updated 06:35 pm EDT, Sat October 2, 2010
Slow rollout, increased competition also factors
A recent rumor adds fuel to speculation that Apple's creative controls over iAd advertiser content is pushing potential clients away, according to mobile industry sources. Following Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz's criticism of the "obnoxious" level of control Apple exercise over iAds, Business Insider reports that other clients such as Chanel and now possibly Adidas have dropped out of the program.
Apple's iAd efforts have so far met with success on some fronts, particularly in terms of gaining share and general advertiser satisfaction both with the end products and user click-through, but the rollout has clearly been slower than the company would like. Current estimates give Apple a 21 percent share by the end of the year, on par with Google's AdMob. However, Apple CEO Steve Jobs had expressed confidence that iAds would control 50 percent of the mobile ad market by that time when the service was launched at WWDC in June, making it clear that Apple has encountered some resistance in its initial plans for the program.
Problems citing by advertisers include a combination of the slower-than-expected rollout, tales of multiple rejections by Apple over content, a lack of third-party ad-serving tools and a lack of flexibility over where their advertisements appear. Another factor creating complications is the emergence of several smaller rivals that have split the mobile advertising "pie" into smaller slices, along with the recent entrance of Blackberry maker RIM into the mobile-ad arena, sure to further divide up potential revenues.
An Apple spokesperson claimed that iAd clients have doubled since its debut, but did not deny reports that Adidas has dropped the service.