Eyeing the mobile ad mart, Apple unveils iAd

Eyeing the mobile ad mart, Apple unveils iAd

The software has a built-in advertising system, meant to be used by the developers who have created the more than 1,85,000 applications in Apple’s App Store.

Speaking to reporters and developers, company Chief Executive Officer, Steven P  Jobs said, the new system, called iAds, would offer ways to build complex interactive ads into apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Apple said it would sell and serve up the ads and give developers 60 per cent of the revenue from ads that run in their programmes.
Jobs said that the iAd platform was primarily meant to give developers another way to keep prices for their apps low, or to make them available free. “This is not a get-rich-quick scheme for Apple,” he said, adding “this is us helping our developers make money so they can survive and keep the prices of their apps reasonable.”

Developers’ revenue
Michael Gartenberg, a partner with the consulting firm Altimeter Group, said creating new ways for developers to make money from their programmes would ensure a continuing supply of those programmes for Apple’s growing portfolio of mobile devices. “It shows that Apple is really committed to building out a rich apps ecosystem, which has always been their main differentiator from competitors,” Gartenberg said.

Further, Jobs stressed that the ads would not distract people from what they were doing on the phone, and that the ads would be entertaining. The ads will be seen only on Apple’s products, and it is not clear whether Apple has ambitions to sell ads on other mobile phones. The iAd system will be part of version 4.0 of the iPhone OS, the software at the core of the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. That software will also include one much-anticipated feature, the ability to run multiple non-Apple applications at the same time.

Other new features include the ability to give apps as gifts, a new gaming center that will allow owners of Apple devices to play video games against others, and tools for companies to manage their employees’ iPhones and directly send custom applications to those phones.

The new software will be available for owners of recent iPhone and iPod Touch models this summer, and for the iPad later in the year. Elements of the operating system will not run on the older iPhone 3G, which apparently does not have the hardware capability to support the new multitasking
functions.

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