When Verizon (NYSE: VZ) announced its first helping of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhones, the Cupertino gang took a standoffish approach. Steve Jobs was nowhere to be seen at that unveiling; the involvement stopped at an announcement on Apple's homepage.

Then the first TV commercial showed up, making much hay out of the long wait for a Big Red iPhone and presenting the new partners in a unified light. But that commercial may have been Verizon's creation alone -- an attempt to create connections between the two brand names without attacking anybody in particular. Notice how the spot ends with Verizon's entire corporate brand image and Apple's very specific iPhone logo? Yeah.

Now it's Apple's turn to push the new product. In the new spot, two iPhones are shown performing identical or similar tasks, one after another, to the sweet sounds of "The Blue Danube." That's the docking music from 2001, which makes perfect sense in this spot. It's all about synchronization and matching moves, and it ends with the two networks emblazoned side by side: Verizon and AT&T (NYSE: T). Then, "Two is better than one," and you get the iPhone logo standing alone.

This is clearly Apple's attempt to play both sides of the blue-red fence, encouraging iPhone sales in each camp without insulting the other. Again, there is no mention of competition from Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Androids or Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) BlackBerrys -- why would Apple draw attention to increasingly competent iPhone alternatives when it's the wider availability that matters? The video also doesn't show the AT&T iPhone making voice calls while browsing data, because the Verizon unit wouldn't be able to match that. Insert your own joke about AT&T phones and dropped calls here, please.

It's a clever ad spot from a master of the medium, and this time, nobody is going to start a petty war of words, maps, or features. It's a "Cut off your competition to spite your sales" kind of thing -- tread gingerly or not at all.

And this is just the warm-up. The real test of loyalties and rivalries will come when the iPhone 5 is announced this summer -- or earlier if Verizon gets its own 3G-enabled version of the iPad 2.

Say what you want, but the mobile world is never boring!

No really, spill your guts -- that's what the comments box is for.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Google but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Google is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. The Fool has written puts on Apple. The Fool owns shares of Apple, and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.