WSJ(4/9) Apple Fights Google On New Turf
Apple Inc. is stepping up its rivalry with Google Inc. by adding its own advertising system to the next version of software that will power its iPhone, iPad and other mobile gadgets.
Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said Thursday the new operating system will include an advertising capability, dubbed iAd, that allows developers of the programs available in Apple’s App Store — many of which are free or cost 99 cents — to include ads in their software.
Apple will sell the ads, with developers who create the apps getting 60% of the revenue of any mobile ads, and Apple taking the remainder.
The debut of iAd is likely to pose a challenge to existing companies that serve up ads in mobile devices, such as AdMob Inc., which Google announced it would acquire last year for $750 million. That deal is currently facing scrutiny from regulators.
Mr. Jobs, speaking at an event at the company’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters, took direct aim at Google when he noted that people are increasingly accessing the Internet on phones rather than search engines. He said ads inside apps were a more attractive way for companies to advertise on phones compared with traditional search ads, an area dominated by Google.
‘People aren’t searching on a mobile device like they are on a desktop device,’ said Mr. Jobs.
Apple’s new system could end up helping Google defend its acquisition of AdMob. Even as the Federal Trade Commission weighs whether to challenge the deal, Google has been arguing that mobile advertising is a nascent and competitive field.
‘This is more evidence of how quickly mobile advertising is evolving and growing,’ said a Google spokesman Thursday after Apple’s iAd announcement. Apple is ‘going to be a strong competitor for sure,’ said an AdMob spokeswoman.
In addition to iAd, Apple announced several other new features with the new iPhone system, called OS 4. One new feature that users have long asked for is multi-tasking, which lets people run multiple apps at the same time. In one scenario, someone could listen to Pandora Media Inc.’s Internet radio and make calls on Skype Ltd.’s Internet phone service while surfing the Web and checking e-mail.
Apple and Google have been increasingly overlapping on each other’s turfs. Apart from mobile advertising, the two are also competing in the mobile-phone space and Internet browsing, among other things.
Mr. Jobs said Thursday that Apple was interested in acquiring AdMob before Google snatched the start-up. Apple ended up acquiring smaller rival Quattro Wireless in January.
Mr. Jobs said its ads would reach a huge audience base. Apple has so far sold 85 million iPhone and iPod touches.
Apple will continue to allow outside ad services to place ads in apps, though such ads often redirect users to a Web site when clicked. Apple said iAd will let users access ad content without leaving the original app.
Overall, the mobile ad market remains small. Research firm eMarketer recently said that U.S. advertisers only spent $416 million on mobile ads last year — a fraction of the $22.4 billion U.S. online advertising market.
Ad executives said many pieces of iAd are available through other providers. ‘There are several third-party ad-serving companies that are serving ads within the apps,’ said Ian Schafer, chief executive of New York digital agency Deep Focus.
Yukari Iwatani Kane and Emily Steel
在供iPhone、iPad及苹果公司(Apple Inc.)其它移动设备使用的下一代软件版本中，苹果公司将加入自己的广告系统，以加强与谷歌公司(Google Inc.)的竞争。
苹果公司首席执行长乔布斯(Steve Jobs)周四称新操作系统将包含广告能力。这个名为iAd的系统允许软件开发者在其向苹果应用程序商店（App Store）提供的程序中植入广告。苹果商店中的许多应用程序是免费程序，或仅售99美分。
iAd系统的应用很可能给AdMob Inc.等现有的移动设备广告代理公司带来挑战。去年谷歌公司宣布将以7.5亿美元收购AdMob Inc.。该交易目前正在接受监管者的审查。
苹果公司的新系统有可能最终有助于谷歌捍卫其对AdMob公司的收购。就在美国联邦贸易委员会(Federal Trade Commission)权衡是否反对这项交易之时，谷歌一直声称移动广告是一个新兴的竞争性领域。
苹果的新iPhone系统名为OS 4。除iAd之外，苹果还宣布了该系统的其它几项新功能。多任务处理是用户长期要求提供的一项新功能，即允许同时运行多个应用程序。例如，用户可以一边听Pandora Media Inc.的互联网广播，一边通过Skype互联网电话服务打电话，同时还可以上网并检查邮件。
广告公司高管称iAd中的许多内容均能通过其它提供商获得。纽约数字代理商Deep Focus公司首席执行长谢弗(Ian Schafer)说，有许多第三方广告服务公司在这些应用程序中提供广告服务。
Yukari Iwatani Kane and Emily Steel