As the live audience in attendance and thousands more across the blogosphere awaited the 8th and final attribute of the new iPhone to be introduced, many - if not most - were surprised by what Steve Jobs saved for last. Thinking the new video chat functionality dubbed "FaceTime" would be the last feature introduced (ultimately, though, it was), Apple's head honcho took more than a few minutes to plug Apple's foray into digital advertising.
As it turns out, he did it for the devs.
"Number 8.... iAds," said Jobs, referencing the new mobile advertising platform aimed at helping "our developers earn money." Devs, keep in mind, get 60% of revenue. Not too shabby considering that iAds are estimated to capture nearly half of the entire mobile ad market before 2010 expires. “Apple hosts and sells the ads, so all you have to do is tell us where you want them and make the money."
Apple has only been selling ads for two months and, already, the major advertising players on board include: AT&T, Chanel, GE, Nissan, Citi, Unilever, State Farm, Liberty Mutual, Geico, Campbell’s Sears, JC Penney, Target, Best Buy, DirecTV, TBS, and Disney. "We've got advertisers committing $60 million," confessed Jobs.
The interactive, in-app ads will help developers greatly, but as outlined in the keynote, they're also a good thing for iPhone users. "The worst thing you want as a user," said Jobs, "is to tap on a banner, and be hijacked out of your app into a browser." During the presentation, Jobs showed off a Nissan ad for the car-maker's new electric car, the "Leaf." Basically, if you want to buy this ride, you have to register for the waiting list through Nissan's ad on the iPhone.
Although the jury is still out among many iPhone users who don't know what to make of the new advertising platform yet, iAds will hit for all iOS 4 devices beginning July 1st.