The situation between Google and Apple has been somewhat sticky in the past and, after Apple's recent revision to its iAd rules, it doesn't look like things will be getting any better. Apple has changed the wording of section 3.3.9 of the iAd policies that seem to cut out non-independent ad agencies like Google's AdMob. The revision says that only "independent" agencies may collect user data from its ads and that any "advertising service provider owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple would not qualify as independent." While the change doesn't mention Google specifically, it does seem like Apple is going after AdMob as well as the recent partnership between Adobe and Greystripe that would create ads that could convert from Flash to HTML5 for use on various iDevices. The full section is as follows:
"3.3.9 You and Your Applications may not collect, use, or disclose to any third party, user or device data without prior user consent, and then only under the following conditions:
- The collection, use or disclosure is necessary in order to provide a service or function that is directly relevant to the use of the Application. For example, without Apple's prior written consent, You may not use third party analytics software in Your Application to collect and send device data to a third party for aggregation, processing, or analysis.
- The collection, use or disclosure is for the purpose of serving advertising to Your Application; is provided to an independent advertising service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads (for example, an advertising service provider owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple would not qualify as independent); and the disclosure is limited to UDID, user location data, and other data specifically designated by Apple as available for advertising purposes."
AdMob CEO Omar Hamoui responded today on the company's blog, saying that if the rules are enforced, they will prevent developers from using AdMob and Google's services on the iPhone. Hamoui went on to say that Apple's new rules would not be "in the best interests of users or developers" and would eventually "stall technological progress." Finally, Hamoui said that his company is planning on reaching out to Apple to express their concerns. We're not sure how receptive Apple will be to AdMob, but it couldn't hurt to try. Apple is notorious for having what many consider to be "locked down" policies and platforms, so we're sure that they will continue to do things their way. Meanwhile, there are plenty of other devices for AdMob and Google to use their services on, including the Android platform, which has been steadily gaining marketshare. What do you think about the situation? Tell us in the comments!