Well played, Apple

April 20th, 2010

Only one thing is definitely true about the headline-grabbing melodrama going on over at Gizmodo: it’s all good news for Apple. It doesn’t even matter whether the alleged iPhone 4.0 prototype really was left in a bar by an overserved young Apple engineer — they’ve garnered a huge amount of attention throughout an entire news cycle, without actually revealing anything definitive (only a new piece of hardware that may or may not be the actual iPhone 4-HD-whatever), while sowing just enough doubt to keep some of the wavering faithful from leaving the fold for one of the sexy new Android phones like the Droid Incredible (arguably worth a few lost sales between now and June). And there’s still plenty left to reveal in June, including the actual screen resolution, front-facing camera (or not), and whatever else Gizmodo didn’t uncover. And they get valuable early feedback on the design — whether or not they could or would ever tweak it based on such feedback — while still being able to claim it’s not the final unit. And, hell, they could probably still even sue Gizmodo if they wanted, if the whole thing started to look too perfect.

Fake? Leaked? Stolen? Red herring? It doesn’t even matter. Apple wins.

Amidst the excitement over multitasking, the Game Center, folders and the other new features announced for the iPhone OS 4.0 on Thursday, there has been an undercurrent of dread among some over another new iPhone initiative — Apple’s new iAd advertising program:

As far as I’m concerned, that particular ad is sucking away 1/8th of my experience, jamming its nose in my portal to a device that I paid (a lot) to own and use. 1/8th is too much in my book, and it infuriates me that the guy who sold me this phone is the same guy selling someone a means to take part of that phone from me.

» Apple Wants 1/8th of Your iPhone Back—Don’t Give It to Them
(Mark Wilson, Gizmodo)

Without addressing all of his points — and his argument makes some sense — Wilson is really trying to push back the tide when it comes to mobile advertising. Though mobile is a minuscule portion of overall digital advertising, and though display advertising is itself a tiny percentage of overall mobile advertising spending (some numbers and analysis from TechCrunch here), in-app mobile ads are here to stay, and are only going to get bigger. (Literally.)

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