A post written by AdMob CEO Omar Hamoui claims that Apple’s new advertising terms for developers will block out AdMob/Google and other competitors to iAd.
Saying that if the rules are “enforced as written” tens of thousands of developers will lose out on revenue streams, Hamoui says, “This change is not in the best interests of users or developers.” He then goes on to talk about how AdMob has supported thousands of free and low-cost apps, relates a success story, and makes a not-so-subtle mention that AdMob works across mobile platforms.
This response from AdMob/Google was bound to happen, as iAd is clearly designed to box out rivals (as most Apple products/services are). However, for developers right now, AdMob is certainly the more established player and quite possibly the safer bet (especially as its now part of Google) so if in fact Apple does start blocking and/or punishing apps for using AdMob or other ad options (not that there really are many) then some developers at least may decide to focus on Android.
There could theoretically also be regulatory implications here if Apple really does block AdMob from the iPhone and other devices, as when the FTC approved Google’s AdMob acquisition, they specifically cited iAd as a competitive force. So if Apple decides to basically monopolize its platform, it may at the very least raise a few eyebrows among regulators, which Google may be able to use to its advantage – or maybe not, regulators are a hard bunch to judge (if there are any regulatory experts reading this, please let us know what you think in the comments!).
In the end, however, this is just a logical step in the increasingly hard fought mobile space, and how it turns out will most likely depend on two factors: can Apple bring in the dollars from advertisers (Steve Jobs announced at WWDC that they already have $60 million in committed revenue for 2010) and will developers wait around and deal with Apple until that happens or will they jump ship to Android and stick with AdMob/Google?
We’ll know a lot more in 2011 for sure.