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  • Will Apple's "iAd" Lock iPhones Unless You Watch Ads?


    Many consumers are fans of Apple's devices, and have forked over large sums of money for them, making the company extremely profitable. Like all businesses, though, Apple is always on the lookout to make even more money, and so the next move for the company may be a mobile advertising platform to be called "iAd," according to a report in Online Media Daily. While this may make Steve Jobs even richer - and take his war with Google to DefCon 4 - it may make iPhones and iPads literally prisoners of their ad content, as hints from recent Apple patents suggest that they're developing a way to lock your device unless you watch the ads.

    Apple has been looking to get into the mobile ad business for some time. The company lost a bidding war for mobile ad giant AdMob last year with Google, which is already dominant in the mobile advertising field. So Apple snapped up Quattro, the mobile advertising developer, in January for nearly $300 million. Time, CBS Interactive and Visa use Quattro to deliver ads for their mobile websites, and a report by IDC said they made $21 million last year for about 7% of the mobile ad market. Apple and Google are both playing hard for dominance in the mobile ad market, as ads - rather than app sales or subscriptions - are increasingly seen as the way to make money off the rapid growth of mobile web-browsing devices. After all, as the financial services firm Morgan Stanley has predicted, by 2015 more people will access the internet using mobile devices than on desktop computers.

    So Apple is, according to the report in Online Media Daily, working on what it calls a "personalized mobile advertising system." The new "iAd" platform is supposed to be rolled out to advertising execs on April 7th, right as the first iPads get into people's hands. The ad system, which has reportedly been described in typical Steve Jobs style as "revolutionary" and "our next big thing," will be based on Quattro's architecture, and may include location-based marketing. In this scenario, iAd would be able to push ads for local businesses using your iPhone or iPad's GPS. This theory is bolstered by Apple's new guidelines preventing any app developers from using the GPS functionality to serve ads, suggesting that Apple wants to maintain control of that for itself. However, as Media Daily noted, since Google recently patented the ability to target ads based on the location of a mobile device, this could take the two companies' ongoing war into the courts.

    But it doesn't stop there. Technology that Apple patented in 2008 would literally turn your operating system off if you don't pay attention to the ads: "to ensure that the user is actually watching and/or listening to the advertisement content, the method can include a step for verifying user presence… the user may be prompted to press a certain button or keypad key in order to confirm that they are paying attention… the approaches for verifying user presence can be made progressively more aggressive if the user has failed a previous test." It sounds so intrusive that no company in their right mind would subject their customers to such a thing… unless, of course, there was good money in it.

    It's possible the patent doesn't have anything to do with this "iAd," of course, as nothing can be known with any confidence until the new system is actually announced. But if users needed one more reason to jailbreak, it'd be the possibility of Apple turning iPhones, iPods and iPads into literally nothing more than mobile advertising machines. We'll have to see how this plays itself out.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Will Apple's "iAd" Lock iPhones Unless You Watch Ads? started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 67 Comments
    1. symondavis's Avatar
      symondavis -
      A quick jailbreak and erase the app, apply fix and were good to go (again)
    1. HDTV4me's Avatar
      HDTV4me -
      Quote Originally Posted by symondavis View Post
      A quick jailbreak and erase the app, apply fix and were good to go (again)
      Exactly my thinking.
    1. iPhone3G[S]'s Avatar
      iPhone3G[S] -
      I really hope they aren't stupid enough to make your phone ad supported when you pay $200+ for it.

      Law suit waiting to happen.
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      i hope this happens, and then jailbreak becomes the biggest thing ever
    1. Mes's Avatar
      Mes -
      Big brother is watching, listening, and controlling.
      Bend over and smile --- more to come -- Guaranteed.

      The Apple love/hate relationship continues
    1. johnr9412's Avatar
      johnr9412 -
      If apple starts this I will forever get rid of them. What if a family emergancy comes up and you can't answer the phone because you didn't listen to an ad? Nope. If they start this, it's game over for me
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnr9412 View Post
      If apple starts this I will forever get rid of them. What if a family emergancy comes up and you can't answer the phone because you didn't listen to an ad? Nope. If they start this, it's game over for me
      there will have to be a "emergency call" button, just like there is now, that being said...

    1. mudrock1000's Avatar
      mudrock1000 -
      You remember how the ipad became the fanboy test?

      Well this just became the fanboy test. No one in their right mind would want to put up with that and not want to jailbreak it to fix it.
    1. ddonuts4's Avatar
      ddonuts4 -
      I'll only like this if I can get it cheaper... And then I'll jailbreak and get rid of the ads.
    1. lifesmymachine's Avatar
      lifesmymachine -
      I imagine that the consumer will have the choice.... iAd supported iPad or iPhone for Free/ Cheap or regularly priced ad free iPad/ iPhone. Steve Jobs is all about usability and user interface so I am confident that apple would not make these ads too intrusive. If this is the case, as a college student on a budget I would gladly choose the iAd supported version.
    1. ALIEN1974's Avatar
      ALIEN1974 -
      Its like the movie Hardwire,a company named HOPE stops the economical crisis by makeing people buy usseles things by ADS,eaven save your life from a terminal illness by inserting a microchip in your brain,but from then on,they make you watch ADS in your brain until you buy the product.
      SCIFI? Yes
      But as any scifi movie,they show how the future could be.
      (sorry for my bad english,Im spanish)
    1. Mike_7318's Avatar
      Mike_7318 -
      If this is imposed on every iphone with an update, i will sell it and switch to a nexus one
    1. Mars478's Avatar
      Mars478 -
      If apple does this, I will never buy an Apple product again.
      Unless of course, the ads pay for my service/phone.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      I am with what seems to be the majority on this one. The day this happens is the day I drop the iPhone for another unit.
    1. Mars478's Avatar
      Mars478 -
      Yep, I'll sell all my iPhone's and get a Nexus One.
    1. cypherpunk's Avatar
      cypherpunk -
      That patent is invalid, plain and simple. Websites have been using advertisements with "click here to continue" prompts for years, so there's no way Apple's patent can stand up in court. Which in turn means they're not likely to go ahead with it, since there's nowhere near as much money in it for them.
    1. goodluck4287's Avatar
      goodluck4287 -
      I hope Apple gets over 50% market share of anything...... I want the FTC to kick their asses a bit.
    1. giorgos_rou's Avatar
      giorgos_rou -
      Me too.
      I hate ads.
      If Apple wants to lock their devices, they can do it.
      The day they announce that system, is the day I will sell ALL my Apple products and buy something else.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mudrock1000 View Post
      You remember how the ipad became the fanboy test?

      Well this just became the fanboy test. No one in their right mind would want to put up with that and not want to jailbreak it to fix it.
      LOL! You have no idea what your talking about! I think you just wanted to use the word "fanboy"....

      IF this actually happens in the way we're all thinking, it'll be crushed by the JB community.
    1. PRKnight's Avatar
      PRKnight -
      I can see apple, if they release the new iphone with a frontal camera viewing your face to make sure ur watching and paying attention. I can see them programing facial expressions into the system which would be able to recognize if your eyes are on the screen or any other type of way to see if ur not just blowing the ad away