Apple's iPad Advertising Aspirations

Of all the companies hoping to benefit from the potential of the iPad as an advertising platform, the biggest may be Apple itself.

The company is planning to introduce a new mobile advertising system on April 7th, four days after the iPad's official launch, according to MediaPost's Online Media Daily. Such a system would accelerate an already-tense fight between Apple and Google for dominance of the mobile advertising market, which could be worth as much as $6 billion by 2014, from just under $1 billion last year.

Details of the system are few and far between, but speculation abounds. Here's FastCompany's Kit Eaton's take:

The result is likely to be an uber-precise, user-targeting ad placement system with an associated analytics package that Apple may wind into the iPhone's code so developers can access it through apps.

Establishing such a system could prove contentious, given that Google secured a patent on location-based advertising just this month. Last November, Google acquired AdMob, a mobile advertising platform that Apple had been courting as well. In January, Apple shocked the advertising community by buying Quattro Wireless, a mobile advertising developer on which the new system is reportedly based. On Friday, Jobs and Google CEO Eric Schmidt were spotted having coffee, suggesting the Apple-Google relationship may be on the mends, but their body language indicated otherwise.

According to a report by AdMob (pdf), the iPhone was running on 44 percent of U.S. smartphones last month and Android was running on 42 percent. Worldwide, however, the iPhone still dominated with a 50 percent share, compared to the Android's 24 percent.

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Niraj Chokshi is a former staff editor at TheAtlantic.com, where he wrote about technology. He is currently freelancing and can be reached through his personal website, NirajC.com. More

Niraj previously reported on the business of the nation's largest law firms for The Recorder, a San Francisco legal newspaper. He has also been published in The Hartford Courant, The Seattle Times and The Age, in Melbourne, Australia. He's also a longtime programmer and sometimes website designer.

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