Google trolls Apple's iPhone in provocative new Pixel ad

Apple iPhone 7
The iPhone 7 saw the headphone port disappear (Image credit: Apple)

Among the many "courageous" decisions Apple has made in recent years (not our words, the words of Jony Ive), none have proven more controversial than the removal of the headphone jack from the iPhone 7. That might have been five years ago, but it seems not everyone is over it – including Google.

The rival tech brand has just released an ad for its Pixel 5a smartphone, and, well, it's pretty obviously a spoof of Apple's own famously ostentatious ads, complete with Jony Ive-esque voice over. And it's all about that feature that's missing from so many of the best camera phones these days: the headphone port.  

"Calling this perfectly-symmetrical, technological marvel, a ‘headphone jack’ may feel like an understatement… but technically, that’s what it’s called, so… fair enough,” Google's voiceover jokes in the delightfully over-the-top ad. The video compares the 'circle' to objects such as a pizza, the head of a drum and, naturally, the International Space Station.

It's certainly a pitch-perfect parody of Apple's own marketing, and many are loving the not-so-subtle swipe at the brand. "The self awareness in this jokey video is such fine art," one YouTuber comments, while another adds, "I think it's so good because it doesn't even feel like an ad. Just a fun to watch parody that still manages to advertise a product."

But many others have pointed out that Google's smug ad is also a little hypocritical. Google itself removed the headphone port from many of its own Pixel phones, including the upcoming Pixel 6. "They literally removed this port 4 years ago, and it won’t be on the pixel 6. What." One user complains. "That’s why Google will always be just the followers. Even their ads follow." Another declares. 

Google Pixel 5

There are plenty of Google phones without a headphone port, such as the Pixel 5a (Image credit: Google)

Indeed, when you consider that Google literally followed Apple's "courageous" lead in removing the port on its higher end models, presumably to encourage users towards its own AirPods alternatives, the Google Pixel Buds, the ad begins to look like something of a cellphone self-own.

But Google can at least take comfort in the fact that it isn't the first brand to take on Apple and not quite win. Who can forget Intel's disastrous swipe at Apple's M1 Macs from earlier this year? So, if all of this has got you in the mood to buy an iPhone without a headphone port, check out today's best iPhone 12 deals below.

Read more:

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.