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.