free html hit counter It's Official - Apple Kicking Google Out of iWorld - John Battelle's Search Blog

It's Official – Apple Kicking Google Out of iWorld

By - June 09, 2010

I’cover5_06.gifve written extensively about iAds here and here, and one question I raised has to do with Apple’s policies with regard to third party data and ad networks, in particular AdMob.

As All Things Digital notes today, Apple this week “clarified” its policy with regard to third party networks, and it’s hard to read it as anything other than a direct declaration of war with Google. In short, third party ad networks can run in AppWorld, but only if they are “independent”. Put another way, sorry AdMob, you’re not welcome here. (I interviewed AdMob CEO at the CM Summit Monday, and asked him about this. This was before the policy was clarified, but he seemed pretty certain Apple would do this.)

I think this is shortsighted and wrong. I also think it’s classic Apple. It’s a re run of the Us vs. The World mentality that forced the Mac into a corner back in the late 1980s. This time, Google plays the role of Microsoft, but it really doesn’t matter. Apple won’t let anyone play in their iWorld who might pose a competitive threat.

This is all we need now – a major platform war, with marketers and developers having to pick sides, cost of development, ad serving, analytics, and marketing services at least tripled (one process for Android, one for iPhone/Pad/Touch, one for Microsoft or Palm/HP or…. ). That’s not what the web is about. It’s disheartening.

AdMob’s response is here. From it: “This change threatens to decrease – or even eliminate – revenue that helps to support tens of thousands of developers. The terms hurt both large and small developers by severely limiting their choice of how best to make money. And because advertising funds a huge number of free and low cost apps, these terms are bad for consumers as well.

Let’s be clear. This change is not in the best interests of users or developers. In the history of technology and innovation, it’s clear that competition delivers the best outcome. Artificial barriers to competition hurt users and developers and, in the long run, stall technological progress.”

What do you think?

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91 thoughts on “It's Official – Apple Kicking Google Out of iWorld

  1. Ronald says:

    Does Google allow other networks to run ads in its search result pages?

  2. Vischameel says:

    Ronald’s question is instructive. Any objection to how Google has been running Adwords for 10+ years, John? Dust off some of those anti-Adwords posts so I can read how intellectually honest you are. Please.

  3. Guys, this is not analogous to AdWords. AdWords is Google’s platform for the site *it* owns, Apple doesn’t own the developers and apps who now have fewer choices for monetization on its platform.

  4. Hans says:

    Ronald – great comment.

    If AdMob/Google is so intent on having an “open” system, then others should be allowed to run advertising in Google’s products, including Android-based products.

  5. Adam says:

    (Good point Ronald)

    I don’t agree with AdMob’s response.

    “Because advertising funds a huge number of free and low cost apps, these terms are bad for consumers as well.”

    The word he left out here is “crappy”…advertising funds a huge number of free, low cost, and crappy apps – which dominate the Android market, and can be more easily avoided in the App Store market.

    If more ads are going to appear within my mobile experience, I want them to be as high quality as possible. Apple seems to be of the few companies addressing the quality of the ads.

  6. Diesel mcfadden says:

    Does facebook allow other advertisers or other currency on their platform?

  7. step21 says:

    @Hans Only they are allowed to. Even quattro wireless, the company google bought seems to have an android sdk to include its ads in apps.

  8. Diesel mcfadden says:

    Does twitter allow other advertisers on their platform?

  9. step21 says:

    correction: “the company apple bought”

  10. wag says:

    I just spend like $3K on a Macbook Pro + iPad. As a developer I hate this type of activity but as a user, bottom line, Apple is making WAY better products than the competition and it is not even close. When does Microsoft wake up and give Ballmer the boot? I sure am glad I’m not a Microsoft shareholder. As for Google, hey I’d have bought a google tablet if it was available and competitive but it’s vaporware.

    The Apple store is a kicker, such a great strategy. Again, it might be bad for their big competitors but the Apple products are significantly better and I am going to buy the best product.

  11. RMB says:

    for Google owned and operated sites, they are keeping 100% of the ad revenue. Nobody cares where they get their ads from. Likewise, who Apple uses on their OWN Apps or Webs pages is of no concern. They can monetize their own apps or sites however they want.

    An actually valid comparison would be if Google said that to be indexed in Google search, you must run only Google Ads on your site. And to show up in Google Maps, you must run only Google ads only on your site. And, of course, to show up in Android or Chrome, you must use only Google Ads on your sight or App.

    Yay, wouldn’t that be a great step forward!

  12. Simpulton says:

    You guys are entirely missing the point. This is not about Google letting another ad network into THEIR search result page.

    This is about letting YOU choose the ad network YOU want in YOUR product that YOU have developed.

    I am free to use any ad network I want on my web applications. If I move to the Apple platform, I no longer have that choice. It has been taken from me.

    Don’t think about this from the standpoint of a consumer. Think of this from the standpoint of a developer who has been given precious little choice to monetize how they see fit.

  13. David says:

    Google has said over and over again how the “web will win”. The web is Google’s platform, right? AdMob is free to offer monetization options to web app developers.

    They chose to sell their soul for 750 million to the devil. Take the money and put a lid on it.

  14. Chuck says:

    Hans: Google *does* allow others to run advertising on Android-based products.

    “To emphasize the openess of the Google ad network, he also showed a Medialets ad distributed through the Doubleclick network.” (Referring to Vic Gundotra’s keynote at Google I/O this year.)

  15. Here’s my take:

    My major question is if there is a regulatory angle to this? I mean, Google got the AdMob acquisition approved specifically because of iAd – by Apple monopolizing “AppWorld” is that going to raise the eyebrows of regulators? Can Google use this to their advantage? (not a lawyer ;-))

  16. Narg says:

    People need to understand there is a major difference between web pages, and a full computing platform. So the arguement of “Google ads only on google web pages” is out of context. IN Context, is that you CAN run many different ad types on Android.

  17. KJ says:

    I would believe the analogue of Apple app store is Google search page, since you want to compare their primary platforms. Not compare one’s primary platform with another’s non-primary platform.

    Think of it, if Apple starts a web-search engine as a hobby* and let other ad-network participate in it, would you think that would have been analogous to Google search page? No, since then you would be comparing with one’s hobby with another company’s serious business. It does not tell much. Compare the serious products of two companies to understand the differences of their belief about others, such as developers and customers.

    *Of course, Apple might do an app search engine, then it is not likely to be an hobby but a serious business.

  18. RichardL says:

    The fear that this would happen is the entire reason Google built Android.

  19. Michael says:

    Apple would seem to have the right to do this; it’s their ecosystem after all. But I don’t like it. When I ran ads on one of my sites, I got to choose from several ad servers, including Google and Yahoo. Indeed, Yahoo offered better monetization for me and a better, more relevant ad experience for my readers. As an app developer, I would want the same choic, and competition among ad servers. What if I want to monetize my app, but I don’t want my users to have the monolithic iAd experience?

  20. Philos says:

    From one developer’s point of view, you make a choice. Either you are a Chevy or your a Porsche. Apple has exacting standards and a tightly controlled system, but once an app is accepted, they do so much of the work, manage the credit cards, deal with the dregs. I guess it depends on your perspective. From my perspective, I’d rather be a rose in a walled garden than one in a world of weeds.

  21. Simon says:

    Thing is, I think that Apple would’ve been perfectly happy to have Google be their sole search and mobile advertising partner – and maybe even Cloud provider.

    Remember that Apple are in the end, a hardware company and a tightly focussed one at that. They don’t seem to show Microsoft’s – or indeed Google’s – desire to enter every market.

    They want to be top in the consumer media space, that’s true. But if they could’ve do so by partnering with Google, I think that they would’ve.

    I think that that explains Job’s anger with Google – not only does he (probably) feel that Schmitt betrayed him, but that he’s stupid – that he’s picked a battle that he not have, meaning that Apple now needs to spend resources that it rather would’ve not have in fending off Google.

    Of course, this is conjecture… But based on what Jobs has said countless times about Apple’s focus, I think that it’s pretty likely.

  22. Julien says:

    Now we know why it was so important to bring Android to market … fast
    Apple proprietary devices having a closed monopoly on the mobile internet’s entry, could have closed the gates any time… as it does now… luckily too late.
    At least it reveals its true face.

  23. bs says:

    Does Google allow other contextual networks to run ads on a site that has adsense on it?

  24. argh says:

    Wow guys. Really, read Simpulton’s post.

    This decision by Apple is like Google denying ad choices on Android apps or in Google Gadgets.

    You guys are dead wrong with the comparison of the app market to One’s a platform another is a website.

    Michael says it should be Apple’s right to make this choice. Right. Just like Microsoft has the right to stifle other browser-vendors on the Windows platform.

    Thank god for Android, otherwise we’d be living in an iWorld with only the choices they give us. Don’t you see how competition works? Without Android, iPhone wouldn’t have multi-tasking. Without iPhone, Androids would still look like G1s. Think about that for a second then apply that to the issue at hand.

  25. argh says:

    “Does Google allow other contextual networks to run ads on a site that has adsense on it?”

    No! Again, terrible analogy!

    Why would Google offer other networks’ ads to run through it?!?

    The DEVELOPER of the site can ALREADY choose to use another network. Get it?

    What Apple’s doing is the same as if every website on the internet were only allowed to use Google AdSense.

  26. win says:

    I have my videos on YouTube. Can I choose my ad network to run along side my products which are the videos on YouTube? No.

  27. argh says:

    “I have my videos on YouTube. Can I choose my ad network to run along side my products which are the videos on YouTube? No.”

    A better comparison than most in these comments and definitely an interesting thought but I’d still say that a software platform is much different than a video platform.

    When you upload to YouTube you sign distribution rights to YouTube.

    That’s pretty different from a software platform where you solely own your program.

    Also, are there any video platforms offering the choice of ad network?

  28. Jope says:

    “When you upload to YouTube you sign distribution rights to YouTube.”

    Aren’t developers doing that when they submit apps to be published through the App Store?

    At first sight, I looked at Apple’s move as ‘not cool’, now I don’t know.

    I do see how the Admob dude would be up in arms, though, as there may be some T&Cs from the sale to Google tied to performance on iPhone (I know I would have put something in there if I was Google).

    Just wondering…

  29. brett says:

    admob is netscape. iOS is the windows PC. Apple decided it wanted to be in the ad market and rather than compete, it will block. MSFT never even did that.

  30. appgenious says:

    @argh …what if apple says they will start owning the distribution rights (like Youtube) for apps. Would people still develop for iPhone?

    Hell Yeah!

  31. Carmen Hughes says:

    i have to add my two cents in here too as pointed out by several: Does Facebook Does facebook allow other advertisers or other currency on their platform? Does Twitter allow others advertisers on their platform? And while the numerous folks here point out as to whether Google allow other networks to run ads in its search result pages, while it may not be an Apples to Apples comparison, nonetheless, it does show that Google is not as open as it “could” be.

    While i agree Apple is playing hard ball, they have every right to play tough in the world of business.

  32. argh says:

    appgenious — as long as the iPhone brings in $ for developers, they will continue to develop for it. and why wouldn’t they? at the end of the day most developers can’t be picky about the platform and hoops they jump through for it, they have to worry about getting paid.

    but I don’t see how that has any bearing on this issue — Apple’s aggressive anti-competitive business practices.

  33. argh says:

    Carmen Hughes —

    Yes, Twitter does — look at all the apps made by the developer community!

  34. Carmen Hughes says:


    Like Apple, both Twitter & FaceBook have also done well to capture developers’ mindshare and apps to support and help extend/grow their respective platforms. However, the question still stands: does Facebook allow other advertisers or currency on their platform? The answer I believe is no. As for Twitter, they recently announced that it is prohibiting 3rd party advertisers from in-stream advertising.

  35. argh says:

    Carmen Hughes —

    They are lowering the amount of spammed ads. What’s wrong with that? They’re altering the system to make a better user experience. Is denying AdMob making the iPhone a better experience? No.

    And I don’t agree with what you call “hardball”. Blocking competition is a bad thing. Imagine if Google started blocking Apple and Apple stores from and Or if it blocked Safari users from using Google. It’s an ugly thought.

    Playing “hardball” should be about making the best product. The iPhone4 is the best phone on the market and I bet iAd ads will be much sexier and more integrated with the phone than AdMob’s. So why bother cheating?

  36. Chris says:

    Apple isn’t blocking all third party ad networks, just admob. It’s an important destinction and some of the anti-apple comments in this post are arguing on false assumptions.

    Google and admob made their bet. Time to run with it.

  37. argh says:

    Chris —

    So it’s OK to block competition, as long as it’s only your strongest competitor?

  38. Jim H says:

    I think part of the problem some of you have is that you judge Google as if it was some kind of poor, mom-and-pop open source operation run by two college kids in their basement, whereas Apple’s the awful monopolist.

    Google started in search. Great. They then developed AdSense. They then offered all kinds of free apps in the cloud. Great. (They “gave” them for free, but they still make a ton of money on them, right?) In fact, they seem to be getting into everything, including the phone.

    And they buy up a lot of stuff, 200 or so companies in the last four years, to Apple’s four or five. ClickThrough. And then, just when Apple was about to buy it, AdMob.

    What you’re seeing is competition? Don’t like it? Tough.

  39. David Chu says:

    Why did Google pay 750 Billion for Admob? It wasn’t for the revenues. The most valuable asset of Admob was all the user behavior data they collected.

    This is all about keeping valuable user behavior data out of the hands of a competitor.

    Admob and Google drew a line in the sand. Now they got to live with it.

  40. Jim H says:

    Oh, and if you read what Apple is forbidding, it’s not AdMob, it’s services that collect certain kinds of information without telling the users. I’m presuming that if AdMob changed its operation, they could be let on again.

  41. Jason Ledtke says:

    I think the Facebook comparison is best. Facebook is a platform that lets 3rd parties develop “applications” that access their user’s data. In FB, those application developers can’t bring in 3rd party advertisers at all. Apple did allow 3rd parties in, and now only “approved” 3rd parties will be allowed. That’s still better than FB’s policies.

    Another analogy might be television networks. They broadcast shows made by other people. They sell adds inside those shows to generate revenue. Should they be expected to allow other people to sell ads on the network they built? Who gets the revenue fron product placement? Apple’s thinks of the app store as their brand – it’s central distribution to their devices, a closed loop… not completely unlike a broadcast network.

    I don’t like Apple’s move, but that doesn’t make it wrong. I don’t think it’s good for advertisers, consumers, or developers. It seems to be in Apple’s best interest, however, and Apple can look out for it’s own best interests.

    As consumers and developers we still have the very viable option to jump ship and move to Android. If Apple pushes this kind of crap too far, the “walled garden” will crumble… it doesn’t do any good to wall off a “garden” no one wants to be in. Apple needs to make sure it’s better inside the walls than out… as long as they do that they will be successful.

    It’s a fine line… Apple can’t make too many decisions that make it less desirable inside the garden before things go bad. If it falls apart, we’ll know who to blame.

  42. Palmer Deville says:

    Is Apple blocking AdMob from providing an advertising API to iOS developers? Or, are they preventing AdMob from collecting and sending device data to themselves for aggregation, processing, or analysis.

    Depending on the ad structure, AdMob could provide a developer an API and unique ID with which the user launches the ad or when the ad is pulled from a server the developer gets credit via their unique ID. Once the ad is launched, as Jobs said, typically in a browser window, then the browser itself will provide a certain amount of analytics data. The main drawback would be the use of location data, but doesn’t Safari provide that anyway?

    There will be limitations, but AdMob is now owned by a company which is going to use the data for more than serving ads.

    I don’t think Apple should be expected or required to allow their competitors to track how many people own iPhone vs iPad vs iPod touch. That’s inside knowledge that Apple has always used to design their future products.

  43. Michael says:

    It’s an interesting gamble for Apple. With AdMob on the iOS, if an app developer didn’t like the iAd experience or payout, he could just switch ad servers but stay on the iOS platform. In theory, if Apple and advertisers saw developers doing that, they’d be forced to innovate to compete. Apple could lure them back with a better ad product.

    With iAd as the sole provider, an app developer now has to consider leaving iOS completely to get a better ad experience. And once they are gone, they are probably gone for good. It’s a typically risky “my way or the highway” move by Jobs.

  44. Wes says:

    You guys don’t get it. Google, using Admob analytics could detect new Apple unreleased products (Just like Flurry did with the tablets) AND use that information to further develop Android. Admob gets 30% of their revenues from the iOS platform, that is the ONLY reason Google paid 750M for them. So now Google gets to collect all the exceptional info from iOS, and use that to advance Android. I don’t think so!

    This is war, an Admob is the intelligence officer playing both sides. Apple is cutting them off, which is the right thing to do.

    Google are the sneaky SOB’s that thought they could continue to glean valuable data from Apple and use it to kill them.

    In war, you never empower your enemies. Google started this war with Android, now stop crying and live with your decisions.

  45. TobyS says:

    Ronald has a very good point. Those of you who want to split hairs on web page vs. app are missing the point. Google has a platform that happens to be a website that locks other ad companies out. Apple’s platform happens to be iOS. So by not being able to select my ad provider when reading gmail is completely “open”, correct?

  46. Craig Hunter says:

    Cripes, people need to read Apple’s revised dev agreement before freaking out. It doesn’t prohibit AdMob from running ads, it simply says they cannot collect device/user info while running ads (Apple correctly knows this information is competition sensitive). If AdMob can’t figure out how to adapt and work with this new rule, they don’t deserve to be in business. It’s not the end of the world. They need to deal with it.

  47. The move is not surprising.

    Other Ad networks are allowed by Apple, but not those owned by an OS competitor.

    I doubt Google Android will allow Ad networks from MS or NOK or Bidu.

  48. Lava says:

    Hello! IAds isn’t the only choice for developers! They can choose any INDEPENDENT ad network.

    AdMob isn’t just an ad company. It’s an ad arm of a company that’s running a mobile platform division INTENT on killing iPhone (for our “benefit” of course)

    No sane person would give the competition unfettered access to their platform. AdMob made a choice when it decided to sleep with Google for $750 million. It’s like Target complaining tha you can’t run their own advertising in Walmart at ores or whining they cant do analytics on Walmart customers.

    The people complaining about how anti-competetive this is don’t know the meaning of the word. You guys just want to have it so that only Google gets all the rights in the world while competitors have to sit there and take it.

    Google chose to compete with Apple instead of working as a neutral party and partner. Stop whining! AdMob needs to grow up and compete instead of crying like a little baby.

    How? They compete by making money for Android developers instead of using the App Store revenue flow to cover up the fact that Android is making shit for developers. That’s real competition.

    AdMob belongs to Android now. You made your choice. Deal with it.

  49. davesmall says:

    I think Google really pissed off Apple when they came after the iPhone with their Android knock-off. Apple had Google’s CEO on their Board of Directors. They were betrayed. Steve Jobs is not someone you want to piss off.

    Now it’s payback time. Apple is getting even. Good for them.

  50. David says:

    From the hysteria here you’d think Apple had a near monopoly on phones in the world – or wanted to have that monopoly. I have to call BS. Jobs doesn’t want world dominion he wants to make the best stuff possible and he’ll do what it takes to make that happen.

    If Google can help that happen then Google is a partner and if Google can’t or if Googld is a hindrance than goodbye Google. And you can insert any company name for Google.

    To understand Apple the first two things you have to jettison are a) Apple wants to be the biggest or most powerful. No. It wants to be best. b) you can look at the Apple/Microsoft era of the 80s to learn lessons to apply to today. You can’t.

  51. brian gillespie says:

    This isn’t shortsighted, it’s smart business.

  52. Lava says:

    Hey John Batelle

    1) where’s your screed against Sony not being able to advertise PS3 on Xbox Live, or Microsoft not being able to advertise on the Playstation Network?

    Or are you making an exception because only Apple is evil for it’s walled garden approach?

    For that matter, do you own a Nintendo Wii, Xbox, or Playstation? Because why is it that you are giving them a complete pass for their closed approaches while Appe should be forced to make business decisions that would not only undermine it’s platform while simultaneously enriching a direct competitor.

    I VERY much look forward to your essay about how it’s in Google’s best interest to open up YouTube advertising to all competitors. After all, YouTube videos aren’t much different than apps in the App Store as both are produced by third-party “developers” who can choose to run ads on them to generate revenue.

  53. Hamranhansenhansen says:

    Apple’s terms don’t just apply to Google at all. They apply to everyone. I know Google doesn’t think rules that apply to everyone should apply to them, but they do.

    And these rules also very much apply to Google’s soulmate Microsoft, who also do advertising and who also have a phone platform and who also have a monopoly to protect and leverage and who also make all of their money B2B.

    All Apple is saying is “ad metrics are for ads only.” Mobile phone developers can’t buy a mobile ad business in order to gain unfair competitive advantage in mobile phone development. Sounds fair to me. Sorry if that causes Google to have to focus on their core business or give up their Android hobby. Or — gasp! — compete.

    Google bought Android in 2005 specifically to prevent Microsoft from shutting them out of the mobile ad market entirely. Now, owning Android is shutting Google out of mobile ads on iOS. Everything has consequences.

    The late 1980’s? You might as well talk about the 1880’s. Not only was Steve Jobs not at Apple in the late 1980’s, he’d been fired specifically so the company could go in the opposite direction to what he wanted. Over the past 13 years, the current Apple has done everything differently than the Apple of the late 1980’s and has had entirely different results. Nobody is more opposite to the Apple of the late 1980’s than the Apple of 2010.

    If you want to see a company that is like Apple of the late 1980’s, look at Google today. What Apple just did to Google with iAd is what Microsoft did to late 1980’s Apple with Windows. It’s classic tortoise and hare. Google should have redefined the mobile ad as an interactive, rich media HTML5 app, not Apple. Instead, Google is playing with their Android hobby like late 1980’s Apple played with Knowledge Navigator when they should have been doing NeXT, which Steve Jobs took with him when he left Apple (it was codenamed “Big Mac”). Had late 1980’s Apple done NeXT, they would have made Windows 3.0 obsolete 5 years before it was born. Instead, even Windows 95, which replaced Microsoft’s copy of the Mac UI with Microsoft’s copy of the NeXT UI, went to market in 1995 up against the same overextended 1984 Mac system. And the half-assed Newton hurt Apple’s brand like half-assed Android hurts Google’s today.

    Web publishers are now saying “how can I get iAds on my site?” If Apple brings iAd to the Web it could be very bad for Google’s core business. A few million Android v2 phones do not make up for that.

    > Us vs. The World

    You’re making a common mistake that is made today, of assuming the PC industry is the world, and that Apple should be a part of it. Apple spent the last 10 years getting out of PC’s. In 1998 Jobs said he wanted Apple to be more like Sony, to be a consumer electronics company. Today, Apple is not going it alone, they redefined the consumer electronics industry for the 21st century and now sit right at the heart of it. Mac, not Windows; Unix, not DOS; ISO MPEG-4, not WebM or WMV or Ogg; OpenGL, not DirectX; curated apps, not malware. You can tell Apple is not part of PC’s because their products just work, they don’t sell kits or make work for consultants.

    Apple and it’s users don’t want to be part of the Microsoft/Google/PC industry. We hate that industry. We are thankful there is a technology company that is totally separate from that. We don’t want the PC industry’s half-baked B2B products with hidden agendas. Google’s customers are advertisers. Microsoft’s customers are PC makers. Apple’s customers are consumers, the actual users of the products. So yes, Apple has different priorities than Google and Microsoft and the PC industry (hello Adobe). Google and Microsoft will make business-friendly decisions and Apple will make consumer-friendly decisions and so they will differ. That is a key advantage for Apple because it’s what gives them their 95% customer satisfaction rating and loyal customer base who fund their user-focused product development.

    The irony of what you’re saying is pronounced when you consider Google just shat out WebM into a world with universal ISO standard video capture, authoring, and playback. Missing from their WebM partners was *all the video people*: the entire consumer electronics industry and all the video producers and tool makers. Talk about us vs them.

  54. mark says:

    Google has chosen to be a direct phone competitor to Apple. Ad companies that are not phone competitors are still free to gather data.

    Does HTC allow Motorola to gather usage data on HTC phones? Does RIM allow Nokia to gather usage data on RIM phones?

    Does any company allow a direct competitor to come into its store and gather data on what is being sold? Or come into its product and gather data on how its being used?

    You should just stop writing about Apple as every time you do, you just have something to complain about. It’s almost reflexive.

  55. Andi says:

    to Omar, Google, and all the whiners … read this sentence from Steve Jobs, repeat 1 million times, and hopefully you get the point ==> “What I love about the marketplace is that we do our products, we tell people about them, and if they like them, we get to come to work tomorrow.”

  56. mark says:

    “That’s not what the web is about.”

    Also, Why do you keep referring to the iPhone platform as the web? It’s not.

    The web is the web. The iPhone has access to the web, but it has things that are not in the web. Not everything is in the web.

    Your company is not the web. It contributes to the web, but not everything in your company is in the web.

  57. Greg says:

    A) Why should Apple let a direct and fierce competitor profit off their own product if they can help it?

    B) I should feel bad that there is one market The Google Anti-privacy Machine can’t dominate search in?

  58. Charles says:

    Google doesn’t tell how it’s search works to Microsoft or Yahoo because it’s competitive information that gives Google and advantage. How customers use the iPhone, what apps they use another analytics are a competitive advantage to Apple. Apple doesn’t have to help Google in a competing business. If the ads are more important that Android, than Google should sell off Android. They chose to compete with Apple in the cell phone market and now they have to live it. They have their own platform to display ads on.

    All this whining is getting old. Apple isn’t the bad guy in this case.

  59. ron says:

    I’d like to point out that Facebook Applications can use 3rd party ad platforms (Facebook doesn’t even currently have an ad system for Platform Developers). What cannot be done is for app developers to pass user info to a 3rd party, or display user data in ads.

  60. Speaker to Wolves says:

    First, Apple is NOT banning AdMob ads from running on their mobile platforms. They are preventing the transmission of platform analytics from being sent to competitors. Big difference.

    AdMob (Google) is upset because they (not the developer) monetize such data by selling it to advertisers as a “value add.” This ruling prevents them from capitalizing on iPhone customer data in a way that benefits only their bottom line and no one else’s. Tough.

    All they have to do is develop their own platform and make it a more compelling value than Apple’s, and Voila! problem solved.

  61. Charles says:

    >> The fear that this would happen is the entire reason Google built Android.

    This wouldn’t of happened if Google didn’t build Android. Why do you think Google isn’t allowed in when other third party companies are. Apple isn’t going to let them collect analytics on the iPhone to help their competing product.

  62. Bruce says:

    Jobs kept his software “closed” in the early 80’s and MSFT roared over and past them. He’s won with iTunes and again with the iPhone – for now. I predict that a proprietary, closed approach will backfire in advertising for a many reasons not the least of which is that their are bigger and better alternatives. Jobs’ knows it hence the reason he’s already declaring it a minor part of their growth strategy. As an online marketer I’ll be watching.

  63. chris says:

    perhaps Google shouldn’t have brought a knife to a gun fight!

    How stupid do you need to be to get so greedy and decide to go into another business “phones” against one of your best partners because the billions and billions of dollars you’ve already made aren’t enough. F-em!

    @ Hamranhansenhansen gives a very accurate history and background, G-bois should read it and learn something.

    Jobs has already been stabbed in the back by partners Gates and Sculley, he won’t make the same mistake twice. Google will never have what Apple has no matter how many features they check off the list. Apple makes the best product they can and they let the consumers decide to buy or not, they don’t care if they can check off a feature on a list, they care how the feature and product works period.

  64. chris says:

    perhaps Google shouldn’t have brought a knife to a gun fight!

    How stupid do you need to be to get so greedy and decide to go into another business “phones” against one of your best partners because the billions and billions of dollars you’ve already made aren’t enough. F-em!

    @ Hamranhansenhansen gives a very accurate history and background, G-bois should read it and learn something.

    Jobs has already been stabbed in the back by partners Gates and Sculley, he won’t make the same mistake twice. Google will never have what Apple has no matter how many features they check off the list. Apple makes the best product they can and they let the consumers decide to buy or not, they don’t care if they can check off a feature on a list, they care how the feature and product works period.

  65. The fear that this would happen is the entire reason Google built Android.

    This is utter bulls**t.

    Google started all of this. Google held an Apple hatefest just a couple of weeks ago and Apple’s just supposed to let Google declare all-out war do nothing about it?

    Sorry, I don’t think so.

  66. Chris says:

    Can someone enlighten me: does Google allow anyone and everyone to use Android as a platform for their ads? Can Bing distribute a development platform to make Android their ad platform on Google phones?

  67. Jim says:

    “Guys, this is not analogous to AdWords. AdWords is Google’s platform for the site *it* owns, Apple doesn’t own the developers and apps who now have fewer choices for monetization on its platform.”

    Fewer choices? Wouldn’t it be more choices? Did we have another choice besides google and it’s newly acquired subsidiary? I mean if Apple didn’t create iAds then AdMob might actually still be independent but that investigation was halted. Very ironic indeed.

    You should acknowledge your argument is very one sided. Google owns google search platform. Apple owns the iPhone platform.

  68. Stephen says:

    John’s right. At first, I had the same reaction: Well Google controls their Ad platform, why shouldn’t Apple control theirs? But on second thought this would be like not allowing Google Adwords to run on OSX or WIndows machines. This control freakishness is disheartening. And also this holding a grudge thing. But I guess we’ll see how the market plays out. I’m a current iPhone user, but am going to take a serious look at the EVO.

    I can’t see it being good for Apple long term. I mean isn’t this closed, dictatorial type platform the reason that Android got an opening and has blossomed in the first place? More of it would seem to create more opportunity for Android/WebOS/ and maybe Phone 7

  69. Steve says:

    “The fear that this would happen is the entire reason Google built Android.”

    Uh, Google acquired Android LONG before Apple announced the iPhone. Long before the App Store existed.

    That’s right. 2005.

    Apple announced the iPhone in January of 2007.

    “Don’t be evil” was nice slogan that fooled plenty of people for a while. Apple put Bing! on the iPhone, because the real fear is that Google will own/operate/advertise on everything.

  70. When Google lambasted Apple a few weeks back at their conference, they showed how much class they have. Comparing Apple to North Korea comes very close to an invocation of Godwin’s Law.

    When Apple returned fire at their conference this week, they never even mentioned who it was they were jack-slapping. Very classy. And they didn’t just talk, they hit Google where it hurts.

  71. HI,
    I think apple has a better marketing approach and they are working on a much better strategy.

  72. Carniphage says:

    We were all getting along so nicely…
    And then Google came up with a sucker-punch!

    Android punched at Apple right in the middle of Apple’s business model. The most sensitive place to land a low-blow.

    Business is war, as they say.

    So Apple punches back at Google’s advertising revenue.

    Why is anyone surprised?

    If Google don’t have the guts for a fight, they shouldn’t have landed the first punch.


  73. Trendyol says:

    Google has been toiling to make its services more appealing to people who access the Net over cell phones and other mobile devices. In April, the company uncorked local-flavored search for mobile users. Also in April, it announced Google Short Message Service (SMS), which sends text-based information to mobile users seeking everything from driving directions to weather forecasts..

  74. ComboApp says:

    1. Google began to compete with Apple in Mobile Phone business
    2. Apple hasn’t begun to compete with Google in Search business
    3. Now Apple strikes back with action against AdMob.
    4. iPhone developers, from what I can read on the forums and from own experience as the company, which developed around 100 apps for iTunes App Store, can tell you that AdMob doesn’t work for developers, don’t bring profit developers expect.

    PS. Ha, I hasn’t read the previous comment, but it turns out we both think alike πŸ™‚

    Artyom Diogtev – New Media Manager

  75. Swenlin says:

    Lava and Hamranhansenhansen have nailed it.

    As for Apple “shutting out competition” – the competition still exists. It’s now up to Android and AdMob to create an advertisement experience that is as/more compelling than iAd.

  76. Lester Puppo says:

    I totally agree with @ComboApp, Google has its own features to compete and I, personally don’t think this will last.
    Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  77. AK says:

    “Apple doesn’t own the developers and apps who now have fewer choices for monetization on its platform.”

    @ John Battelle and others sharing his opinion:

    Indeed developers (which I’m part of) have fewer options but they still have plenty.
    I am allowed to deal with any party as long as they are not in direct competition with Apple.
    This type of clause exists in contracts most people have signed with their employers!!!!
    This is understandable from Apple. They have to protect their lunch from “Don’t Be Evil”.

  78. Geoff says:

    Any free app I download that’s got AdMob crap in it get deleted after first run so it can hurt dev’s that use it as I just hate it when they close the app even when you accidentally touch them so I am looking forward to iAds as I will look at some now that it wont close apps & be like interactive if the company in the ad makes it that way.

    iAds win
    AdMob fail

    Lava says:
    AdMob belongs to Android now. You made your choice. Deal with it.

  79. Given that Google is investing heavily in Android to compete with the iPhone it would seem counter-intuitive for Apple to leave their products open to them… shame though, on a personal level – every little helps!

  80. Carmen Hughes says:

    I like a lot of the posts being added here that support Apple’s move. Apple doesn’t need to play Mr. Nice Guy, while Google goes around touting “don’t be evil,” with a knife behind their back. Here’s a poll that came out showing 60% support Apple’s move here. Google & AdMob, you’re going to have to come up with some new poor and weak competitor angle cause your previous whine isn’t working so well.

  81. RoyB says:

    I think Google should ban any use of Google Maps on the iPhone.

    Apple is evil. Google is less evil.

  82. Ronald wrote: “Does Google allow other networks to run ads in its search result pages?”

    YES — Google DOES allow other networks to run ads in its search results.

    We call them “Organic Search Listings” in the SEO industry.

  83. Thad says:

    These are valid points. However, which ad serving platform is used matter very little to the user. As a heavy user of Apple computers/devices and PC’s I don’t care that much about who serves the ads.

    What I want and love about Apple is that there products and interfaces are useful, elegant, more importantly, they work. Apple’s issue in the past was that they didn’t have enough scale for serving ads. They do now. With iPods, iPhones, and iPads they have enogh users to make are relevant ad network. That’s all the users care about.

  84. ajapplesv says:

    Google decided to enter the mobile hardware devices space which is the heart of Apple primary biz. So what’s wrong and a bunch of whiners to those Android fanboys when Apple decided to enter and own the mobile ads space now? If the Google is smart what they claimed to be, prove it in the marketplace that you are better than Apple and Jobs. Jobs dare and challenge you, pick up the sword and be a man!, don’t just whine in the closet and complaining all day long.

  85. Vischameel says:


    We like you but sometimes you are wrong on the facts. AdWords is a very close parallel. For those sites that choose to use Google Search they will also carry AdWords. Not Yahoo Search. Not Bing. AdWords. Period.

    Ask AOL how much luck they had trying to get “other” search ad companies onto THEIR results pages. They wanted to do it. It never happened.

    John, you sometimes are short on the facts which has always been my issue with you.

  86. Trendyol says:

    Apple just shook the mobile ad market by changing the terms of its iOS developers agreement.

    Only independent mobile ad companies will be allowed to collect data on users and then target ads using that data in iPhone/iPad applications. This effectively prohibits mobile ad networks that are subsidiaries of larger mobile companies from advertising in iPhone applications.

    AdMob says the change in developers agreement means it can’t advertise in iPhone apps anymore. An Apple rep tells us AdMob can still advertise in apps. We asked the rep if AdMob could collect data on users. He couldn’t (and hasn’t) answered that question.

    On the surface, this looks really bad for Apple. It’s basically booting a big ad network that supports thousands of developers by generating ad revenue. It also looks positively terrified of Google and is trying to stop Google from gathering information on.

  87. typical Google double standards

  88. MSolution says:

    shortsighted,…na … smart business!

  89. mayank1055 says:

    Apple now has 14 days to hop over Google and reclaim mobile momentum. it’s right that apple kicking google out of iworld. And this is nw up to google to do something extraordinary and innovaive. Nice post.

  90. Chih-Chao says:

    Actually, Google does allow other networks to run ads on its search pages. A simple search for “bing” tells the story:

  91. Jarret says:

    “Jobs has already been stabbed in the back by partners Gates and Sculley, he won’t make the same mistake twice. “

    Isn’t that twice already? πŸ™‚