Apple: Ads Get the i Treatment

Amidst rumors of a 4G iPhone today, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) actually significantly upgraded its mobile advertising capabilities and said it will add multitasking to its mobile operating system this summer. (See Gadget Watch: iPhone Multi-Tasking Imminent?)

At the iPhone OS 4.0 developer preview in California, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled what Apple is calling (what else?) "iAd." It is a mobile advertisement-creation system that does away with mobile banner ads and the like; instead, the adverts keep the user within the application they are using.

For a while now, Apple has been threatening to chase Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) in the advertising realm. The Mac maker bought Quattro Wireless in to further those ambitions. (See Quattro Confirms Apple Acquisition.)

Pictures from the event (via Engadget) suggest that the iAd will let advertisers target people more specifically, based on the applications they use. To show off the system, Apple showed off flashy ad-style games and content it had created for Disney and Nike.

As expected, the biggest change to the OS is the addition of multitasking. Apple claims that it has developed a way to allow users to flip among multiple applications on the phone without putting too much of a strain on the battery life.

The vendor also added app management folders, updated the eBook reader capabilities, combined multiple email inboxes, and updated some location capabilities. In all, Apple says it has added 100 new features with the software upgrade.

iPhone 4.0 OS will be available on phones in the summer and is coming in the Fall for the new iPad.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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