Update gives developers just three weeks to update their apps
Google has finally released an update for its AdMob advertising SDK for iOS developers that leaves those reliant on it just three weeks to update affected apps before Apple's hard deadline for rejecting apps that still use Unique Device Identification (UDIDs) to track app usage and advertising effectiveness. The new version, 6.4.0, retires the UDID scheme (which had emerged as a potential security and privacy risk that could compromise personal information) and adds support for test ads, along with some bug fixes.
Samsung AdHub goes to mobile
Samsung decided to take its own leap into mobile advertising on Tuesday with plans for its own mobile ad exchange. The AdHub Market outlined to MarketWatch would let advertisers buy space either from app developers or Samsung itself to put them on apps across the Korean company's platform. The OpenX-powered service would be active in the second half of the year.
AdMob data shows yearly growth in tablets
Google's AdMob unit late Tuesday said it had seen a 700 percent spike in tablet traffic over the past year. Monthly its on its large-scale ad network from iPads, Android tablets, and others that take AdMob marketing jumped from one billion in December 2010 to eight billion by the end of November 2011, TechCrunch was told. The firm didn't break down hits by OS, but tablets continue to be led by iPads.
BT says Android and more violate its patents
British Telecom has continued its legal campaigns in technology by suing Google for allegedly infringing on its patents in an action filed on Thursday. The Delaware-based complaint, caught by Florian Mueller, accused Google of violating six patents for telecoms and navigation through its development of Android, Google Maps, and related services like AdMob, Google+, Places, and even basic search. BT considers the supposed violations "willful" and is asking for tripled damages as a result.
Apple drops prices, adjusts rules on iAd
Apple is reportedly easing some of its policies around iAd to spark interest and counter Google's mobile ad control. Sources divulged Monday night to the Wall Street Journal that the minimum ad buy was dropping beyond earlier cuts to $400,000, less than half the million-dollar original baseline. Apple was also veering from the original plan, which charged a substantial amount for every ad click, to a believed $10 for every 1,000 views and what's implied is a lower $2 for every click.
AdMob now limited to mobile apps only
Google made a major policy change for its mobile ad unit AdMob late Friday with plans to take it away from the mobile web. Citing confusion and overlap, it now plans to limit AdMob to native mobile apps on Android, iPhones, iPads, and other phone or tablet platforms. AdSense, its original ad system, would be used for web ads on phones and tablets.
iAd placements rates said to be cut by 70%
Apple is reportedly slashing prices for iAd campaigns, as many advertisers are said to be departing from the platform. Unnamed sources have told Bloomberg the company is cutting its rates by as much as 70 percent in an effort to woo wary advertisers, many of which are said to be gravitating toward alternative platforms offered by companies such as Google.
AdMob marks a year at Google with new tablet ads
AdMob kicked off its first year at Google with a new dip into tablet ads. Its new HTML5 code is designed both for the larger screens as well as to react to touch gestures. The platform is designed to be cross-platform and handle iPads, Android 3 slates and future platforms like the HP TouchPad.
Korea raids Google offices in location data hunt
Google confirmed on Tuesday that South Korean police had raided its offices in the country over concerns about Android location tracking. Officials were concerned that Google's AdMob division was collecting position data for ads without either the knowledge of the user or permission from the Korea Communications Commission. The search engine said only that it would cooperate with investigators.
Korea search firms say Android anticompetitive
Google faced mounting signs of antitrust concern on Friday as two South Korean search engine firms filed complaints with the country's Fair Trade Commission over Android. Daum and Naver's creator NHN both accused Google of blocking mobile search competition by making its search engine the default and supposedly making it difficult to change. Android was "systematically designed" to complicate this, NHN said, and wasn't letting carriers have distinctive search options.
AdMob study shows tablet becoming main PC for some
Google's mobile ad firm AdMob in one of its rare post-buyout studies has revealed surprisingly rapid uptake of tablets. About 28 percent of those asked who had a tablet, most likely an iPad, were using it as their main computer. It was also taking over even from pre-PC activities, as 59 percent used it more than a book, 52 percent more than the radio, and 34 percent used it more than they watched TV.
Facebook to focus on mobile and buys Rel8tion
Facebook CTO Bret Taylor said at the Inside Social Apps conference that mobile was the "primary focus" of its social network this year. He noted that the phone was the fastest-growing segment and that those who used it were twice as active as those on the desktop. Additions from last year, such as single sign-on, were put in place to make Facebook-aware apps easier, he told Insider Facebook.
FTC picks Ed Felten as chief tech officer
The Federal Trade Commission said Thursday that it had nominated its first Chief Technologist. Princeton Computer Science and Public Affairs professor Dr. Ed Felten will provide advice on technology issues and how they apply to government policy covered by the Commission's work. The official has expertise in core FTC subjects such as intellectual property, privacy, security and web apps.
Apple said originally in talks for Kinect hardware
Apple's approach to negotiations may have cost it the technology that powers Microsoft's Kinect, an anecdote revealed today. The CEO of technology creator PrimeSense, Inon Beracha, explained during a flight that he had shopped the motion control technology first to Apple but that the company had asked him to sign 'crippling' legal deals and non-disclosure agreements. With other companies very interested at the time, there was no reason to agree to Apple's terms, Beracha told Cult of Mac's Leander Kahney.
Google loses AdMob CEO and Google Maps engineer
Google suffered two major staff setbacks today as it confirmed losing two important company leaders. AdMob CEO Omar Hamoui is leaving for "personal reasons," according to the search engine. The departure was characterized as amicable and contributing to the $1 billion in mobile revenue across Android, iOS and other platforms Google serves with ads.
Google happy about revised iOS rules
Google has responded to the recently revised iOS developer terms, saying this allows choice in who devs can use to make money from advertising. With Google's AdMob ads now supported, the company welcomes the opportunity with open arms, saying competition will drive growth and innovation in mobile advertising.
Real-world patent use could aid plaintiff
Apple and newly-absorbed subsidiary Quattro Wireless are just two of several targets in a new lawsuit from Malaysian company StreetSpace, says AppleInsider. The firm is responsible for the Web Station, a web-browsing kiosk supported in part through targeted advertising. The defendants are accused of violating US Patent 6,847,969, Method and System for Providing Personalized Online Services and Advertisements in Public Spaces.
Initial talks focused on Millennial Media
Research in Motion is reportedly seeking to acquire a mobile ad network, unnamed sources have told the Wall Street Journal (sub. required). The BlackBerry maker is said to have participated in acquisition discussions with mobile advertising firm Millennial Media and several other companies.
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.
AdMob claims iOS share down to 30 percent
AdMob today posted what could be its last accurate study of data both before Apple's attempt to block AdMob and the formal acquisition by Google. Treating the update as a retrospective, the mobile ad producer characterized the past two years as the rise of the iPhone and noted it was the single largest platform, with about 43.8 million iOS devices requesting ads in May versus Android's 12.7 million. It almost single-handedly took over AdMob's top device requests and has a 40 percent share of smartphones by OS.
Editorial: Google may not be in good faith
(Editorial) Apple is under fire from Google after the hardware company changed the language in its iPhone developer's agreement, prohibiting third-party ad companies from being able to collect usage data from iPhone apps. The issue is that Apple's change seems to mainly target Google's AdMob, Apple's staunchest competitor in the mobile market. Meanwhile, the move helps Apple, which will be able to collect usage data, and potentially gain an upper hand to attract advertisers.
Company may now be under regular scrutiny
Apple will probably dodge antitrust suits from the Department of Justice and/or the Federal Trade Commission, argue Stifel Nicolaus analysts Rebecca Arbogast and George Askew. The US government is considering whether Apple is being anti-competitive in several areas, but primarily in terms of blocking Google/AdMob from from app advertising, and preventing developers from employing cross-compilers, namely those based on Flash. Apple may have legitimate reasons for both policies, the analysts suggest.
FTC, DOJ may find iOS anti-AdMob terms illegal
US government officials are already investigating Apple's decision to block AdMob from iOS 4, tips asserted late Wednesday. Two contacts said that the federal level has an "interest" in whether the terms are anti-competitive. As it was still early, the FT sources didn't know if the Department of Justice or the Federal Trade Commission would conduct a proper investigation.
AdMob says iOS rules anticompetitive
AdMob founder Omar Hamoui today responded to Apple's updated iOS ad rules with a complaint that Apple was engaging in anti-competitive practices. The executive of the now Google-owned advertiser claimed that it could reduce the revenue for "tens of thousands" of app developers by limiting what AdMob could do for ads and would restrict app writers' choices for advertisers. He also inferred that it would hurt users by reducing the number of free or low-cost apps.
Android blocks Google from iPhone device data
The updated terms for the iOS 4 SDK may specifically exclude Google from collecting detailed device and user data for ads on the iPhone, the developer agreement shows. While Apple will allow an app to send data for ads, the information has to be sent to an ad host that isn't owned by a company involved in another business, especially competing mobile platforms. The terms appear to single out Google, whose ownership of AdMob and development of Android could put it at odds with the iPhone developer.
AdMob hints at strong world iPad sales
AdMob today discovered that the iPad has already had a strong presence outside of the US. About 38 percent of iPads sold in May were used in other countries. The international launch triggered the spike in the last three days of the month, although Chinese use has always been relatively high even though it hasn't had an official launch.
Samsung may follow Apple in mobile ad space
Samsung may be following Apple's iAd into the mobile ad space, a report claimed Friday. The electronics giant hasn't been specific with plans but could put ads through its phones and TVs once it finishes an app store for its platforms. It's speculated that Samsung might have to buy an online ad network but could start its own.
Google now integrating AdMob
Google this afternoon formally completed its buyout of AdMob. The closure arrives just days after FTC approval and will see the two companies merge their ad teams as quickly as possible. Google didn't set out a timetable for when this would happen or whether it would involve any job cuts.
FTC clears Google to take on Apple in mobile ads
The Federal Trade Commission on Friday approved Google's buyout of AdMob. The US agency unanimously decided that the takeover was "unlikely to harm competition" in mobile ads and specifically pointed to Apple's creation of iAd as proof competition would exist. Past strength wasn't necessarily an indication of the future, it said.
Dialogue described as an "interrogation"
Naan Studio, the software developer behind Echofon Twitter apps, has detailed its experience dealing with the FTC over Google's acquisition of AdMob. In a company blog, staff member Chika suggests the FTC pressured her to criticize the deal despite Naan's overall support for the acquisition. The dialogue was described as more of an "interrogation," while the FTC reportedly dismissed the company's larger concern over Apple's rival deal with Quattro Wireless.
Google may lose money if FTC bans AdMob deal
Google will pay AdMob $700 million even if its acquisition deal falls through, CEO Eric Schmidt said at the company's annual shareholder meeting [reg. required]. The executive confirmed a circulating rumor and revealed that a "kill fee" was in place that would pay almost as much as the $750 million buyout price. He justified the gamble by expressing confidence in the buyout plan itself.
FTC gives Google time in light of iAd
The FTC has delayed its once-imminent review of Google's AdMob deal to gauge Apple's impact on the deal, sources said on Tuesday. Officials have supposedly given Google two extra weeks so that the government can determine whether Apple's buyout of Quattro Wireless and the resulting iAd platform make the mobile ad market more competitive. It has already been inclined to reject the deal but has said it would have been "much easier without Apple," according to one NYT contact.
FTC decision on AdMob coming Wednesday
The FTC is on the verge of making a decision on Google's AdMob takeover, a last-minute leak found tonight. Officials are expected to either clear the deal or block it on Wednesday, likely involving a lawsuit. A TechCrunch source further claimed that Google was already prepared to defend itself against a lawsuit rather than cancel the agreement.
Blocks on analytics earn ire of ad industry
The FTC and Department of Justice are interested in more than just tool restrictions when it comes to possible antitrust charges against Apple, says the Wall Street Journal. Again quoting "people familiar with the situation," the newspaper says that a probe could also look into iAd, Apple's new advertising network. While App Store rules forbid most iPhone apps from transmitting analytical data, valuable in targeting people for advertising, iAd may face no such limitation.
FTC may sue Google over AdMob by next week
The Federal Trade Commission is on the verge of suing Google to block its buyout of AdMob, multiple leaks insisted today and over the weekend. Sources at both of the involved companies and close to the FTC now expect an antitrust lawsuit or preliminary injunction to be imposed by next week and possibly later this week. It would be considered a disciplinary maneuver to prevent Google from getting too much control over search.
Google thanks Apple for justifying AdMob takeover
Apple's launch of the iAd platform last week was a welcome boost to Google's buyout of AdMob, Google chief Eric Schmidt admitted Sunday. Apple's creation of its own potentially major ad system has legitimized the existence of a "highly competitive market" and would make it more likely that the FTC approves the AdMob deal. He hoped the deal would be approved as it was "obvious" there wouldn't be competitive problems.
FTC believes AdMob deal anti-competitive
The FTC is now likely to vote against Google's buyout of AdMob, a source said Wednesday. Once undecided about the deal, the agency is now said by an unnamed Reuters source to see a "significant competitive problem" and could sue Google for its behavior. Talks are still underway with Google and may head off the threat, but progress if any isn't certain.
Apple to use iPhone 4 as start for ad system
Apple's planned mobile ad system should be a part of what it shows at Thursday's iPhone 4.0 event, a leak asserted Tuesday night. The platform, which may not be called iAd as rumored, should have its first details discussed in addition to features of the next mobile OS. Features of the platform weren't part of AllThingsD's escaped details.
Kohl says Google AdMob deal may be ad monopoly
US Senator Herb Kohl on Tuesday sent a letter to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz urging an investigation into Google's buyout of AdMob. The official's notice warned that Google's dominance of both ads and search on the desktop, along with AdMob's control of the mobile space, could create "undue market dominance" for ads either in search or within apps. Kohl stopped short of calling for a halt to the deal but wanted a review.
Apple iAd due to challenge Google soon
Apple's mobile ad platform could be ready just days after the iPad reaches shops, a leak late Friday might have confirmed. The technology firm would unveil the platform, possibly named "iAd," to major advertising executives on April 7th. Company head Steve Jobs has already celebrated the plans and is now calling them "revolutionary," according to the MediaPost sources involved.
Google downplays talk of Android cash incentive
Google today downplayed accusations that it was using ad revenue as a carrier incentive to push Android deals. The company said its search deals weren't limited to Android and that it shared revenue whenever Google was the default search engine. It added that such deals aren't uncommon, although it still declined to provide any details of its carrier arrangements.
Google uses ads as financial incentive for Android
Google is steering carriers towards Android by letting them take a cut of ad revenue, a leak may have confirmed today. More than one tipster claimed that any provider with Android phones using Google's official apps gets an unspecified percentage of the revenue from the ads that the company runs, at least in its own apps. Some of the arrangements are said by mocoNews to be carrier-specific.
Google countering FTC opposition
Google is turning to other companies to get them to back its AdMob buyoua, a late-night rumor claimed Wednesday. The search firm would counter FTC inquiries by having mobile ad companies write in support of the buyout, which it could use as leverage against criticism. They have reportedly been asked to say the acquisition wouldn't hurt their business or dampen the competitive market.
Jobs allegedly feels betrayed by Android launch
The competition between Apple and Google has reached "incendiary" levels that aren't likely to cool down anytime soon, a detailed story from within the two companies has shown. While signs of the split have become increasingly public, a Bay Area investor claims that the two sides, particularly Apple, are getting "emotional" as it becomes a personal battle between Apple CEO Steve Jobs and his Google equivalent, Eric Schmidt. At Apple, Jobs' infamous attack on Google at a post-iPad town hall has been followed by repeated shots at Android in discussions at lower levels.
AdMob has Apple's lead grow again in December
The iPhone is increasingly taking control of the mobile web in certain continents, AdMob says in its study of the last quarter of 2009. Alongside the iPhone growing to 54 percent of all smartphone Internet traffic in North America, it now makes up more than half of all handheld traffic in Latin America (56 percent) as well as Western and Eastern Europe (78 percent and 51 percent). Apple's lead is especially high in Oceania, which centers on Australia and New Zealand, as it represents 92 percent of all mobile data.
Apple Quattro deal about fixing mobile ads
Apple's deal to buy Quattro is part of Steve Jobs' own goal of 'fixing' the mobile ad space, an apparent scoop claimed late Thursday. An inside source said to be familiar with his views says he believes "mobile ads suck" and that Apple plans to overhaul iPhone and iPod touch ads in the same way they did music with iTunes. These would be "completely new" and could do away with many forms of search.
Apple quietly picks up M and A staff
Apple is now much more committed to dedicated acquisitions thanks to a crucial hiring last year, a source claims tonight. The Mac maker is reported as having hired Goldman Sachs banker Adrian Perica as its first true mergers and acquisitions (M&A) employee to help find and negotiate buyouts of other companies. His influence is said by BusinessWeek to be directly responsible for a quick acquisition of Lala that took just weeks to complete rather than months.
FTC takes second look at Google and AdMob deal
The Federal Trade Commission is launching a closer investigation at Google's proposed purchase of mobile marketer AdMob for $750 million. The US antitrust regulator has requested more information regarding the deal earlier this week, according to Google. It claims to not have much cause for concern and acknowledges the tighter scrutiny is inevitable as the company grows larger.
Both companies pursued La La, AdMob
Several Silicon Valley start-ups have been eyed by both Google and Apple, according to a Wall Street Journal report (subscription required). Although Apple recently sealed the deal to acquire La La Media, Google also had been negotiating to purchase the online music store. The competition also extended to AdMob, an advertising company that Google agreed to buy for $750 million.
AdMob sees Apple, Android jump in Oct 09
Apple devices now represent exactly half of all smartphone traffic on the Internet, AdMob said today in its report for October. The iPhone has gained 10 percent of absolute share since August to reach 50 percent while Symbian has fallen again to 25 percent. Apple has identical share in the US.