New iPhone ad platform gets $60m in pre-bookings


Apple’s new iPhone 4 will be the first smartphone to run the company's iAd mobile ad network, with 17 advertisers already lined up to target app users on the move. During his keynote, Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, announced that Apple's iAd mobile advertising network for the iPhone and iPad would debut July 1 with 17 advertisers. The service – which will offer advertising inside mobile apps, initially on the iPhone and iPod Touch – promises to combine the emotion of TV advertising with the interactivity of internet advertising.

Jobs said the advertisers had committed to spend $60 million in advertising in the second half of the year, which represents half of the total U.S. mobile ad spend forecasted by JP Morgan for that time period, according to Apple. Brands appearing on the network will include AT&T, Best Buy, Campbell Soup Co., Chanel, Citi, DirecTV, GEICO, GE, JCPenney, Liberty Mutual Group, Nissan, Sears, State Farm, Target, Turner Broadcasting System, Unilever and The Walt Disney Studios.

The new mobile ad platform is designed to allow app developers to create in-app advertising. Currently anyone who clicks on an advert in a downloadable app is bounced out of it and on to the advertiser's webpage.

As a result, Apple reckons many users are put off clicking on adverts. By contrast, iAd will allow full-screen video and interactive advertising content to be served within an application.

Developers who include ads in their iPhone or iPad applications keep 60% of the revenue.

Steve Jobs said: "iAd offers advertisers the emotion of TV with the interactivity of the web, and offers users a new way to explore ads without being hijacked out of their favourite apps. iAds will reach millions of iPhone and iPod Touch users, a highly desirable demographic for advertisers, and provide developers [with] a new way to earn money so they can continue developing free and low-cost applications."

The iPhone 4 is scheduled to go on sale June 24. The device is a quarter thinner than the current iPhone, has a glass front and back, and will be available in black or white.

The 16GB model will cost $199 and the 32 GB version will cost $299 with a two-year data plan.

The smartphone will launch first in the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan. Apple plans to roll out the iPhone 4 to 83 more countries by the end of September.

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