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Apple's modified iOS terms allow outside advertisers, limit AdMob

post #1 of 42
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Apple on Monday changed the terms of its iOS developer agreement to allow outside, independent advertising agencies to collect data with user consent, but the change also has a provision that appears to exclude Google's AdMob.

In April, Apple updated the terms of its mobile operating system developer agreement, restricting outside advertising agencies from collecting information about users. Last week at the D8 conference, Chief Executive Steve Jobs said the changes were made to protect user privacy, and were not anticompetitive.

Jobs singled out Flurry Analytics, which, unbeknownst to Apple, was collecting information about devices through App Store software. That allowed the firm to boast in January that it had tracked a number of devices on Apple's campus running an unreleased version of iOS. Those devices turned out to be Apple's then-unannounced iPad.

On Monday, Apple officially changed its stance and modified the terms of its developer agreement. The new section 3.3.9 reads that applications "may not collect, use, or disclose to any third party, user or device data without prior user consent," and gives a list of conditions under which the sharing of data is allowed. Agencies will now be allowed to collect user data, but only after receiving their consent.

As noted by Peter Kafka at MediaMemo, the modified section 3.3.9 says that information can only be provided to "an independent advertising service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads."

"For example," it continues, "an advertising service or provider owned or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems of development environments other than Apple would not qualify as independent."

The largest mobile advertising firm, AdMob, was recently acquired by Google. Google is also the maker of the Android mobile operating system, which would seem to suggest that AdMob is qualified as a "developer or distributor" of mobile operating systems.

"The language also appears to disqualify potential rivals -- if, for instance, Microsoft tried entering the mobile display market," Kafka wrote. "I've asked Apple for comment, but I’m not expecting any."

Before Google bought AdMob, Apple tried first, Jobs admitted in April when iAd was introduced. But AdMob was "snatched" by Google before Apple could close the deal, he said.

Google ultimately paid $750 million for AdMob -- a premium price that the search giant was reportedly willing to pay to keep the company away from Apple. Apple then settled for Quattro Wireless for $275 million, a purchase that paved the way for iAd.

Apple has big plans for its own mobile advertising venture, set to debut July 1. The service already has $60 million in commitments over the next six months, and is estimated to take nearly a 50 percent market share of the mobile advertising space in the second half of 2010.
post #2 of 42
this is gonna get interesting
post #3 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

this is gonna get interesting

Ballsy move. Is it hubris?
post #4 of 42
PWNED!!!

ps, I'm loving S5's Reader option, it made reading the article quite comfortable.
post #5 of 42
This seems reasonable, Apple certainly wouldn't want Google or Microsoft to be able to get inside information on new devices coming from Apple via their data-mining ads.
post #6 of 42
You forgot to point out that Apple would be unable to track such statistics itself through iAds neither. Furthermore, this is more like, for example, Bing search being included in Safari but it shouldn't ever suggest downloading Internet Explorer.
post #7 of 42
I don't know, but its a safe bet the FTC is going to take a good look at this as part of their anti-trust investigation.
post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

I don't know, but its a safe bet the FTC is going to take a good look at this as part of their anti-trust investigation.

They may, but I have a hard time seeing how it's going to get them into trouble. The clause prevents other companies who compete directly with Apple from benefitting from their ecosystem. Google and Android for example. If apple had a majority of the phone market I can see this as a problem, but with 2.7% share, or roughly 21% share in the US market is it hard for Google to claim their business is significantly hurt by it. Especially when they have their own competing phone to put their own ads on.
post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

I don't know, but its a safe bet the FTC is going to take a good look at this as part of their anti-trust investigation.

At this point the New York Post and its rumors make it sound like they are examining what candy in the Cupe vending machines as anti-trust. So yeah they should have an article saying this has been added to the list of DOJ concerns in the next 12 hours, 24 tops
post #10 of 42
We'll see how well apple does in the ad business. It seems to me that apple trying to block google ads from their apps. I don't know if iAds can provide as much revenue right away for developers as google ads can already, but perhaps over time they could be more competitive.

It's just I have a hard time seeing apple as an ad company. Something just does not feel right about that.
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post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

Ballsy move. Is it hubris?

10% hubris, 90% not giving their biggest competitor inside access to their ecosystem.
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

10% hubris, 90% not giving their biggest competitor inside access to their ecosystem.

I understand your point.

I wonder if the meaning of "competitor" will be examined by the feds. ISTM that a case could be made that Apple is trying to use its market power in the mobile app market to stifle competition in the mobile ad market.

Time will tell. The hubris part would only come into play if they get slapped for it.
post #13 of 42
More and more looking like a big mistake to compete with Apple in their own backyard -devices where seamless hardware-software integration is critical.

Even if Apple doesn't take over the whole market in smart mobile devices, they will always get the higher-income demographic, you know the ones whom advertisers lust after because they have more money to spend. And now, Google can't easily run crying to the FTC about AdMob getting locked out of info sharing with iPhone apps because they are direct competitors in smart phones and similar devices. And since the point of Android is to ensure Google maximal mobile ad audience, Google's entry into smart phones just might have backfired because it actually limits their mobile ad scope.

So I think it's Google more than Apple who has been infected with hubris. Witness how they thought they could just march into smart phone retailing without first building a customer support and service infrastructure. One thing about Apple, as arrogant as some people say they are, Apple does not go into anything without first doing their homework. And nobody does as much homework as Apple. Google does one thing, and only one thing, well --search ads. That's it. And because they do that well, they started thinking they can do everything well. That can be attributed to nothing else but hubris.
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

I understand your point.

I wonder if the meaning of "competitor" will be examined by the feds. ISTM that a case could be made that Apple is trying to use its market power in the mobile app market to stifle competition in the mobile ad market.

Time will tell. The hubris part would only come into play if they get slapped for it.

I also wonder whether Apple has crossed the restraint-of-trade line on this. But they have the best lawyers and they are probably hinging their arguments on the nuance of allowing information sharing with independent advertisers and ad servers but not those affiliated with Apple's mobile device and platform competitors. Notice also, the ban is on information sharing not on actual posting of mobile ads. So iPhone apps can still contain AdMob ads, they just can't give AdMob any information that would benefit Google's Android business. Pretty smart lawyering I think, at least from a non-lawyer's POV.

Yes, time (and the courts) will tell.
post #15 of 42
I know we have to go through independent list brokers for email lists and mail lists all the time for our direct mail and ad purchases.

insisting on a truly independent third party seems like a natural requirement for apple to disclose their user datas data to a third party. third meaning not first party (the user) or second party (apple).
or maybe the other way around from The Steves point of view.

but it seems more like something not anticipated. abused in some scenarios. and happens to support competitive goals. but overall is reasonable to build trust into the platform..

I think this is something facebook could learn from and adopt.
post #16 of 42
I will have to see for myself, but if these ads are the least bit intrusive I will simply not get an iPhone. Leave the ads on search results and TV where they belong.
post #17 of 42
I just think it's funny that a guy named Kafka is covering Apple. He would make a great app store developer.
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

But AdMob was "snatched" by Google before Apple could close the deal

Lie. Google made offer after expiration of "buy-out window". Apple had 40 days to buyout AdMob. And only after the windows Google made the offer.
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American centrism dominates 50% of the population here. That half don't think outside the box ... or perhaps just don't think. © digitalclips
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post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

We'll see how well apple does in the ad business. It seems to me that apple trying to block google ads from their apps. I don't know if iAds can provide as much revenue right away for developers as google ads can already, but perhaps over time they could be more competitive.

It's just I have a hard time seeing apple as an ad company. Something just does not feel right about that.

just a company providing what they feel is the best implementation of ad service for their platform. I seriously doubt they are going to add "ad company" to any of their marketing, nor make a big deal out of it. With control of such a nice chunk of the smartphone demographic, this is an attractive demographic to advertisers.
post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by macosxp View Post

I will have to see for myself, but if these ads are the least bit intrusive I will simply not get an iPhone. Leave the ads on search results and TV where they belong.

The add demonstration was pretty conclusive - they DON'T want ads to be intrusive - which is why they decided to step in and manage it for the users. YOU decide if you click on the ad, YOU decide if you want to continue to watch the ad or "x" out of it. And since it floats above your running application - once it ends or you "x" out of it, you are returned to your application, non the worse for the experience. Unlike current ads which spill you out to a website link and disrupt your gameplay or app use.
post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by gin_tonic View Post

Lie. Google made offer after expiration of "buy-out window". Apple had 40 days to buyout AdMob. And only after the windows Google made the offer.


So, an "Ass" right back at you in hopes you learn to communicate in a more friendly and reasonable manner. Anyhow - how in fact do you know what actually transpired - we only have claims from those allegedly involved in the deal - right?

post #22 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by macosxp View Post

I will have to see for myself, but if these ads are the least bit intrusive I will simply not get an iPhone. Leave the ads on search results and TV where they belong.

If you have no problem with banner ads they shouldn't be a problem. I believe the user has to tap to activate them, and they can't be used as a forced in between page. The developer could probably still use a combination of iAds and Google ads however.
post #23 of 42
Do you think Google is pissed at paying 2-3x more for an Ad company to then have Apple come out and grab 50% of mobile advertising?
post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by masternav View Post

The add demonstration was pretty conclusive - they DON'T want ads to be intrusive - which is why they decided to step in and manage it for the users. YOU decide if you click on the ad, YOU decide if you want to continue to watch the ad or "x" out of it. And since it floats above your running application - once it ends or you "x" out of it, you are returned to your application, non the worse for the experience. Unlike current ads which spill you out to a website link and disrupt your gameplay or app use.

I'm going to be clicking on as many iAds as possible. AAPL gets $1 per click!
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatsFan83 View Post

Do you think Google is pissed at paying 2-3x more for an Ad company to then have Apple come out and grab 50% of mobile advertising?

Maybe, but they might have prevented Apple from grabbing 80%.
post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

I understand your point.

I wonder if the meaning of "competitor" will be examined by the feds. ISTM that a case could be made that Apple is trying to use its market power in the mobile app market to stifle competition in the mobile ad market.

Time will tell. The hubris part would only come into play if they get slapped for it.

Well Apple isn't saying Google can't put ads on iPhones. Apple is allowing Google to sell ad views, but not also pull certain types of data from Apple produced devices. It can be argued that this helps protect Apple proprietary customer information from competitors, which if true would be completely allowable. But how does that square with how the desktop world has evolved? There it is open wild-west terms on full data extraction from the user, even without the users permission.

Things are different in mobile with the vertical market control, but are they different enough to avoid falling on the wrong side of the law for stuff like ad data collection???
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post #27 of 42
Google also owns DoubleClick who is the largest "3rd-party" ad server. Although they have been slow to the mobile game (DoubleClick, that is), it's ironic that they are now banned from tracking iAds. Advertisers will need to find other solutions, and ones that may not play nice with their primary tracking platform.
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

I also wonder whether Apple has crossed the restraint-of-trade line on this. But they have the best lawyers and they are probably hinging their arguments on the nuance of allowing information sharing with independent advertisers and ad servers but not those affiliated with Apple's mobile device and platform competitors. Notice also, the ban is on information sharing not on actual posting of mobile ads. So iPhone apps can still contain AdMob ads, they just can't give AdMob any information that would benefit Google's Android business. Pretty smart lawyering I think, at least from a non-lawyer's POV.

Yes, time (and the courts) will tell.


Why do you say that Apple has the best lawyers?
post #29 of 42
Somebody show me PROOF that any government agency is "investigating" Apple. Go on, I'll wait. I don't mean point me to some blogger or some newspaper rag speculating or quoting some unnamed source. Show me actual concrete proof that Apple is under investigation.
I'm not saying they should or shouldn't be investigated - not my point. My point is somebody tossed this rumor out into the blog universe and now it is being taken as fact. I've not heard one peep out of the government yet.
post #30 of 42
[QUOTE=tundraboy;1648640

So I think it's Google more than Apple who has been infected with hubris. .[/QUOTE]


I'm not sure why Google's attributes even enter into it.
post #31 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

We'll see how well apple does in the ad business. It seems to me that apple trying to block google ads from their apps. I don't know if iAds can provide as much revenue right away for developers as google ads can already, but perhaps over time they could be more competitive.

It's just I have a hard time seeing apple as an ad company. Something just does not feel right about that.

blocking stats gathering apps, not the ads themselves. These are compliance rules that an app can easily obey, and it shouldn't be surprising that Apple doesn't want Google getting inside info on their upcoming devices.
post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by gin_tonic View Post

Lie. Google made offer after expiration of "buy-out window". Apple had 40 days to buyout AdMob. And only after the windows Google made the offer.

They knew that. That is why they put "snatched" in quotes. When dealing in the Apple world, words can mean anything you want.

Indeed, it is a badge of honor to take a word which clearly means X, but also maybe sometimes means Y, and to claim therefore that Apple is exactly the same as hated competitor Z, because both are Y. It is truly bizarre.

Search for "walled garden" in recent posts. You will see several to the effect "They say Apple has a walled garden? Well really, we can torture the term to mean that Company Z is REALLY the one with the "walled garden".
post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by masternav View Post

I seriously doubt they are going to add "ad company" to any of their marketing, nor make a big deal out of it.


Ummm....They already have made a big deal out of it, bragging that they haven't even gotten started but are taking X% of the ad market already

Sheesh.
post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by masternav View Post

The add demonstration was pretty conclusive - they DON'T want ads to be intrusive - which is why they decided to step in and manage it for the users. YOU decide if you click on the ad, YOU decide if you want to continue to watch the ad or "x" out of it. And since it floats above your running application - once it ends or you "x" out of it, you are returned to your application, non the worse for the experience. Unlike current ads which spill you out to a website link and disrupt your gameplay or app use.

Once the iPhone is able to multitask, how is this any different from any web ad? All I see is that Apple embedded a browser into apps to see only ads, but no other content.

And as far as "You decide whether to click the ad": that is precisely the same as current ads in any app.
post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by masternav View Post

So, an "Ass" right back at you in hopes you learn to communicate in a more friendly and reasonable manner. Anyhow - how in fact do you know what actually transpired - we only have claims from those allegedly involved in the deal - right?


There is no dispute whatsoever about the facts of the matter.
post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatsFan83 View Post

Do you think Google is pissed at paying 2-3x more for an Ad company to then have Apple come out and grab 50% of mobile advertising?


Of course they are. But if Apple gave a level playing field in the appAd market, Google would likely not be pissed.

As things are now, Apple is alleged to be using its market power in the mobile app market in order to stifle competition in the handset market, in which Apple has serious competition.

It remains to be seen whether it is alleged that Apple is now using this market power in order to lessen competition in the mobile ad market.
post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatsFan83 View Post

I'm going to be clicking on as many iAds as possible. AAPL gets $1 per click!

Why not just go down to the Apple Store and throw a C-Note on the counter? Is there any difference?
post #38 of 42
Loosing a lot of respect for Apple with their iOS devices. MUST find alternatives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macosxp View Post

I will have to see for myself, but if these ads are the least bit intrusive I will simply not get an iPhone. Leave the ads on search results and TV where they belong.

Its posts like these that have me scratching my head. Where were you before iAds? Admob has been the leading provider for developers of ad-supported apps on the iPhone and other platforms, such as WebOS, for a good while now.

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post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

Well Apple isn't saying Google can't put ads on iPhones. Apple is allowing Google to sell ad views, but not also pull certain types of data from Apple produced devices. It can be argued that this helps protect Apple proprietary customer information from competitors, which if true would be completely allowable. But how does that square with how the desktop world has evolved? There it is open wild-west terms on full data extraction from the user, even without the users permission.

Things are different in mobile with the vertical market control, but are they different enough to avoid falling on the wrong side of the law for stuff like ad data collection???


ISTM that Apple is saying that any ad company of any level of ethics can access this information, except for those ad companies who also happen to compete with Apple handsets.

"Agencies will now be allowed to collect user data, but only after receiving their consent.

"As noted by Peter Kafka at MediaMemo, the modified section 3.3.9 says that information can only be provided to "an independent advertising service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads."

"For example," it continues, "an advertising service or provider owned or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems of development environments other than Apple would not qualify as independent."


Good luck with that, Apple.
post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by igxqrrl View Post

Why do you say that Apple has the best lawyers?

Best is impossible to define in this context. Apple's lawyers are, very likely, excellent or better. Masterful, probably.
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