Apple Announces iAd Mobile Ad Delivery Service

Along with iPhone OS 4.0, Apple introduced iAds at its special media event on Thursday. The iAds service will display multimedia and interactive ads in iPhone, iPod touch and iPad applications that goes beyond what’s currently available from other companies delivering in-app ads to mobile devices.

Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, showed off examples of iAds in action with a sample from big box retailer Target that included an interactive dorm room design app that lets users pick out their room gear before heading off to college, then reserved their purchase for pickup at their local store. He also demonstrated a Pixar ad for the upcoming Toy Story 3 movie with an in-ad game.

Unlike ads that appear on many Web pages, however, the ads Apple highlighted were built with HTML5 instead of Adobe Flash — a fairly clear indication that Apple still has no plans to allow Adobe’s ubiquitous multimedia platform onto its mobile devices.

iAd advertisements can be designed by app developers as well as advertising companies, which has the potential to make the content creation open to a larger group of people. According to Mr. Jobs, Apple will take a 40 percent cut off of ad revenue, which he called an industry standard.

While Apple’s move into the mobile ad market is no surprise, the company’s plans may catch its competition off guard — and it means Apple is looking to change the mobile ad delivery and presentation market.