While we were al busy getting knickers in twists over section 3.3.1 of the new iPhone developer agreement, Apple hoped to sneak another, possibly more far-reaching change past us. All Things Digital, however, got hold of section 3.3.9, which could effectively kill all third party ad networks – granting an insurmountable advantage to Apple’s own iAd network.
While iAd looks pretty darn nice for an ad network (which is like saying something looks nice for a dead gutted animal, but still), many people were wondering how Apple would handle third-party ad networks like Google’s popular AdMob. Well, as it turns out, while Apple won’t ban them outright, it does look like the company wants to pretty much kill them off through section 3.3.9 of the new developer agreement.
Notwithstanding anything else in this Agreement, Device Data may not be provided or disclosed to a third party without Apple’s prior written consent. Accordingly, the use of third party software in Your Application to collect and send Device Data to a third party for processing or analysis is expressly prohibited.
While this still allows ad networks and application developers to embed non-iAd advertisements into their applications, taking away ad networks’ and analytics company’s ability to use targeted advertising pretty much makes it impossible for them to compete against Apple’s own iAd – which can employ targeted advertising. “Ads don’t exist without analytics,” a mobile ad executive told All Things Digital, “Can’t measure it, can’t bill for it.”
Not everyone is entirely sure what the implications of this new rule are. Peter Farago from Flurry says his company is in talks with Apple to figure it all out. “It’s too early to tell. No one’s freaking out,” he says, “There’s more to understand about it, and we’re dialoguing with Apple about it, but it looks we may have to modify the way we collect and distribute information.”
Well, I guess it’s Apple platform. If they can kill the competition by simply adding a line to the secret developer agreement, why not do it? Storage-space consuming but cool ads coming to your free applications – whether you like it or not.
That should be their new slogan given recent developments. It’s too bad because I like many of their products.
Edited 2010-04-15 10:58 UTC