Apple is reportedly gearing up to roll out a new mobile advertising system poised to make it easier for developers to integrate advertising into their apps, according to a recent report from Online Media Daily.
The advertising system may be called “iAd” and Apple is expected to debut the service to Madison Avenue on April 7th, just 4 days after the iPad first goes on sale. The report notes that Steve Jobs has called Apple’s new ad platform “revolutionary” and that it may very well be Apple’s “next big thing.”
Precise details of the system and its features could not be discerned at presstime (and calls to Apple had not been returned), but it is believed to have been built on top of Quattro, the mobile advertising developer Apple acquired in January for nearly $300 million, and it is expected to be the first real battle of a Silicon Valley Holy War between Apple and arch frenemy Google that is shifting its front line to Madison Avenue.
If you recall, Apple purchased the mobile ad firm Quattro in early January after they missed an opportunity to acquire AdMob, which Google acquired in November 2009 for $750 million. Apple’s interest in mobile advertising, where it has little to no experience, is presumably the result of all the mobile advertising dollars it saw exchange hands on the iPhone platform. If Apple is providing the hardware and the software platform that enables companies like AdMob to make a killing, then it only makes sense for Apple to wet its beak in those advertising waters as well.
Moreover, with an in-house advertising team, Apple can better help developers integrate mobile ads into their applications. On that note, Apple recently posted a job listing on its website looking for an iPhone Advertising SDK Manager, a position which all but confirms that Apple is jumping into the mobile advertising business head first.