It was only a matter of time before AdMob and others in the mobile advertising game responded to Apple’s updated developer terms which effectively prohibit app developers from using third-parties such as AdMob and Google’s advertising solutions on the iPhone.
The new terms have left many in the industry scratching their head as to why Apple would make such a blatant anti-competitive move, and the responses are starting to come forward. Today in a blog post, AdMob founder Omar Hamoui expressed his opinion on what Apple’s move means for not only mobile advertising in general, but for others in the ecosystem as well, including consumers.
“These advertising related terms both target companies with competitive mobile technologies (such as Google), as well as any company whose primary business is not serving mobile ads,” Hamoui said in the post. “This change threatens to decrease – or even eliminate – revenue that helps to support tens of thousands of developers. The terms hurt both large and small developers by severely limiting their choice of how best to make money. And because advertising funds a huge number of free and low cost apps, these terms are bad for consumers as well.”
Whether Apple feels threatened by AdMob’s stronghold on the iPhone or not, crippling competition of any sort is bad for any industry, especially a burgeoning industry like mobile advertising. “Let’s be clear. This change is not in the best interests of users or developers,” Hamoui continued. “In the history of technology and innovation, it’s clear that competition delivers the best outcome. Artificial barriers to competition hurt users and developers and, in the long run, stall technological progress.”
“Since I started AdMob in 2006, I have watched competition in mobile advertising help drive incredible growth and innovation in the overall ecosystem. We’ve worked to help developers make money, regardless of platform – iPhone, Android, Palm Pre, Blackberry, Windows, and others. In the past four years, AdMob has helped tens of thousands of developers make money and build real businesses across multiple operating systems,” he explained.
Hamoui told the story of an early iPhone game developer who, with the help of AdMob, turned his passion into a very profitable business. “I’ve personally worked with many iPhone app developers around the world, including one who created a fun and simple game in the early days of the App Store. He built the app because he was interested in the challenge. He built this single app into a multi-million dollar advertising revenue stream with AdMob, hired a whole team, and turned a hobby into a real business.”