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Apple could take a page out of Android's playbook with iPhone ad plans

Apple already offers ads on iPhones, but the company might extend ads to several other first-party apps.

Published onAugust 15, 2022

iPhone 13 Pro six months later in hand
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
  • Apple could reportedly bring ads to more first-party iPhone apps.
  • An ad-supported Apple TV Plus subscription tier was also mooted.

Apple’s iPhones have a reputation for shying away from ads compared to the likes of Android, but the Cupertino company still serves up search ads in some first-party apps (namely the App Store, News, and Stocks apps). Now, a trusted source has revealed that Apple could step things up and bring ads to even more apps.

Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman reported in his Power On newsletter that Apple could expand search ads to Apple Maps, Apple Books, and Apple Podcasts apps on iPhones. More specifically, Gurman asserts that the iPhone maker has already conducted internal work on search ads for Apple Maps.

He adds that Apple would likely allow restaurants and other entities to pay for top billing when it comes to certain Apple Maps searches (e.g. a Japanese restaurant paying to rank at the top for “sushi”). The Bloomberg reporter suggests podcast creators and book authors could pay for higher rankings in the respective Apple apps or for their works to appear as ads in these apps.

Apple taking a page out of Android’s book?

This strategy of offering search-based ads in apps is similar to Google’s own formula for Maps, the Play Store, and other properties in Android and on other platforms. In saying so, Google’s approach also sees the company following you across third-party websites and services. Still, this would be a particularly disappointing turn of events as we could understand your dismay at seeing ads on an iPhone that can cost $1,000 or more.

What do you think of first-party ads on iPhones?

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Gurman also suggests that Apple could potentially offer an ad-supported Apple TV Plus offering down the line for a cheaper price than the current tier. This would be similar to efforts from the likes of Hulu and Netflix. In fact, a recent Android Authority survey found that just over half of respondents would opt for an ad-supported Netflix plan when it arrives. So this could be a smart move for Apple.

Nevertheless, it seems like your options are pretty limited nowadays if you don’t want ads inside your phone’s first-party apps. Aside from Google’s own ads inside Android, the likes of Xiaomi, realme, HUAWEI, and OPPO have all instituted system ads to some extent. Samsung has also offered system ads but announced last year that it would be halting this practice.