I recently had the pleasure of picking up an iPad and continue to be amazed by its awesomeness. I did not participate in the iPhone craze, so this is the first time that I have used an Apple product since back in grammar school on the Apple IIe, or something like that. I loved Lemonade Stand & Oregon Trail back in the day, and now I can download apps for those games, or about 185,000 other apps in seconds if desired. Amazing. The commercials aren’t kidding – there really is an “app for that”.
The revolutionary iPad is great for surfing the web, gaming, reading, navigation with live traffic, sports updates, real-time stock quotes, or just about anything you can imagine. At home, the kids love it and often fight over a chance to play on it. On that note, the apps for kids are absolutely incredible. They are engaging, educational and usually very cheap or even free. In fact, it is so intuitive that my 2-year old, pictured above, can use it. She walks around the house looking for it, saying “iPad… iPad”. It is crazy. She just loves the app that lets her click on an animal and then hear what it is and the sound it makes. Simple, but amazing. There is truly something for everyone. Plus optional 3G makes it totally mobile, which can certainly come in handy. I still can’t get over the fact that I can search for a game, or app, find it, download it, and be using it within a minute. Apple has really hit the nail on the head with this device. Sure it has some limitations, like not being able to view flash, and the glare that is sometimes caused on the reflective glass, but overall, this thing ranks right up there among the most amazing things I have ever seen. Plus it is just 1 1/2 pounds. This is not something that people “need” to have, but this is certainly something I suspect everyone will want to have.
On a side note, I recently saw Amazon’s Kindle. This device is pretty nice for reading books, but I suspect will likely become obsolete if not completely updated. Kindle’s technology is superior for reading a book outside, where the glare might be annoying on an iPad, but otherwise, no comparison in my opinion. The Kindle books offer simple text and an occasional black and white image. iPad’s books provide full color images and often the ability to modify font type and size. Furthermore, there are book related apps, like the one for Toy Story, that bring books to life, offering the story, along with color animations and video inserts. Plus there is also the option to play Toy Story games, listen to Toy Story music, or color Toy Story pictures. Quite simply, the iPad blows the Kindle out of the water, as well as any other device for that matter. People seeking a new home PC, laptop, e-reader, DS2 or gaming system should first at least consider an iPad.
Apple is gearing up to launch its iAd interface to enable advertisers to reach app users via interactive ads. However, current buzz suggests that a $1 million budget will be required to be included, so this keeps out the small and medium sized players for now. However, in time, I suspect that iAd will go the route of Google AdWords and open up advertising to the masses. Time will tell as the mobile and app markets continue to explode.
The Google vs Apple Clash of the Titans continues with the mobile advertising industry buzzing about the new iAd platform. Steve Jobs stated in his iAd announcement that most mobile advertising “sucks” and that “on a mobile device, search is not where it’s at, not like on a desktop.”
I have to respectfully disagree wholeheartedly to Steve’s last statement. I use my Droid smartphone WAY more than my desktop or laptop – even when I am at home and the computers are easily accessible. It’s just more convenient to have the information right there at my fingertips to be able to sift through quickly. The amount of searches I perform for local restaurants, stores, coupons, song lyrics etc. from my smartphone is staggering (admittedly, I’m probably addicted to my phone more than the average user, but still…). I truly believe that Apple has no chance in overtaking Google in any advertising arena, even Mobile.
The iAd announcement will, however, hopefully prove to the FTC that Google’s acquisition of AdMob is not the monopoly maker they thought it would be. Google seems to love healthy competition and barely even flinched when Bing.com was born – they seem to realize that there is plenty of business to go around in the paid search world.
With mobile advertising anticipated to become a HUGE revenue producer in the next few years, who can blame Apple for wanting to capitalize and take their share of the pie? Industry numbers indicate that over $400 million was spent by mobile advertisers in 2009 and analysts predict that by 2013 that number is expected to nearly QUADRUPLE! This is definitely enough projected revenue for all the key players to make their fair share of profits and make their shareholders happy.
So, like I said in my last blog post…no one knows who will win this battle OR the raging war between Google AdWords and Apple iAd, but as long as people are using their PCs and mobile devices to search the internet – Google wins.
A battle of epic proportions is brewing as Apple is anticipated to announce their mobile advertising platform (rumored to be named “iAd”) tomorrow at their April 8 iPhone OS 4.0 Event. The smartphone pioneer Apple acquired Quattro Wireless in January, 2010 for $275 million and it appears that they are ready to join Google in the mobile advertising arena, an arena that has been receiving quite a bit of federal scrutiny since Google’s purchase of AdMob for a whopping $750 million in late 2009.
After Apple bought Quattro, Google posted a Public Policy Blog welcoming Apple into the mobile ad space. Google stated that Apple’s acquisition of “Quattro Wireless is further proof that the mobile advertising space continues to be competitive. And with more investments and acquisitions in the space, including from established players like Apple and Google, that’s a sign that vigorous growth and competition will continue. That’s ultimately great for users, advertisers and publishers alike.”
Although the gesture is nice and professional, it leaves me wondering whether or not Google will be singing the same welcoming tune once Apple starts implementing their competitive mobile advertising systems. Sure, Apple buying Quattro looks good to the Feds for now, but we all REALLY know that there is only one true online advertising behemoth. Google has online advertising on lockdown – it will be interesting to see how this all plays out and to see if Apple manages to squeeze their way into the mobile advertising market and become a true player.
So, the Clash of the Titans continues between Google’s search advertising dominance and Apple’s consumer gadget/application expertise. Bottom line is this: Google becomes better and better the more we use the internet (whether leaving Yelp reviews, commenting on blog posts, tweeting, etc…) while Apple is merely helping us to use the internet more with their fancy devices. So, really it doesn’t matter who wins the Clash of the Titans – no matter what, Google wins. Even though I can already assume the outcome, I am still excited to see who will cash in most on the mobile advertising gold rush that is sure to come in the next few years.