updated 06:25 pm EST, Thu February 4, 2010
GPS info allowed only for "beneficial" uses
Apple has notified App Store developers that they will be prohibited from using location-based information for mobile advertising. The company claims the GPS data can only be used to provide "beneficial information." The announcement has ignited speculation that Apple has reserved the capability for its own advertising endeavors.
"If your app uses location-based information primarily to enable mobile advertisers to deliver targeted ads based on a user's location, your app will be returned to you by the App Store Review Team for modification before it can be posted to the App Store," Apple said.
Many analysts believe Apple is preparing to launch a mobile advertising network that will serve ads through free apps on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The company recently acquired Quattro Wireless, a mobile advertising specialist, after reportedly failing to sign a deal to purchase AdMob. The latter company was later picked up by Google.
"Looks like Apple is going to keep location-based advertising to themselves," said Twitterific developer Craig Hockenberry in a recent tweet.
Despite the variety of reports pointing to Apple's mobile advertising push, the company's exact plans remain unclear.