Safari 5: Faster Engine, Reader, Built in Bing, Interface Enhancements, More

| Analysis

With the release of Safari 5 for Mac OS X and Windows, Apple has made its Web browser faster, added support for additional HTML 5 features, added support for Google rival Bing, added a new way for developers to develop and release extensions for the browser, added a feature called Safari Reader, and included several interface enhancements.

Nitro JavaScript Engine

Apple is touting Safari 5 as offering significant speed improvements in specific areas of browser rendering. The company said that Safari 5 renders HTML and JavaScript faster than other browsers on the Mac, as demonstrated by the two charts below.


Safari 5 Speed Chart

Apple chart for i-Bench HTML rendering tests on Mac browsers

Safari 5 Speed Chart

Apple chart for i-Bench JavaScript rendering tests on Mac browsers

Apple also introduced Domain Name System (DNS) prefetching into Safari 5. This technique has the browser look up links on the pages you are visiting so that if and when you click on them, the browser already knows where to go.

According to Apple, “If you’re on a web page with links, Safari finds the links and looks up the addresses. Click one of the links, and Safari quickly loads the web page for you. And improved page caching means more of the pages you viewed in the past load faster than before.”


Apple has also added support for Google rival Bing into the search field in Safari. Formerly the home of Google searches by default, Safari 5’s search field allows you to choose between Yahoo!, Google, and Bing by clicking on the arrow to the right of the magnifying glass in the field (see the screenshot below).

Google, Yahoo, Bing

Is that a Bing in your pocket, or are you just happy to see some options?


HTML 5 has been the cornerstone of Apple’s refusal to support Flash on its iOS devices, and Safari 5 for Mac OS X and Windows boosts its support for the collection of open standards. As seen in the image below, Apple has added some 24 HTML 5 tags and features to Safari 5.

According to Apple, “Safari 5 supports over a dozen new HTML 5 features that allow developers to create interactive content and media experiences that work right in the browser — without the need for third-party plug-ins.”

Note the not-so-subtle dig at Adobe’s Flash in Apple’s verbiage, which does require users to install a plugin to view Flash content.

HTML 5 Features

New HTML 5 features supported in Safari 5

Safari Extensions

Apple has (finally) added a way for developers to easily add their own extensions to Safari, including a Safari Extensions Gallery for developers to then distribute their extensions.

According to Apple, “Safari 5 introduces Safari Extensions, a new way for developers to enhance and customize the browsing experience. Create buttons for the toolbar or make your own extension bar. Change the way web content appears. Add controls to web pages. Safari Extensions are built with web standards, so you can do it all using the power of HTML 5, CSS3, and JavaScript.”

The system is aimed at registered developers in a new Safari Developer Program, and participants in that program can have their extensions digitally signed and certified by Apple. That prevents them from being tampered with, “and ensures updates come only from you.” The program also includes sandboxing, which keeps extensions from accessing user information.

Smarter Address Field

Safari 5 remembers more about the Web pages that you visited in the past than earlier versions, including the titles of pages in both your history and bookmarks. So, if you can’t remember the URL or even the domain of a page you’ve visited, start typing what you remember about the title or contents, and Safari 5 will match that to the titles of all the pages it knows (see the screenshot below).


Safari 5’s new “smarter address field”

Windows Lovin’

Apple gave Safari users on Windows some love, too, by adding in support for hardware acceleration on PCs. This allows Safari users on Windows boxes with fast graphics card to use some of that processing power in rendering Web pages. The Mac version has long included this, bringing the Windows experience more in line with Mac users.

Safari Reader

One of the biggest changes in Safari 5 is a new feature where Apple makes it easy for users to steal content by bypassing ads on Web pages with articles. Called Safari Reader, the feature takes the content of a Web page and displays it in an overlay without the ads (that pay for the content) or other “distractions.”

Users can use this feature by clicking the “Reader” button on the right side of the URL field in Safari 5. Based on a product called Readability by Arc90, Safari Reader tries to detect Web pages that are articles. If it’s a home page or non-article site, the “Reader” button is not visible.

We’ll be examining Safari Reader in more depth in separate pieces at The Mac Observer.

Popular TMO Stories



Sharing the pain of traditional media, such as the New York Times and the Washington Post, of not being paid for content on one’s page and the costly and hard earned original content on one’s page does not feel so good, does it?


Ars has a nice breakdown of Apple’s hypocrisy when they are not getting 40% cut of the ad revenue:

The mac-zealots have become the mindless drones in the book 1984. Whatever Big Brother says must be true! “Steve says I’ll like this iAd on my phone, so I must. Steve says I should be annoyed with this ad on my favorite tech site web page, so I must.”

Dan Clark

I like Apple.


I love my Mac and I have installed a lot of apps on it. Just take some of them here for sharing, the necessity, my precious apps, or if you think I am missing any important app plz leave a comment and why you think it should be included. Cheer~
1)  AppFresh- Software updater is great for Apple applications
2)  Winx HD video converter for MAC -An easy-to-use video converter, both SD and HD videos are available. .
3)  Adium- all in one AIM, chat client. Supports, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and many other through the use of plugins and basic support.
4)  Filemaker-A cross platform database application, that has amazing power and potential.
5)  Tofu- Makes reading on your computer much more like reading a book.


Whatever Big Brother says must be true!

What a troll.  Just because you CAN say something doesn’t make it true.

Just because Steve puts ads in my apps doesn’t mean I like them, I just don’t have the option to dump them.

But I DO like having the option to be able to read an article without the flashing ads, which eventually, even html5 will allow also.

Options are good, no options are not so good, no matter what Steve wants.  He put the iAds in there for developers, not customers.


Their stance on Ads is pure hypocrisy and your lapping it up saying it gives you “choice”. That does not mean it is not hypocritical of them. The iAds are there NOT for developers but for Apple to take a 40% cut pushing that which they state are annoying on the desktop onto your iDevice. Plus they are now blocking adMob via their new developer agreement. Just to make sure that they are the only big fish in the pond.

By the way are you willing to pay for subscriptions at the news sites that you’ll skip ads on? If not how should those sites pay for the content without the blinking ads? I really would like you to answer that -completely serious here.

Maybe you should read this to get perspective:

great quote from it:

“So in the end we’re left with a) an open platform where Apple is willing to toy with Web publishers, modify their content presentation, and suppress their ads, and b) Apple’s curated, closed platform, where everything is done by Apple’s rules or it’s not done at all.

On its own, a) is understandable. On its own, b) is understandable. But a) + b) = hypocrisy, unless Apple is going to allow users to suppress iAds, for free, on Apps that use iAds in the app store.”

I used to be one of the mindless drones buying a g4 500mhz tower believing that it was faster than the Intels out there (which they switched to 6-ish years later) at the time. Joke was on me. Now I watch with a critical eye all that Jobs says-perfect example is his letter on Flash which was ripped apart for all the lies, half thruths and misinformation it contained. I suggest you do the same.

Dan Clark


Like it or not, it’s a strategic move.  New York Times (for example) can publish a website with an article surrounded by ads, to which we can use Safari’s “reader” to bypass.  Safari’s not the only one, firefox offers similar functionality in its extensions.  Why is anyone not arguing with Firefox capabilities?  Just because it’s Apple you get all up in arms. 

So NYT has a choice, continue to provide it’s content with advertising that can be skipped, or move to an application within the ipad/iphone and use iAd.  If they lose enough money and don’t get the ad revenue, they’re going to go where they can make money on their content, whether that be a subscription model or application delivery.  Who cares?  They are both out to make money for their shareholders… that’s what a business is supposed to do. 

You can bitch and complain about the big bad corporation, but in the long run, the competition will be worth it, users will get a better experience in consuming media, and it will actually put a price on the content instead of being inundated with advertising everywhere we go. 

Hypocrisy is irrelevant.

Dan Clark


And regarding your comment about speed and hardware, I’m a fairly unbiased user.  I have two high end Dell laptops that I use for work running Windows 7, and PowerPC G5 and a Macbook Pro Unibody. Take the macbook pro, I could have paid 1/2 the price for the same “speed” of hardware, but I’d have to run Windows.  So far I’ve rebuilt my high end laptops 3 times in the same time I’ve owned the macbook.  The PC’s admittedly run smoother in certain areas, such as MSFT products and even during some web browsing.  However, the overall experience of using OSX makes any speed differential more than worthwhile.  A freshly installed version of Windows 7 vs. a freshly installed version of OSX is going to be faster if the hardware is equivalent.  Flash forward 1-3 months of use, the WIndows machine is dying while the OSX machine is maintaining.  OSX has consistency, Windows does not.  This is not a scientific or tested experiment, just my own opinion.  However this has rang true for me since OS 9 and Windows 98 as I’ve owned both since that time.


“Why is anyone not arguing with Firefox capabilities?” Did I miss where FireFox rolled out it’s own Ad system where they take a 40% cut? I’m calling Apple out because they are playing both ends. Firefox is not.

“Like it or not, it?s a strategic move.” Your absolutely right. That does not mean it’s not hypocritical and deserving of being called that. It’s really simply a way to drive more content into a native app where Apple decides if it gets released to the app store.

So really Apple will control your content if it plays out the way Apple hopes-do you feel okay about that?

Do you think it’s okay they block an app of work by a pulitzer prize winning cartoonist? Thank god the ad supported sites made a stink and forced their hand.

Would content providers be critical of Apple policies if their main revenue came from an app that they needed to have Apple approve with each update?

See how it quickly can shift to subtle censorship?

The situation deserves critical thought and not “Oh well, that business”

On the hardware front - I was speaking about when the G4 500mhz single cpu blue tower came out and Apple was running with the “we get more down per cycle so we are faster than intel chips that have a higher Mhz” It wasn’t, at the time Intel was cracking 1ghz and kicked my tower all over the place with photoshop. Things are different now as Apple saw the light and jumped to Intel. Don’t argue 2007 hardware specs with 1999 hardware specs.



I get it, you’re pissed. Well then yell at Apple. Stop buying their products. Argue persuasively.

You were doing so well until you brought up the G4. Seriously? I mean, you dig up the “pulitzer prize winning cartoonist” (Wasn’t that last year?) and a 2007 (I didn’t look it up, I’m taking your word for it.) machine?

If you’ve been angry since 2007, then why are you even here? Apple lost credibility to you ages ago so why should you care about TMO and it’s ramblings?

You make a decent point, but you’re a little too shrill. Also, I disagree with your point.

I’m an Apple shareholder and I’ve made some money on that stock because of moves like the ones you abhor. I will stop making money on that stock when the majority of the buying public abhor’s those moves too. Until then, rave on and I’ll keep raking it in smile

When Apple goes south, there’s always GOOG! smile



Not sure what your points are. I was stating that Jobs has done this BS stuff where everyone believes him even when it’s obviously not true. That was the g4 1999 500mhz cpu being faster than the intel of that day. In response Dan Clark tried to argue that the current apple/pc hardware is similar. It is. My point was back to the history of the Jobs distortion field and when I stopped just taking Jobs at his word. That’s all that was there. Having hardware equivalent in 2007 does not mean he didn’t lie (or market in sales speak) back in 1999. His letter on Flash shows he has not changed much in regards of lying.

I did switch to a PC in 2001, until they came onto intel and were competitive.  I like my MBP from 2007. I can install what I want without Apple deciding for me etc, I can use an ad blocker if I want (i don’t), I can install flash player. I think Apple does a good Job of choice on the desktop OS X. Given I do think they should let it be installed on machines the user wants to-not just Apple branded.

I don’t own any iDevices-my iPods are really old. They just play mp3’s that I buy at Amazon.I was pleased when they dumped Fairplay so the files could be played with 3rd party software/hardware.  I have an appleTV as well from way back that I hacked to play what I want. So I do avoid their locked down garden with new stuff. I also use these forums to offer counterpoints so maybe some people will think twice and buy an HTC device or a tablet from another provider running Android (when they come out of course).  I also try to underline what the road is like when you begin letting Apple decide what you should read and have access to.

BTW: the pulitzer cartoonist won his pulitzer in April 2010, was denied in December of 2009. As soon as he won it the story became hot again and Apple asked him to resubmit. So I guess only cartoonists who win Pulitzers will get in the App Store. How elitest of Apple. Censorship for the illustrators who don’t win major awards. Having been trained as an illustrator THAT is really scary. It’s what you get when you let a large company be gatekeeper for your eyes, ears, and brain.

As for your stock, I guess you believe as long as you make money then whatever the company does is correct? How’s that working out for the gulf and BP? Banking and real estate? Profit does not equal right.


Their stance on Ads is pure hypocrisy and your lapping it up saying it gives you ?choice?.

No, I specifically said their iAds do NOT give me choice.

I am not particularly happy about that, as a consumer.  As a shareholder, though, as noted above, I AM happy about the revenue it brings into Apple’s coffers.

The issue of advertising and consumers wishing to skip those ads have gone on since the invention of ads on radio.  People have always used ads as an opportunity to get a drink or a snack or go to the bathroom.  Advertisers would like to chain us to our chairs.

Read Techdirt sometime.  He has a really good take on that, as he notes that really compelling ads with interesting and/or entertaining content DOES hold people’s attention.

As for sites paying for themselves, that’s a business model issue, and if they want to stay in business, they’ll figure out a way to make money.  For newspapers, subscriptions have never paid enough, and ads were the only way to do it.  To charge enough for your ads to make enough, you’d damn well better make your content is interesting enough to attract eyes on those ads.  If the ads are good enough, they’ll attract attention to themselves.  It’s that simple.

?So in the end we?re left with a) an open platform where Apple is willing to toy with Web publishers, modify their content presentation, and suppress their ads, and b) Apple?s curated, closed platform, where everything is done by Apple?s rules or it?s not done at all.”

I really don’t see where Apple is toying with web publishers.  Yes, they have to get their apps approved, but that is not to control content, but to make sure the apps do what they are supposed to do and not contain malware.

The only content Apple really cares about is porn or something libelous or slanderous.  I don’t have a problem with that.

Do they make mistakes?  Sure, with 15,000 apps coming in per week, they are certain to screw up sometime.  They DO use humans in that division, I am sure!

Apple, in running a proprietary system, has every right to suppress competing ads, and to substitute ads of their own that make them money.  The formula for sharing that revenue is industry standard, by the way, so yes, developers ARE making money off of it too.

There’s NOTHING hypocritical or wrong about any of that, and they are very up front and honest about what they are doing.

As for the rest of your post, if speed is ALL you were looking for in a computer, then the joke is definitely on you, and you deserve whatever you get.  Apple’s computers have always been competitive with other makers’ offerings, and their OS has always been head and shoulders above Microsoft’s.  I have supported both platforms since the days of Mac OS version 2, and Windows 3.1, and in my professional opinion, Windows has never been able to beat the Mac OS for usability, user friendliness and ease of support.

...perfect example is his letter on Flash which was ripped apart for all the lies, half thruths and misinformation it contained. I suggest you do the same.

You might want to post just where that got “ripped apart”.  I don’t think anybody has sucessfully done that yet.


Given I do think they should let it be installed on machines the user wants to-not just Apple branded.

So, you are concerned about people blocking web sites’ ads and costing them money, but you selfishly want to use the Mac OS on just any old PC and don’t want to give Apple the business by buying their hardware - which is where they really make their money?

How very hypocritical of you!  I hope you at least intend upon paying for the OS?


Dear Ethan:  I dont’ see your point, and I certainly don’t see Apple’s hypocrisy.  First, let’s not conflate to unrelated things.  With its new Reader function in Safari 5, Apple gives its customers the choice of whether they want to be distracted by ads, while they are trying to read an article.  At least Firefox permits similar functionality.  And you admit that this is okay on its own, so you have not problem with that.

Next, Apple develops iAds.  First let’s takes the 60/40 split of revenues.  Apple, of course, has the right to be paid for providing developers with not only the technical means of providing ads from top quality merchants but also selling the ads to those merchants and negotiating terms that the vast majority of developers don’t have the size or clout to negotiate on their own.  So you can’t be disputing that Apple is getting paid for those services, for that would absurd.  And the 40% charge is, I understand, the industry standard for such services, so 60/40 is fair at least in the sense that it is a normative standard.

Is Apple doing something wrong or unfair in blocking only ad distribution networks owned by companies that compete with it in related markets?  I think not.  These ad distribution networks, such as AdMob and the company that Apple purchased, have access to information about Apple’s iOS devices and customers that would greatly advantage those competing with Apple in the markets for mobile devices and mobile operating systems.  That is not a problem, unless that ad distribution network is owned by a company that competes with Apple in those markets.  When that happens, a competitor, such as Google with its AdMob, would have an unfair advantage in competing with Apple in the markets for mobile devices and mobile operating systems in that it would have real time data about Apple’s devices, customers, and how Apple’s customers are using its devices that would rival Apple’s own such information, while Apple wouldn’t have comparable information on, for example, Android phones.

That is why I don’t think that you will see much of a stink from Google on this, for the only alternative would be to let Apple run iAds on Android and Chrome devices so that Apple could have access to the same information about Android/Chrome devices that Google would have about iOS devices.  Google doesn’t want that.

Apple’s Section 3.3.9, which prohibits ad networks owned by competitors in the mobile device and OS markets, was, I’ve no doubt, carefully analyzed by Apple’s antitrust counsel, but this is prima facie territory.  So I won’t say for certain, notwithstanding any inaction from Google, that the U.S. government won’t take this up.  However, legal precedent makes it clear that no person is obliged by U.S. antitrust law to aid its competitor, and, thus, Apple can defend on that ground.  And, if the U.S.‘s proposed remedy would be that Apple could run iAds on Android/Chrome devices, Google might well ally itself with Apple in its defense.


As for your stock, I guess you believe as long as you make money then whatever the company does is correct? How?s that working out for the gulf and BP? Banking and real estate? Profit does not equal right.

Yes, that’s business… to a point. Unless they are breaking law or doing something that is illegal or immoral, then its NOT OK.

So using that calculus, I am concerned about Apple’s relationship with Foxconn and I encourage them to push for decent working conditions.

But I still buy Apple products, just as you and I and everyone else buy petroleum products.


“You might want to post just where that got ?ripped apart?

“but you selfishly want to use the Mac OS on just any old PC and don?t want to give Apple the business by buying their hardware - which is where they really make their money?”

I said “I’d like them to” and would pay the retail price they set if they decided it was something they’d do. Trust me plenty of my money has gone to Apple for their devices. Just not any recently to the iDevices eco system.

I’d like Apple to pick a side-much as the ars article stated. If it’s cool to block ads in Desktop Safari (user trumps content) then give iDevice users that ability to block the Apple owned and sanctioned iAds in apps they buy. They won’t as it makes them money (content trumps user).

“Apple?s computers have always been competitive with other makers? offerings”

No they haven’t. If they were they would not have switched to Intel to catchup. OS has always been better but back then to get my work done i needed my mac to run my graphics apps FAST. They didn’t at all. That’s why Apple had 90 days worth of money back when Jobs came back.



1. The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.

The difference of what makes an ad “annoying” vs a “feature” is that Apple either makes money off it or prevents competition from adMob. Apple does not think they are annoying.

They should just change the Safari Desktop marketing from:

“Safari Reader removes annoying ads and other visual distractions from online articles.”


“Safari Reader removes ads that Apple does not make money off of and other visual distractions from online articles.”


Dear Ethan:  Do you seriously suggest that Apple has either a legal or moral obligation to provide users with the means to block its own ads?  Apple’s mobile customers are getting apps, including games, at prices that were unheard of and ridiculously low compared to what existed prior to the App Store.  Apple is offering iAds as a means of providing an alternative and lucrative stream of revenue for developers, so that they can continue to offer their apps at low, affordable prices.  There is nothing that is per se wrong or illegal with that.

Customers are certainly free to ignore Apple’s iAds and not click on through to the full display, but there is no reason why Apple should provide the means to block its own ads.  The only remedy for a customer that doesn’t want to be exposed to Apple’s iAds is to not but its iOS devices, but I doubt that such a customer will find any relief on, for example, an Android or Chrome device.  Like it or not, Google, Nokia, RIM, Microsoft, Apple, and others intend to make some money by offering ads.  And I expect that none of them will provide the means to block their own ads and will do every legal thing to prevent third parties from doing so.


I said ?I?d like them to? and would pay the retail price they set

No, you didn’t mention retail price.  But if they “let” their OS be installed on other branded machines, they’d lose money, since OS sales make very little of the profit they bring in.  the real money is on hardware sales.  The software drives the hardware sales, and it always has.

As for that link, he was getting very picky in what he said the “lies” were, and often nitpicked quite a bit to “prove” a lie.  In general, though, Steve’s point is that Apple has a right to control their products without having to wait on a third party.  Which is why he was being nitpicky - most of the nits he picked about Adobe using “open” protocols in Flash were ridiculous - since Adobe has proprietary control of Flash and nobody else can update it.  Which was Steve’s point, which that guy just blithely ignored.

Same with other points.  He missed, on purpose, Steve’s whole point, which is that Flash is not a necessary protocol, and as time goes on, and millions more Flash-less devices get sold, more and more web sites will dump flash to get eyes from those devices onto their content.

Especially the ads, which is where their money is coming from.


Nemo, I’d like them to be honest and truthful about their opinions.

What they can and can’t do legally will be decided in the courts. I have hope that the EU will jumpstart the process and go after them the way they went after MS.

You guys are of the view that it’s Apple’s garden and they can do what they want. I personally don’t. I do hope that Apple is told to open up it’s system for competing services-Android, Blackberry and Symbian as well. I think that the Android phones should allow iAd if apple wanted to offer it as well to Android devs. 

I guess my issue is that the rise of the App Store has positioned Apple as the moral gatekeeper-porn, violence, political satire. They decide for you. That’s rather scary. Especially if they get larger market share in such a powerful market as mobile. Freedom of information is a delicate thing.


?Safari Reader removes ads that Apple does not make money off of and other visual distractions from online articles.?

Oh, come now, you admitted yourself that Apple’s desktop system is an open platform where they do not control content and what gets installed.

Apple doesn’t HAVE an ad system on the desktop like they will on the iOS, so your statement is ridiculous on the face of it.  There is no incentive for them to block ads, besides, Safari will load the page first, BEFORE the Reader function is activated, so the page counts (and eyes) are already there.


Dear Ethan:  What principle or belief does Apple profess that it does not hold practice with either iAds or Safari 5.  First, as I said, supra, the two thing are separate, and that Safari 5 allows one to avoid annoying ads does not create any hypocrisy.

All ads are annoying, unless one is interested in what it is selling.  Safari 5 let you make the determination of whether you do or think that you will find the ads annoying and block them.  Apple doesn’t let you do that with iAds.  So what?  Apple has never said that it was against advertising per se or using ads to make money.  Nor has Apple ever said that a person/company has an obligation to provide the means to block its/his own ads.  Ethan, you’re are the one making the principle:  Since Safari 5 lets a user block ads, Apple should do the same thing with iAds or shouldn’t do it with Safari 5.  That your principle, but, as far as I know, it has never been announced or adopted by Apple.

Perhaps, you mean that you think that it is unfair for Apple, as a third party, to provide a means for its customers to block or diminish others’ ads that they find annoying, while not providing the same means for its iAds.  Well, you are entitled to your opinion, but I am not aware of any moral precept that obliges Apple to provide the means to block its iAds, because it provides the means of blocking third party ads in Safari 5, or either not block ads at all.  And there is certainly no law that requires Apple to do so.  You can avoid ads with Safari 5 and Firefox, but you can’t on the iOS.  So what?


You guys are of the view that it?s Apple?s garden and they can do what they want.

LOL!!  So far, it IS.  Apple has no more than a quarter of the smartphone market.  That isn’t even close to market dominance, and even the idiots in the EU can see that.

I’m not sure what “system” you think Apple should open up to competing equipment.  I’m sure that they’d be glad to have the others carry their ads, though.  Google might object, on the other hand.  Do you have a problem with THAT? 

Apple’s app store is for apps for Apple’s devices.  It is NOT an open market for all devices, and the government will never be able to force them to open it up as you suggest.  Even if they did, other device manufacturers would be sure to object, as they have their own methods of pushing apps.

I don’t think “open” means what you think it does.


“but I am not aware of any moral precept that obliges Apple to provide the means to block its iAds, because it provides the means of blocking third party ads in Safari 5… ”

So you do not see any unfairness there at all? No double standard in any way?

Man, It’s incredible the level of “whatever Apple wants to do is okay with us here”. Apple OWNS both iOS4 and Safari for OS X. They market a feature on one to block ads they don’t control yet on another they don’t offer a way to block ads from their system that they profit off of. Meanwhile actively blocking other ad services.

So are ads annoying or not? Does the user have a right to block them or not? It all depends on if Apple is making money. Truly they have supplanted Microsoft in more ways than just market cap.

“I’m not sure what “system” you think Apple should open up to competing
equipment. I’m sure that they’d be glad to have the others carry their
ads, though. Google might object, on the other hand. Do you have a problem
with THAT? “

As I said “I think that the Android phones should allow iAd if apple wanted to offer it as well to Android devs. ” I meant that Apple should allow adMob on their OS system and Google should allow iAd on their Android system.


Ethan:  I don’t know EU competition law or how it’s enforced.  Perhaps the EU will get involved, but I would urge it not to.  All of the major players in the mobile device market will, as Apple and Google do, distribute and place their own ads on their own devices in much same way that Fox, ABC, NBC, and CBS sell their own ads for their networks.  The competition among makers of mobile devices is much more ferocious than what exist among the broadcast network, so there is no injury to either competition or consumer welfare that I can see.  These are all big boys, and they all have the technical means and resources to compete.  That Google and Apple are first is to be attributed to their talent, drive, and foresight.  None of that is actionable under U.S. antitrust law, and I hope the same is true for EU competition law. 

What it comes down to are the merits the competitors’ respective mobile devices and how those devices succeed in the market.  If Android succeed, and it appears to be succeeding, Google will have a successful market for its ads.  It just won’t have iOS devices as a market for its ads, just as FOX doesn’t have ABC as a market for its ads. 

Google wants to sell ads on everyones’ devices, including its own.  Well, it should have thought of that when it was deciding whether to compete in the mobile device market.  Now, that it is a formidable competitor in the markets for mobile OSs, mobile devices, and development environments, it has transformed itself from a seller of advertising through its services(search, Gmail, etc.) to a device maker, the success of whose market for advertising now depends on the success of its computing devices.  While Google will still be able to offer its services for any of its competitors that wish to use them, where it competes, it can hardly expect that its competitors to aid it in that competition by selling its ads and providing it with very timely and precise information about their devices and customers.  It should be obliged to rely on its own Chrome/Android devices to be the market for its ads and the source of its information.  If that means Google gets no info on iOS devices and no market on the iOS for its ads, that comes with being a competitor.

The other advantage of Apple’s Section 3.3.9 is that it provides competition to prevent the extension of Google’s oligopoly in mobile ads to Apple’s iOS devices and, thus, provides a check on Google’s growing power and dominance of the Web’s ad markets.


As I said ?I think that the Android phones should allow iAd if apple wanted to offer it as well to Android devs. ? I meant that Apple should allow adMob on their OS system and Google should allow iAd on their Android system.

And you don’t see that corporations just don’t see it your way?  Corporate marketing activities are just not subject to your kind of moral thinking.  They exist to make money, and our legal system is structured to allow that.  Your point here is just weird, from a corporate viewpoint.  Google will not allow iAds on Android, any more than Apple will allow Admob on theirs.

That’s not the way companies do business.

There is no hypocrisy in allowing USERS choice on one platform while not allowing it on another.  One platform is closed and controlled, and the other one is not.  Apple does not prevent users from blocking their ads on the iPhone yet allow them to block competitor’s ads on the same platform, but the allowed blocking takes place on ANOTHER platform.

Different platforms, different rules.  Makes perfect sense.


Ethan:  Now, you have it.  Apple places the ability to avoid ads in Safari 5, because that is something that its customers will probably want and, thus, will help them in the fierce competition in the browser market and, thus, make them more money.  And Apple does not provide the ability to block its iAds, because that makes more money for it and its developers.  The guiding principle is providing the best users’ experience for the most lucrative users, balanced with and sometimes against the need to be a profitable company that gets a fair return for its innovation.

And no customers don’t have a right to avoid ads anywhere.  That is something that third parties provide or not, as suits their business interests.


Nemo, You and I just look at the level of regulation by government entities differently. I want more aggressive ripping open of vertical stacks than you do. I want the EU to go after Apple the way they did in regards to IE and Windows Media Player. Competition at the Carrier level, Hardware level, OS level and Services apps on the OS level will be best for users. Using government to force that open is what they are there for, in my opinion.

I’d love for the DOJ to do it too but i’m betting the EU will first.



To all, even though we don’t agree on much of anything I did enjoy the spirited debate. I guess we’ll need to wait a few years to see what the market and government decide. I hope for a lot more choice, openness, and user control.


And my last question is do any of you get at all concerned with the level of control Apple exerts over content? Do you consider any of it a form of censorship? Do you see issue with Apple holding the keys to media that has to decide if they will be critical of Apple in their content? If say they are Arstechnica of Cnet?


Ethan:  If you want competition to work its magic in markets that where competition is structurally possible, then you have to let persons, natural and juridical, have property rights in their IP, and you have to let them try to win the competition by pretty much any means that doesn’t hinder competition per se.  Of course, their are other applicable laws relating to safety, market failures, etc., but the foregoing is or ought to be pretty much it for competition/antitrust law.  That means, inter alia, that a person need not, subject to applicable law, impair its revenues and/or aid his competitor ability to compete with him, which I think is what you would have Apple do. 

But I too enjoyed the discussion, even though it has added time to my work day.

John Dingler, artist

My art gallery takes 50% which is standard for most art galleries. I don’t whine; It does most the unpleasant, non-art work for me.


Bosco, did you change your name to Ethan?


This technique has the browser look up links on the pages you are visiting so that if and when you click on them, the browser already knows where to go….<a >

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account