Mobile ad wars: AdMob says Apple prohibiting its ads from iPhone

Mobile ad wars: AdMob says Apple prohibiting its ads from iPhone

Summary: AdMob CEO Omar Hamoui ripped changes in Apple's iOS developer terms. In short, Hamoui says that Apple's developer terms if enforced could prohibit developers from AdMob and Google ads on the iPhone.

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AdMob CEO Omar Hamoui ripped changes in Apple's iOS developer terms. In short, Hamoui says that Apple's developer terms if enforced could prohibit developers from AdMob and Google ads on the iPhone.

You just knew it would come to this. Apple tried to buy AdMob. Google won the company. Then Apple bought Quattro Wireless. Then came iAds, which aims to secure app advertising that will elicit an emotional response (whatever that means). Actually, Apple is just trying to secure as much revenue as it can from its app ecosystem. Developers, heavily courted by both Google and Apple, are in the middle.

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Obviously, Apple and Google are on a mobile ad collision course and AdMob can't afford to be cut out of the iPhone advertising business. Hamoui writes on the AdMob blog:

Apple proposed new developer terms on Monday that, if enforced as written, would prohibit app developers from using AdMob and Google’s advertising solutions on the iPhone.  These advertising related terms both target companies with competitive mobile technologies (such as Google), as well as any company whose primary business is not serving mobile ads. This change threatens to decrease – or even eliminate – revenue that helps to support tens of thousands of developers. The terms hurt both large and small developers by severely limiting their choice of how best to make money.  And because advertising funds a huge number of free and low cost apps, these terms are bad for consumers as well. Let’s be clear. This change is not in the best interests of users or developers.

Hamoui doesn't outline any direct threats. His appeal is directed at developers. And it's no coincidence that Apple CEO Steve Jobs did some serious developer courting too. In his keynote Monday, Jobs touted Apple's rev share and how it has paid more than $1 billion to developers.

The mobile ad war is just heating up and both Apple and Google will court developers heavily. Will Apple be the only ad revenue game in its ecosystem?

Related: Game on: Google closes AdMob purchase just in time for Apple's iAds

Topics: Software Development, Apple, Google, iPhone, Mobility

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82 comments
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  • This is Apple's iPhone, not AdMob's

    Apple has every right to determine what is allowed on the iPhone, just as MS can do with Windows!
    John Zern
    • Nonsense! If you buy iPhone, than its your iPhone, not Apples

      Apple acts as if iPhone users are a company asset to be milked and harvested for money. If I buy an iPhone, do I get to tell apple how they can use the money that I gave them? Then how dare they restrict my choices for their bottom line.

      People simply don't know what they are getting into when they buy apple products. Restrictions, limitations and lock-in are not clearly spelled out on the box when you buy their product. To me this is a case of bait-and-switch. You think you are buying a device, but what you are really buying is the restricted device with Apples marketing conduit into your life and your home.
      hamobu-22333136139518773481685514128812
      • RE: Mobile ad wars: AdMob says Apple prohibiting its ads from iPhone

        @hamobu

        This isn't about the users ownership of a device or not. This is about what data Apple is allowing companies that develop Ad software to collect on their devices.

        Apple will allow all Ad software companies to host ads within apps if the developers choose to use them. What Apple will NOT allow, is an Ad company that is also a mobile device company from collecting data about the device itself, and why should they? Why should a competitor be allowed to collect specific device information about Apple's customers?

        Other Ad companies are allowed to discuss what they'd like to do with Apple, and will get individual approval for collecting specific device data.

        I see nothing wrong with this.
        tk_77
      • what a bunch of bs

        @hamobu
        apple has to hand over competitors their plaform for them to make money on it? how far have we come? what has ever happened to the idea that one should benefit from his own achievements?

        the whole lock-in, restriction propaganda is fud. apple will not handle over value data to their direct competitors for them to make money on their mobile platform. that would be simply insane. you as a consumer will see ads. you really care from which ad network they come from?

        and yes, google is getting desperate with this kind of pr. turns out they paid 750 million for nothing.
        banned from zdnet
      • Actually, YES, it is about ownership. It is your phone, you should be able

        to decide what applications are installed. Apple should not be able to veto applications based on the ad provider used.

        That said, Apple does not have a monopoly in smart phones, so, they do have a right to put such restrictions, even though it means you really do not own the iPhone you just bought, Apple does.
        DonnieBoy
      • RE: Mobile ad wars: AdMob says Apple prohibiting its ads from iPhone

        @tk_77<br><br><i>This is about what data Apple is allowing companies that develop Ad software to collect on their devices.</i><br><br>Actualy this is about which advertisers app developers can use to generate revenue from their iPhone apps. That's what the article says anyways. <br><br>@banned from zdnet<br><br><i>apple has to hand over competitors their plaform for them to make money on it?</i><br><br>It's not apples device to hand over or not to hand over. The equivalent to this would be Ford restricting you to using only their brand of gasoline in the car you bought from them.<br><br>@ DonnieBoy<br><br><i> That said, Apple does not have a monopoly in smart phones, so, they do have a right to put such restrictions, even though it means you really do not own the iPhone you just bought, Apple does.</i><br><br>You are pre-supposing informed consumers. This is not the case. People who buy Apple products know nothing about restrictions imposed on them and the value of choices that they are missing. Apple is basically swindling consumers.
        hamobu-22333136139518773481685514128812
      • banned from zdnet: Well, iPhone owners and developers should be the ones

        enraged by this. Apple is restricting what YOU the customer can do with the phone you bought, that results in money getting funneled under the table to Apple. It is probably legal since they do not have a monopoly in smart phones, but, not something that iPhone owners or developers would like one little bit. So, good that ZDNet is outing them.
        DonnieBoy
      • hamobu: You probably have the best take on this. It may be legal, BUT,

        Apple needs to spell it out in big letters on the box, so that consumers realize that they do NOT completely own the phone they just bought.
        DonnieBoy
      • DonnieBoy: I don't think misrepresenting your product is legal

        Tactics like bait and switch are illegal. This is what Apple is doing. You think you are paying the sticker cost for your phone when in reality you face much bigger cost after the sale. Actually what apple is doing is worse than standard bait and switch since with standard bait and switch the swindle is apparent at the time of sale.
        hamobu-22333136139518773481685514128812
      • "don't like apple's restrictions? buy something else"

        @banned from zdnet Yup, that is definitely my plan!
        cornpie
      • Spare us the righteous entitlement

        @hamobu

        Go spew your righteous indignation at the cable company that sold you your digital converter, or Sony who sold you your Playstation, or Microsoft who sold you an xBox. While you are at it, try press your ownership rights next time you want to drive your car without a license or insurance. Or try to hang your laundry out the window of your condo or on the front lawn of your North American home. The truth is, few things of value come without some usage restrictions.

        Apple is a business that owns an online app store. It's their right to decide what products and services they will sell in that store, just like Amazon and others. If AdMob wants to be on the iPhone and iPad, they're free to do so by selling their services to developers of web apps, but please don't try to sell us on the idea that Apple owes Google or AdMob a living or a place in their AppStore. Don't try to sell us on the idea that Apple is bilking their customers by depriving them of AdMob's advertising service. Apple has already replaced that with something better of their own. Apple is allowed to compete, especially in their own store.

        Also, try not to worry about how enlightened Apple customer's are or not. They tend to be informed and know they have choices within the mobile space. Sorry if you don't agree with them choosing Apple because of it's closed, managed nature. Many regard that as a feature of the platform, like buying into a gated community. Yes, there may be lots of rules and some restrictions, but the trade offs are great technology, great design, stability, security and really, really cool devices that just work!
        jaypeg
      • Your analogies are a bit confused

        @jaypeg

        First of all, in the examples you provided, some of them simply do not apply. Those examples would be the ones where restrictions are placed on you for the greater good of the society. (Driving liscence, condo rules, etc). Restrictions that Apple placed here are purely to increase profit at consumers expense.

        Cable restrictions and restrictions on gaming devices are wrong but users are used to these restrictions because industry put these restrictions in place from the get-go and shaped consumer expectations.

        With smart phones, it is not normal to be limited to only one app provider. But since first smart phone for many people is iPhone, apple is the one that gets to set consumer expectations.

        Same thing with PCs. Consumers would never tolerate restrictions on PCs and laptops that restrict you to one software provider and one content provider. Apple solution: Take a laptop, add touch screen, remove keyboard and call it iPad. But by creating a new name for it, apple gets to set limitations and expectations.
        hamobu-22333136139518773481685514128812
      • Apple is Apple

        @hamobu

        Your mistake is the inference that Apple should be run like somekind of socialist/democratic government or a public service. That it's products and services should somehow be overseen by some overlord committee of protean beings (perhaps chaired by yourself) or voted upon by the masses so that they may uniformly conform to yours' or someone else's grand egalitarian ideals.

        Apple is actively defining what a mobile device should be on their own terms. That takes courage and a great deal of risk. If they followed your status quo notions, the iPhone would have been one great big yawn from the get-go. Apple does not owe AdMob, Google, nor the rest of mobile device industry a living and what they are doing by kicking Google's AdMob out of their store is perfectly legal. Would you allow a competitor to set up shop in your store? Of course not! This is a competitive move on Apple's part--not anti-competative. Google's Android app store can now set about competing with Apple's AppStore from a respectable, competitive distance. Competition is good, may the best device, the best app store, the best ad network win. I love the smell of freedom in the morning.
        jaypeg
      • Does AT&T owns the iPhone because you use their network?

        @hamobu
        minardi
      • RE: Mobile ad wars: AdMob says Apple prohibiting its ads from iPhone

        @ jaypeg

        <i> Your mistake is the inference that Apple should be run like some kind of socialist/democratic government or a public service.</i>

        That?s not what I am saying. I am saying that Apple is cheating you and you should avoid their products. Plus there should be some professionalism and honesty. We don?t expect doctors to make us sick just to sell us more medicine.

        <i>. If they followed your status quo notions, the iPhone would have been one great big yawn from the get-go.</i>

        I think this is cognitive dissonance speaking on your part. Contrary to your assertion, greater competition would result in increased choices and services.

        <i> Would you allow a competitor to set up shop in your store? Of course not!</i>

        You might have an argument if iPhone users had choice of stores, but they don?t. Effectively, Apple is restricting the device that you own to make more money at your expense. Would you like to live in a world were consumers are just corporate assets to be managed?
        hamobu-22333136139518773481685514128812
      • Minardi: I am not sure what your point is?

        @minardi

        what is it that you are trying to say?
        hamobu-22333136139518773481685514128812
      • RE: Mobile ad wars: AdMob says Apple prohibiting its ads from iPhone

        @hamobu <br><br>I am still trying to figure at who's expensive here, the Apple consumer? The Apple consumer who willingly "choose" Apple over and over again, and rank them as the highest in satisfaction ratings? (yes I keep bringing this up to prove that you're argument is falling on deaf ear with happy Apple users). Who are these poor innocent consumers you keep talking about that Apple is taking advantage off? <br><br>Apple is running their business no different from the way other well known companies run their business. Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Facebook just to name a few. And there targeted users also seem to be happy users. If consumers do not like the way a business is run, they don't buy or join.
        dave95.
      • RE: Mobile ad wars: AdMob says Apple prohibiting its ads from iPhone

        @hamobu-22333136139518773481685514128812 Your mistake is the inference that Apple should be run like somekind of socialist/democratic government or a public service. That it's products and services should somehow be overseen by some overlord committee of protean beings (perhaps chaired by yourself) or voted upon by the masses so that they may uniformly conform to yours' or someone else's grand egalitarian ideals.

        Apple is actively defining what a mobile device should be on their own terms. That takes courage and a great deal of risk. If they followed your status quo notions, the iPhone would have been one great big yawn from the get-go. Apple does not owe AdMob, Google, nor the rest of mobile device industry a living and what they are doing by kicking Google's AdMob out of their store is perfectly legal. Would you allow a competitor to set up shop in your store? Of course not! This is a competitive move on Apple's part--not anti-competative. Google's Android app store can now set about competing with Apple's AppStore from a respectable, competitive distance. Competition is good, may the best device, the best app store, the best ad network win. I love the smell of freedom in the morning.
        cstrathmore
      • RE: Mobile ad wars: AdMob says Apple prohibiting its ads from iPhone

        @hamobu-22333136139518773481685514128812

        Your mistake is the inference that Apple should be run like some kind of socialist/democratic government or a public service.

        That?s not what I am saying. I am saying that Apple is cheating you and you should avoid their products. Plus there should be some professionalism and honesty. We don?t expect doctors to make us sick just to sell us more medicine.

        . If they followed your status quo notions, the iPhone would have been one great big yawn from the get-go.

        I think this is cognitive dissonance speaking on your part. Contrary to your assertion, greater competition would result in increased choices and services.

        Would you allow a competitor to set up shop in your store? Of course not!

        You might have an argument if iPhone users had choice of stores, but they don?t. Effectively, Apple is restricting the device that you own to make more money at your expense. Would you like to live in a world were consumers are just corporate assets to be managed?
        cstrathmore
    • Ah, the fallacies!

      @John Zern

      1. Once I buy the phone, its my phone, not Apple's phone.
      2. Microsoft cannot control what goes on Windows
      2a. You can run Safari, iTunes, etc on Windows if you want to. It doesn't come with them but Microsoft doesn't prevent you from using them if you want to.
      2b. Microsoft gets sued for "bundling" when it tries to include more of it's products in Windows.
      cornpie