updated 09:40 am EST, Mon November 16, 2009
Deepening competition between Apple and Google?
Apple took tentative steps towards buying AdMob ahead of the recent Google acquisition, say sources contacted by Bloomberg. Google agreed to pay $750 million in the deal; the combined company will own between 30 and 40 percent of the mobile advertising market. Apple is said to have approached AdMob a few weeks before the Google bid, entering into private negotiations. Both companies have refused to comment publicly on the matter.
The sources' claims, if accurate, may suggest a newly intense level of competition between Apple and Google. The companies are already competitors in the realm of smartphones, as a result of the iPhone and the Android platform. Google CEO Eric Schmidt was forced to resign from the Apple board after the revelation of Chrome OS, which could soon provide a challenge to Mac OS X.
Owning AdMob could have put Apple in control of much of the advertising on its own platform, as the iPhone is the increasingly popular target for mobile marketers. Part of this stems from the more than 100,000 apps available on the App Store, in contrast to the roughly 12,000 apps accessible via the Android Market. Smartphones as a whole are growing in popularity, even as overall cellphone sales drop.