Apple revises developer agreement, leaves AdMob out in the cold

Rival, independent, advertising networks allowed

Apple revises developer agreement, leaves AdMob out in the cold
Just a couple of days after AdMob CEO Omar Hamoui said the company was adopting a 'wait and see' approach to the new iPhone developer agreement, it would appear Apple has moved to block the company's operations on iOS altogether.

As reported by All Things Digital, Apple has made good on Steve Jobs's commitment to allow rival ad networks to function on iPhone, but such privileges will only be granted to 'independent' outfits.

The change to the developer agreement – according to Jobs himself – was designed to restrict analytics firms such as Flurry from collecting data without a user's permission, and then using that data to make money.

While Jobs said he would be willing to talk to companies like Flurry at a later date, Apple's seemingly restrictive attitude to analytics had the potential, at least in AdMob's view, to make its ads far less effective.

Apple's analytical attitude

The revised agreement, however, seems to loosen Apple's previously tight attitude to analytics, saying developers can collect data from their apps both if they have user consent, and if such data is "directly relevant to the use of the application".

"For example, without Apple's prior written consent, you may not use third party analytics software in your application to collect and send device data to a third party for aggregation, processing, or analysis," the agreement states, seemingly making businesses such as Flurry hard to operate.

However, in terms of AdMob, the agreement also stipulates that such analytics are "provided to an independent advertising service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads".

Independent love song

The key word here is 'independent'. AdMob was recently purchased by Apple rival Google for $750 million, giving Google a major finger in Apple's iPhone pie.

Apple's own clarification seems to rule out any co-operation with AdMob entirely, stating any provider "owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple would not qualify as independent."

While neither Apple nor AdMob has of yet offered official comment, it appears one of the major players in iPhone advertising may well have just been kicked into touch.
All Things Digital

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