Why I think iAd will fail and might even kill the iPhone

Ok, the killing of iPhone might be a little farfetched but it’s a possibility.

So what is iAd? It’s a new platform launched by Apple. How is it different?

  • No more single line banner Ads
  • Apple takes 40% of the Ad revenues
  • Ads built in HTML and are content rich
  • Ads to be tightly integrated in to apps

(For more information you may read this article )

Well to start off with my argument how much time do people usually spend on an Ad? It’s like with 0 seconds or 1 second in clicking the Ad (Personally most of the interactive Ads are mentally labeled spam and the only good ones I have seen are on Silverlight.) Who in the right mind would spend more than 10 seconds on an Ad. Yes you might get all the info about the end product in the Ad itself but then that might kill the Ad revenues(if any) of the product’s website , and if all the info is not provided about the end product why spend so much time on an Ad Also currently most mobile Ads in apps are not really content aware so one might end up download a lot of rich content they don’t really care about ( you might have the Weight Watchers app running and you get a chocolate Ad in all its brown and delicious glory … there goes your diet plan). The other factor to consider is content rich Ads are not exactly as cheap as banner Ads (w.r.t to mobile) so a seller would now need to pay to build an Ad and then pay Apple which if you do the math right is costlier, and if you are not creating content rich Ads why place an Ad with iAd, why not use Google or admob or someone else instead. When it comes to Apple nothing is approved instantly, Steve Jobs stated that iAd might have an approval process, seriously Apple? So an organization spends money on making the Ad and then will have to sit and wait for Apple to approve it?

There is also the possibility of misuse depending on how Apple implements it. If sellers are allowed to host the content for the Ad it’s completely possible for the seller to change the content of the Ad on the fly which would throw Apple’s approval process out the window. This would also allow people to develop complete apps in HTML which could possibly mimic iPhone’s UI and get the user to enter sensitive information.

So how will all this possibly kill the iPhone? It’s all about end user experience and how Apple actually implements iAd. Imagine you got 2 minutes of free time and decide to play your favorite game and bam!!! A “screen full” of Ad pops up, are you happy? Probably not. According to Apple’s calculation “The average user spends over 30 minutes every day using apps on their phone. If we said we wanted to put an ad up every 3 minutes…” stop right there, if I read this right I would probably dump the app (Not that I use an iPhone anymore =]). If you are going to be constantly bombarded with “rich” Ad how long before you get angry and throw the phone on the wall. The popularity of Ad is inversely proportional to the popularity of Ad blocking software and it’s no secret how popular blocking software are. Thus iAd might kill the user experience which right now is the only think kind of innovative Apple has as Android + Samsung/HTC/Motorola are pumping out phones which are more powerful than the iPhone like there is no tomorrow.

Apple was really an innovative company a few years ago but now it’s nearly got in to a catch up phase which shows in their adoption of multi-tasking, folders and other features available on a jail broken iPhone or the Android or Xbox live. Developers and Sellers might see iAd as a great way to make money but in the end it’s the end user who has to like the product, even if it is just an Ad to a real product.

[retweet-anywhere format=”%s %l /by @ravivyas84″]