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Apple Misses Opportunity To Pump iAd In Light Of Google’s Big Milestone

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Steve Jobs swaggered into Apple’s quarterly conference call today to rip RIM (NSDQ: RIMM), tear down Google’s Android strategy and hand-out harsh critiques of several tablet manufacturers. But no mention of iAd? That’s hard to believe, especially since Google (NSDQ: GOOG) pitched him a softball last week, by grandstanding during its quarterly report that its mobile ad business has now reached annualized revenues of $1 billion.

Meanwhile, Jobs had a comeback for Google on just about every other milestone: how many Android phones it is activating and how many applications are now in the Android Market. But strangely, when it came to Google’s mobile ad performance — after it disclosed $1 billion in revenues — he was silent. He literally had nothing new to report on iAd, the flashy mobile ad network that launched in July with $60 million in pre-sales.

In fact, the one and only comment made during the whole call was from Apple’s CFO Peter Oppenheimer, who according to the Seeking Alpha transcript, said in the prepared remarks: “We launched iAd in July, which provides marketers with the ability to place interactive ads in popular apps for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. We were very happy with results so far. Customers are loving the media-rich ads and marketers are very pleased with viewer engagement.”

They are “happy” and they are “pleased.” Those adjectives sound like decent results for something that has hit a few rough patches, which have been thoroughly detailed in several reports.

It’s true that Google has had longer to generate more revenues, so many the comparisons aren’t fair. But for reference, Google’s annual revenues for mobile ads are equal with revenues for Apple’s long-standing iTunes business in the fourth quarter — $1 billion.