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Apple embraces Microsoft in new snub to Google

Garry Barker, SMH | June 8, 2010
"Microsoft has done a pretty good job with Bing and with HTML5," Jobs said.

SAN FRANCISCO, 7 JUNE 2010 - Is Google under attack from Apple? Steve Jobs would say no, it's just continuing innovation in the industry. That was pretty much his answer during the recent "All Things Digital" symposium run in California by the Wall Street Journal.

But two of Apple's innovations announced by Jobs in this morning's keynote address to the opening of the 2010 World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco makes us wonder.

First is iAds, a system Apple has engineered and will shortly release globally that allows developers to sell interactive advertising space on their iPhone, iPod touch and iPad applications.

And second is the introduction of a third search engine on the mobile devices: perhaps surprisingly, Microsoft's Bing.

"Microsoft has done a pretty good job with Bing and with HTML5," Jobs said.  Apple mobile devices will now carry three third party search engines: Google, Yahoo and Bing.

His reference to HTML5 is significant given his blunt criticism of Adobe's Flash widely used by web designers, especially online advertising.  

Flash, he repeated, hogged battery life, was unreliable, unstable on the Macintosh operating system (used in various flavours on all Apple devices and computers) and was a technology that had had its time.

Flash does not run natively on any Apple mobile device in a family of more than 100 million devices in the market - iPhones, iPod touches and iPads. "No-one else comes even close to that," Jobs said.

How far iAds will cut into the market Google AdWords have dominated for many years is yet to be seen.

Apple had introduced iAds "to help our developers make money," he said.  Selling of ads began in the US eight weeks ago and already companies such as Nissan, Chanel, Citi, Target, Disney and Campbells, had committed to spending $US60 million over the remaining months of 2010.

"JP Morgan (a US-based global investment bank) had calculated that mobile dislay advertising in the US was worth US$250 million in 2010.  That means that iAds represents 48 per cent of the second half revenue for 2010," he said. "And that is after only eight weeks of selling."

The iOS4 technology allows high definition video to be used in advertisements, one of which, from Nissan extolling its new all-electric Leaf car, he demonstrated for the developers.

Apple will sell and host the advertisements and pass 60 per cent of the revenue on to apps developers. Payments will be made through iTunes Connect links to owners of the applications.

Ads appear at panels on the base of the opening screen of an application.  Clicking on the panel opens the ad which then plays for between 15 and thirty seconds.


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