updated 03:25 pm EDT, Tue July 13, 2010
SDK terms will bar advertisers from gathering data
Apple has yet to enforce its new SDK terms that place tight restrictions on third-party advertisers, according to AdMob CEO Omar Hamoui. Many developers argue that the terms, if enforced, would effectively serve as a complete prohibition of iPhone advertising other than Apple's own iAd content.
"They haven't been enforcing (the new regulations) yet. We're very appreciative of that," Hamoui told a CNBC reporter at the MobileBeat 2010 conference in San Francisco.
Although the SDK language does not explicitly ban third-party advertising, the terms place restrictions on gathering analytic data. AdMob and other companies use such methods to track the number of clicks on each ad. The data is viewed as essential for selling ads and reporting the performance to advertisers.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs, speaking at a Q&A session during the D8 conference, suggested that the terms were changed to prevent companies from tracking Apple prototypes. The executive claimed that the analytics would only be able to be used "solely for the purposes of advertising" and without data relating to the devices, although the SDK terms do not appear to provide an explicit exemption for advertisers.
A recent report suggests the FTC and DoJ have taken an interest in determining if the SDK terms are anti-competitive. Although the terms are general, many view the changes as specifically aimed at blocking AdMob. The advertising company was recently purchased by Google, one of Apple's primary competitors in the mobile hardware market and now the mobile advertising space. [via CNET]