Correction: In the original, I misheard AdMob CEO Omar Hamoui’s responses to an audience question. The story and headline have been updated to reflect the correct version.
Asked to navigate between Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and Apple’s mobile systems, AdMob CEO Omar Hamoui showed off his diplomatic skills in an interview with Federated Media’s John Battelle at the Conversational Media Summit. While Hamoui reiterated that just because Google paid $750 million for the mobile ad net, AdMob is not just for Android going forward. In fact, AdMob began selling ad units on Apple’s iPad last week, he noted, adding that he believes the device will have a very positive impact on mobile advertising. But asked about Apple’s iAd platform for rich media and in-app ads, Hamoui said it was “nothing really new. We’ve been doing rich media for mobile for the nine months.”
Hamoui squirmed a bit when Battelle mentioned that when it was still independent, AdMob was considered for an acquisition by Apple (when Google grabbed it, Apple than grabbed Quattro Wireless). “At times, the [the FTC inquiry] made it seem like the Google acquisition wouldn’t happen,” he said. “We would have been fine continuing on our own, but that wasn’t our preference.” So why didn’t AdMob sell to Apple? (NSDQ: AAPL) “There are some things I can’t talk about,” Hamoui said with a nervous grin. “You’ll have to ask Steve Jobs what happened.”
At one point, Battelle noted that Steve Jobs has said he wouldn’t block third party ad nets from the iPhone system. But he wouldn’t make it easy for these companies either. Asked by an audience member if Jobs is jealous that AdMob is selling cheaper ads, Hamoui answered, “I don’t think he’s jealous, he’s just following a different model.”