iAd

Will Passbook be Apple’s key to cracking mobile commerce?

Apple’s iPhone may be the smartphone, and the latest iteration of it, the iPhone 5, which was unveiled Wednesday, looks set to sell like hotcakes, even if some are disappointed that Apple hasn’t done more.

But while Apple may not have made any bold strides this week with the iPhone 5 itself, one new application in iOS 6, Passbook, could represent an important step for Apple as it looks to taking its dominance in the smartphone arena and extending it to other mobile opportunities, such as commerce and advertising.

Q&A: Somo’s Thomas Schulz on AdMob and iAd price wars

The battle for mobile ad revenues picked up pace last week as Google and Apple both amended their pricing models ahead of Facebook’s imminent entry into the marketplace.

Google shifted its AdMob platform to an AdWords-style auction, where the winning price is determined by the quality of the ad and the other bids on that impression.

Facebook mobile could make $1.2bn in first year from six key markets

Facebook could generate $1.2bn from mobile advertising in its first year from just six markets, according to research firm MobileSquared.

This would put it second only to Google, which is expected to generate $2bn from mobile ads in 2012.

The six markets included in MobileSquared’s estimate are the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain – which have a combined total of 185.3m Facebook users.

In mobile ad battle, Google is besting Apple

Thanks to the popularity of the iPhone and iPad, Apple arguably has by far the most impressive ecosystem in the mobile market. Based on this, one might logically assume that the company should have the ability to thrive in the mobile advertising space.

As we’ve reported before, however, Apple’s mobile ad offering, iAd, has struggled. And even with the recruitment of a new executive from Adobe to turn it around, iAd’s position in the market is apparently not improving.

Is Apple on the brink of iAd defeat?

When Apple launched its iAd mobile advertising offering, there was reason to be excited. After all, Steve Jobs was promising something revolutionary, and betting against him was not for the faint of heart.

Unsurprisingly, major brands lined up to try out iAds. Yes, the minimums were high, and Apple exerted far more control over the creative process than was typical, but if the ads were as cool as its devices, all would work out. Or so the thinking went.

Could Oracle destroy Android?

Two software giants, Oracle and Google, are fighting a fierce war that could upend the mobile market. Oracle, which owns Sun Microsystems, alleges that parts of Android use Sun software that Google didn’t license.

Apparently, the allegation may be legitimate, and preparing for victory, Oracle is reportedly approaching handset makers that use Android and asking them to license its software directly at significant cost.

Apple introduces iAds to the iPad

When Apple launched iAds, Steve Jobs said that the foray into advertising was about more than just exploiting an obvious opportunity. “We want to
change the quality of the advertising
,” he said.

But while Apple’s successes are generally pretty clear-cut, the verdict is still out on iAd. Some of the advertisers buying in early didn’t like Apple’s micromanagement of creative, there were delays and high minimums, and the return is still subject to debate.

More recently, questions were raised over Apple’s ability to move iAd inventory, as some developers have reported low fill rates.

Will a lower minimum boost Apple’s iAds?

When it comes to reaching consumers, it’s hard for advertisers to ignore
the iPhone and iPad. The former is arguably the world’s most loved
smart phone, and the latter has single-handedly created a viable market
for mainstream tablet computing.

The popularity of these devices has put Apple in an enviable spot. A
spot that it is trying to exploit with iAd, its iPhone and iPad
advertising platform. Getting involved with this new advertising
platform, however, comes with a hefty price tag: a $1m commitment.