AdMob: iAd could devastate third-party advertising on iPhone

AdMob: iAd could devastate third-party advertising on iPhone
There can't be many fierce rivals that actually have businesses as closely intertwined as Apple and Google.

While the launch of Android put Google in Apple's newfound home turf, the subsequent Apple iAd venture puts Jobs and co. directly in competition with Google's latest $750 million acquisition, AdMob.

AdMob, of course, isn't restricted to just Android, and is already one of the biggest players in iPhone's advertising pool.

Apple's latest iPhone OS 4.0 terms of service – which, in particular, block the process of gathering a large portion of analytics – therefore have the potential to effect AdMob's (and in turn Google's) business to a fairly massive degree.

Indeed, that's an influence AdMob CEO Omar Hamoui doesn't feel too comfortable with.

"I think maybe people expect us to have some deep knowledge of what is going on, but we are really taking a wait and see approach to see how they enforce the terms," Hamoui told TechCrunch after watching Apple's WWDC 2010 opener yesterday.

"Right now, it's status quo. There are, as you have seen, many new terms of service that have been added for 4.0 OS and, since it's not out, we haven't seen anything happen yet. But we're taking a sort of wait and see approach."

Keeping an eye on iAd

What, however, could Hamoui seeing if the new terms of service are, in a worst case scenario, a step towards Apple crippling rival advertising networks?

"As they're written, they would limit the data not just AdMob but any third-party advertising provider would be able to get from applications, and therefore, they would limit our ability to run goods ads that are relevant and make sense for the context the user is in," he continued.

"But sometimes Apple has had terms that are written one way and are then enforced in a different way, so we'll just have to see what they actually do."

Of course, if Apple does end up pushing out third-parties like AdMob, the firm will have its parent company's own smartphone OS Android to fall back on.

Indeed, Hamoui believes – buyout or not – Android is becoming an increasing crucial market to tap up.

"Android is pretty important," he concluded.

"We're seeing Android grow at a similar clip to what we saw the iPhone growing at in the early days. Even independently, we were starting to see a lot of growth."


With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.


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