television.

Although the Galaxy S II does have a higher clock-speed, I would agree with Motorola on the point that the term "most powerful" does not necessarily indicate a superior processor. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S II may be faster than the iPhone 4, but it has less apps. So, Apple could argue that their device is "more powerful". Ever since processor speeds have been used as a means to market personal computers the idea that "faster" is "better" has been ingrained in our collective consciousness. However, there is a disconnect between a device having a faster processor and it being "more powerful".

In any event, UK customers can be safe in the knowledge that there is a watchdog ensuring that companies do not make false claims about their products. If there was such a robust body in the US, perhaps the 4G snake-oil would dissipate.

Here's the ad:

Are you confused?

Source: The Telegraph