Is Apple banning location-based ads in iPhone apps?

We know they’re a monopoly, but why abuse app community even more?

I find this convenient, so long as it isn't overdone.

Apple has not made many friends with its App Store acceptance policies. Viewed in turns as both arbitrary and petty in their efforts to protect what they view as their property rights, Apple has cracked down on many App Store developers who are looking to make money in this difficult economy. Rather than allowing the lot of them to profit with minimal restriction, Apple puts many talented programmers in a position where they wonder if payday loans wouldn’t be a better cash influx option.

Now they’re cracking down on location-based ads in App Store apps

According to ReadWriteWeb, iPhone app creators have been warned: “submit an app that uses user location data ‘primarily’ for targeting advertisements and that app will be sent right back to you to be changed.”

If programmers aren’t making a living through your App Store, where’s the money coming from?

And what constitutes “primarily,” Apple? I’m not even an iPhone developer, yet I can see that this is a bad sign for your future. Augmented reality, a feature that the iPhone 3GS provides in its brightest new apps, allows the user to be served product and business-based ads, coupons and more, based upon the iPhone user’s physical location. If a business is close, an Apple location-based ad will pop into your viewfinder. It is the future of advertising, yet it’s a game over which Apple appears to want complete control. No third-party players will be allowed.

Advertising can be beneficial

Whether it’s cuing you in to the location of a restaurant, payday loans company or massage parlor (for your aching feet, of course), Apple is sitting on a gold mine with augmented reality location-based ads. But if they continue to bite the hands of the app development community, the App Store will become increasingly less relevant as talented programmers jump to other options – most likely the competition.

Will it be like this?

Apple is too big for its britches

As ReadWriteWeb puts it, Apple taking an anti-advertising stance is “pure insanity.” Check out the iButterfly app in the video below. It’s just one example of how location-based ads in augmented reality apps can work. According to their Web site, iButterfly (which is free of charge through March 2010, if it remains in the App Store at all) allows the user to “look through the iPhone app to the town and find butterfly flying around. By shaking the iPhone like using a butterfly net, the user catches the virtual butterfly which carries coupons and contents related to the location.”

Another app bites the dust

It seems likely that iButterfly and similar apps will be shot down with extreme prejudice (and greedy commercial intent) by the App Store approval force. More developers will be looking to payday loans to smooth out the shocks, just like the rest of us. Apple, why drag down the economy further?

(Photo Credit: / CC BY 2.0)

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