Tim Cook saw big money in App Store ads, shot down early resistance

Posted:
in iOS edited October 2022
Following the rollout of Apple's controversial expansion of ads, ex-Apple engineer Shac Ron has revealed that staffers pushed back on the original App Store ad program.




The latest controversy over Apple's ads in the App Store stem from the company's new push to increase its advertising revenue. But now a former employee has revealed that Apple staff were deeply opposed to the introduction of any ads in the App Store at all.

Shac Ron, now with Nvidia, was a Senior Kernel Engineer at Apple for 10 years starting in 2007. He was an employee when the App Store was first launched.

"When ads first appeared in the App Store in early iOS betas, many inside were very upset," he wrote in a micro blog post. "It was an insult to our customers."

"We pushed back strongly," he continued. "After a meeting where management pretended to listen to our concerns, it was evident they had no intention of changing their mind."

"This was the strongest pushback effort I've seen in my time at Apple," wrote Ron. "It was also doomed because Tim Cook saw the money Facebook, Google, and others were making from ads for apps and decided that he wants a portion of that."

"To me ads in iOS are particularly offensive because I took pride in making products that served the customer," wrote Ron. "Ads turn 'customers' into 'users' to be monetized for the real customers, the ad buyers."

Reactions to the new ads

"They fundamentally compromise the integrity of the product," he continued. "I'm glad to see apple getting raked for ads in the OS."

"They are disgusting and shameful," says Ron. "I hope [Apple] will realize how offensive these are, but realistically I doubt it."

Currently, one of the options for advertisers on the App Store is that they able to specify that their ads be shown only against apps that are in completely unrelated genres to their own. This has so far resulted in gambling apps being surfaced next to ones for children.

Apple has also promoted gambling apps with ads right alongside apps that are intended to help recovering gambling addicts.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    When the focus shifts from "let's make the best possible product for the customer" to "let's squeeze out any possible revenue we can from the monopoly we have with the App Store" - you're doing it wrong. "Steve Jobs would have never allowed this" is now a cliche, but....Steve Jobs would have never allowed this.
    edited October 2022 caladaniandecoderringtdknoxrecoveryboyM68000byronlDAalsethqwerty52boboliciousrrabu
  • Reply 2 of 23
    Apple nowadays is all about shareholder value. Most Apple consumers I know are still loyal but unhappy.
    heli0sdecoderringentropysboboliciousrrabuelijahg
  • Reply 3 of 23
    Yep the next Release they'll rename it the Apple AdStore

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 23
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,899member
    Where exactly does one see these ads? I haven't noticed anything different.
  • Reply 5 of 23
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,769member
    It’s not hard to see where this new advertising flex from Apple is going. The next logical step is the creation of a new service to provide the “Ad-free” experience. And it’s completely shady because they know we sheep will just let them do it. 
  • Reply 6 of 23
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,196member
    xyzzy-xxx said:
    Apple nowadays is all about shareholder value. Most Apple consumers I know are still loyal but unhappy.
    We feel used. But still loyal. It is not a good relationship. But we keep hoping things will turn around and it will get better. And we have a n awful lot invested in the relationship. 
    edited October 2022 InspiredCodemuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 23
    welshdog said:
    Where exactly does one see these ads? I haven't noticed anything different.
    It appears to be the 'You Might Also Like' section. It's really more of a paid placement than an advert. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 23
    I personally hate them and I am considering cancelling some of my subscriptions because of them 
    InspiredCodeelijahgdecoderring
  • Reply 9 of 23
    Honestly, the ads SUCK. 

    I it seems so ghetto. like something Microsoft or Google would do. not Apple at all. 

    Of course Cook went for it. He is a great supply chain and numbers guy. But he’s not a customer culture guy. He really needed to listen to the people looking at it from customer perspective. 

    Immediately Shooting down opposition is foolish. He needs to hear the ideas out. There are good reasons people oppose easy money and it has everything to do with quality, culture, and user experience. 

    Keep Apple Apple. Don’t let it resemble the other trash tech companies. 

    Hopefully we don’t start seeing ads in the OS or on Apples website in the future. 
    edited October 2022 qwerty52InspiredCodedecoderringwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 23
    The current "free" no ads software updates could become a fee to NOT have ads throughout the operating system or programs. As these ads require bandwidth, Apple would be stealing from their customers as the customers have to pay for the bandwidth to carry these Apple adds adds and the slow down while those adds flesh out with the sloppy details and animations which also use computer cycles.. 
  • Reply 11 of 23
    ... so has Tim Apple become THE biggest problem at Apple currently ... ?
    ... with thanks to all the long time employees that still fight for the 'core values' that made Apple great ...

    edited October 2022 elijahg
  • Reply 12 of 23
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,196member
    Supply chain guy. Not a visionary.
    elijahg
  • Reply 13 of 23
    When Apple moved from selling a perfectly reasonable opt-in ad service for developers to putting ads in to the operating system they lost their way. Apple is on a path to becoming Google and it isn't a good look. I might be able to forgive an ad supported tier, but ads should be reserved for optional replaceable apps in exchange for services. A lot of Apple users are on the platform because we don't want ads. They detract from the apps we use.
    edited October 2022 elijahg
  • Reply 14 of 23
    welshdog said:
    Where exactly does one see these ads? I haven't noticed anything different.
    It appears to be the 'You Might Also Like' section. It's really more of a paid placement than an advert. 
    It is worse then that since the ads might not be relevant in the context. At least paid placement on eBay or Amazon only show up when relevant.
  • Reply 15 of 23
    Honestly, the ads SUCK. 

    I it seems so ghetto. like something Microsoft or Google would do. not Apple at all. 

    Of course Cook went for it. He is a great supply chain and numbers guy. But he’s not a customer culture guy. He really needed to listen to the people looking at it from customer perspective. 

    Immediately Shooting down opposition is foolish. He needs to hear the ideas out. There are good reasons people oppose easy money and it has everything to do with quality, culture, and user experience. 

    Keep Apple Apple. Don’t let it resemble the other trash tech companies. 

    Hopefully we don’t start seeing ads in the OS or on Apples website in the future. 
    Well, Google and Microsoft might do ads, but they give away their products for free. Apple wants to have the cake and eat it too. Apple wants to bleed the customers..
    muthuk_vanalingamelijahg
  • Reply 16 of 23
    Honestly, the ads SUCK. 

    I it seems so ghetto. like something Microsoft or Google would do. not Apple at all. 

    Of course Cook went for it. He is a great supply chain and numbers guy. But he’s not a customer culture guy. He really needed to listen to the people looking at it from customer perspective. 

    Immediately Shooting down opposition is foolish. He needs to hear the ideas out. There are good reasons people oppose easy money and it has everything to do with quality, culture, and user experience. 

    Keep Apple Apple. Don’t let it resemble the other trash tech companies. 

    Hopefully we don’t start seeing ads in the OS or on Apples website in the future. 
    Well, Google and Microsoft might do ads, but they give away their products for free. Apple wants to have the cake and eat it too. Apple wants to bleed the customers..
    Right. Steve Jobs actually pushed for a ad-supported version of macOS that would show ads in various places, including during startup. But it would have been a cheap or free version as alternative to the regular $129 one.

    I could stomach some ads in the App Store. It’s a store, after all, so at least it makes some sense. But rumors are it won’t stop there. And unless they’re going to cut prices on hardware significantly, I won’t be happy.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 17 of 23
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,286member
    Honestly, the ads SUCK. 

    I it seems so ghetto. like something Microsoft or Google would do. not Apple at all. 

    Of course Cook went for it. He is a great supply chain and numbers guy. But he’s not a customer culture guy. He really needed to listen to the people looking at it from customer perspective. 

    Immediately Shooting down opposition is foolish. He needs to hear the ideas out. There are good reasons people oppose easy money and it has everything to do with quality, culture, and user experience. 

    Keep Apple Apple. Don’t let it resemble the other trash tech companies. 

    Hopefully we don’t start seeing ads in the OS or on Apples website in the future. 
    Well, Google and Microsoft might do ads, but they give away their products for free. Apple wants to have the cake and eat it too. Apple wants to bleed the customers..
    I could stomach some ads in the App Store. It’s a store, after all, so at least it makes some sense. But rumors are it won’t stop there. And unless they’re going to cut prices on hardware significantly, I won’t be happy.
    I agree with you, this is simply the first stage where the seasonings are prepped. The meat will come.
  • Reply 18 of 23
    ... so has Tim Apple become THE biggest problem at Apple currently ... ?
    ... with thanks to all the long time employees that still fight for the 'core values' that made Apple great ...

    Don't think so, I think there are still MANY problems leftover from the Jobs era that are still running wild at Apple. Just look at the VP page or the state of OSX and some Apple apps and services. I'd love to be a fly on the wall during a development or roadmap meeting, if there even are such meetings.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    Evvvvverybody hates ads. But deep down inside your animal brain you realize that without ads you’d have to pay for evvvverything, even broadcast OTA TV. 
    dewme
  • Reply 20 of 23
    lkrupp said:
    Evvvvverybody hates ads. But deep down inside your animal brain you realize that without ads you’d have to pay for evvvverything, even broadcast OTA TV. 
    The funnier part is - Apple's customer are already paying (a premium), exactly to not have Ads and protect their privacy. And it becomes a problem when Apple decides to show Ads, after asking for premium for the hardware that they sell to their customers.
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