Amazon Prime Video show screws up iPhone product placement

Are you such a smartphone enthusiast that you check out which phone models are being carried by those walking around you whenever you’re out? Do you pay special attention to mobile devices used on television shows and movies? Do you get upset when a script takes precedence over reality (in other words, does it bug you when a character is seen holding an iPhone in a show or movie that clearly takes place prior to 2007?

Now when you’re watching a show alongside others, or if you’re in a movie theater, when you catch such a gaffe do you go out of your way to make it known to those around you that you’ve caught an error? Do you loudly exclaim that there is no way a movie about “Sully” Sullenberger’s heroic Hudson River landing of  U.S. Airways Flight 1549, which took place in 2009, should show a passenger taking pictures with a Samsung Galaxy Note (which debuted in 2011)?

The Outer Range series didn’t bother using the right case to go along with the iPhone X that appeared on the show

Just so you don’t go crazy looking for such a movie, the above was a hypothetical example. What is not a hypothetical example is the photo that accompanies this story which comes from a Reddit member with the handle SmarmyPanther. The picture was snapped from streaming service Amazon Prime Video during the streaming of a series called Outer Range. Starring Josh Brolin, the series is a combination Western/Science Fiction show set in modern-day Wyoming.

As you can see from the photo, the props department stuck what appears to be an iPhone X or an Apple iPhone XS series phone into a Pixel 3 fabric case. This is hardly a good fit and if you were watching the episode on your phone or tablet, you might have caught this. The rear-camera cut-out on the case is made for the horizontal camera array on the back of the Pixel 3 and not for the vertical camera array used on the iPhone X or iPhone XS series.

The case used by the prop department had a cut-out for the rear fingerprint scanner on the Pixel 3 that revealed the top of the Apple logo on the back of the iPhone. It also has the iconic “G” Google logo which was embedded into the back of the Pixel’s fabric case. When you sit back and take a look at the picture, it looks horrible and for those who care about realism, it is a black eye for the production company which happens to include Plan B Entertainment.

Product placements are worth their weight in gold for companies like Apple.

For the record, the Pixel 3 dimensions are 5.7 x 2.7 x 0.3 inches. For the iPhone X, the dimensions are 5.65 x 2.79 x .3 inches.

If you watch hours of television series and movies, you know that Apple does a pretty good job of  making sure that whenever a script calls for a character to use a smartphone, an iPhone gets the screen time except under one condition. Apple will not allow its phones to be used by a villain. You also might notice Apple’s default iPhone ring tone whenever a character’s phone rings on a television show or movie.

These product placements are worth their weight in gold and are just as valuable as a paid advertisement for companies like Apple and Google. So in the future, if you are really into smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches, keep a closer eye on the devices that your favorite characters are using on your favorite shows and films.

And when the credits run at the end of a particular show or movie that features an Apple device, you’ll see some words along the line of “promotional considerations furnished by Apple.” Those five words mean that in exchange for providing the production with free Apple devices, the company is receiving valuable promotional exposure for the product used on the show or film.

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