Mobile Entertainment’s Stuart Dredge noticed this job posting that gives a hint that Apple may well integrate advertising into the iPhone SDK.
That has quite a few implications for the mobile marketing industry — much of it (rightly or wrongly) based around the Jesus Phone. It’ s a logical move to manage the advertising inventory on behalf of the developers. Most of the developers I speak to are far more concerned about creating smart applications that garner attention (and/or purchases) rather than worrying about the actual advertising network they use to support their free products. I almost feel that for many, advertising is the last thing developers reach for. Once they’ve made their app, they’ll integrate the relevant AdMob functions and boom… they’re done.
If Apple were to make it point-and-click simple to integrate advertising — literally a ‘insert banner ad here’ function in the SDK, that could well put a lot of other networks out in the cold. Would Apple *ban* them? Or simply make sure that it was a no brainer for developers to select Apple first and then give an option for a developer to choose another ad network?
As Stuart’s post points out, RIM has been working on something similar for some time — if memory serves, it’s announcement more or less got a round of applause from the gathered partners at the BlackBerry Alliance Partner event I attended last year.
AdMob famously own the iPhone ad space after their concerted push that began early last year — they and the rest of the marketplace will no doubt be watching Apple very, very carefully.