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Apple Modifies iOS Developer Terms to Allow Limited Analytics Data Collection

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Back in mid-April, Apple updated its developer agreement for iPhone OS (now known as iOS) to ban analytics companies from gathering data from iOS devices being used on their ad networks. The result of the change initially appeared to be a crippling of third-party networks in favor of the company's own iAds platform, as advertisers rely heavily on analytics to assist them in their advertising efforts.

As last week's interview at the D8 conference, Apple CEO Steve Jobs forcefully noted that the change was sparked by analytics company Flurry's publication of data showing devices in use on the Apple campus. Jobs was apparently referring to was January report from Flurry showing approximately 50 tablet-style iPhone devices being used at Apple. Acknowledging the value of analytics data for a number legitimate uses, however, Jobs said that Apple would be willing to revisit the topic of data collection with those companies once Apple had cooled down over the issue, "but it's not today."

MediaMemo now reports that Apple's has again modified the relevant portion of its developer agreement, Section 3.3.9, to at least partially open the door to limited data collection for analytics purposes.
If you compare and contrast with Apple's earlier version, you'll see the message is clear: It's OK to collect user data to help sell ads -- though you will need to get their permission to do so.
There is a catch, however, as Apple's new wording requires that any analytics company receiving data be an "independent advertising service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads (for example, an advertising service provider owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple would not qualify as independent)".

The "independent" qualifier would would seem to prohibit AdMob from receiving such analytics data due to its status as a subsidiary of Google, which is clearly a developer of mobile operating systems. Smaller competitors such as Greystripe and Medialets, however, should be free to obtain analytics data upon receiving appropriate permission.

Article Link: Apple Modifies iOS Developer Terms to Allow Limited Analytics Data Collection
 

JonB3Z

macrumors 6502
Jun 23, 2009
259
0
Restricting access not on the basis of the business use but on the basis of what other businesses the provider is engaged in... that can't possibly be legal, can it?
 
Comment

the-oz-man

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2009
402
153
Apple's just protecting their business. As long as it's legal, I'm fine with it. I understand why Steve was hacked at Flurry since the iPad was not yet announced. That was just an attempt to expose projects under development.
 
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GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,741
148
I guess I am one who isn't totally stoked on the iAds idea and I'm not totally stoked on the idea of collecting data but what can you do?
 
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jamone13

macrumors regular
Apr 20, 2010
115
0
I guess I am one who isn't totally stoked on the iAds idea and I'm not totally stoked on the idea of collecting data but what can you do?

iAds will be the best thing for developers. If each user of a free app clicks on just 1 ad (and most will a few times, if just to see how they work/look) that will net the developer the same as if they sold the app for $1.99. Plus the smaller but still important payment the dev gets for just having the ads flashing by. This will mean that more and more apps will be free. That's great from a user prospective, and the fact that you can get a good solid revenue stream even after initial purchase is great for devs.

I don't like data collection on me either, but as long as they agrigrate it so that no personal info of mine is shared then I'm ok with that.
 
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ale500

macrumors regular
Jul 9, 2007
229
7
Is there adblock already ? I just do not like ads. I haven't seen the iPad in action but I wonder if Safari blocks ads... if not, I do not think I'll get one.
 
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tatonka

macrumors 6502
Aug 25, 2009
495
40
I actually think it is a great idea to forbid these companies to collect all sort of data, especially without me knowing it. I mean one innocently installs a game and all sorts of data is send to those companies .. that is stupid.

What I take umbrage with is that Apple forbids it or at least makes it difficult for some companies but will use all data available themselfs including my purchase history in the appstore. That is BS and in my book anti-competitive.

T.
 
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Rojo

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2006
1,328
241
Barcelona
iAds will be the best thing for developers. If each user of a free app clicks on just 1 ad (and most will a few times, if just to see how they work/look) that will net the developer the same as if they sold the app for $1.99. Plus the smaller but still important payment the dev gets for just having the ads flashing by. This will mean that more and more apps will be free.

That's what I'm afraid of - more free apps with ads, without a paid version without ads. I really don't want ads on ANY app I use, and will pay for an ad-less version any chance I get. Developers might not feel the need to to offer a paid/ad-less version after a while.

Great for developers, I guess. Sucks for people like me who just don't want ads....EVER.
 
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jumanji

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2003
184
241
Austin, TX
i just want to use google analytics....

not to test ads but to see what's being clicked on and what my app users are doing.

i can track stuff from the server but analytics was much more user friendly
 
Comment

tatonka

macrumors 6502
Aug 25, 2009
495
40
Is there adblock already ? I just do not like ads. I haven't seen the iPad in action but I wonder if Safari blocks ads... if not, I do not think I'll get one.

There is browsers in the appstore that support ad blocking (like cab). Not sure whether they have specific iPad versions though.

That won't protect you from iAds though, as those are displayed within apps that you download and install.

T.
 
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alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,688
169
Restricting access not on the basis of the business use but on the basis of what other businesses the provider is engaged in... that can't possibly be legal, can it?



Perfectly legal to prevent your competition from making money off your products
 
Comment

tomozj

macrumors newbie
Jan 29, 2004
29
0
UK
Is there adblock already ? I just do not like ads. I haven't seen the iPad in action but I wonder if Safari blocks ads... if not, I do not think I'll get one.

But ads fund the development and give you your content for free (or cheaper) - ads give you free TV channels and such already. That's all they're asking is for a small banner on the bottom of their app which even if you tap doesn't rip you out of your app. Ads are already in apps and are poorly implemented - it's not as if Apple's making anything worse.

And @Rojo, if they don't supply an ad-free version then contact them and say you're interested because it wouldn't be much effort to simply delete the iAd element and charge money for the app.
 
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mm1250

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2007
323
41
hmmm. blocking Admob from the platform seems pretty gutsy for Apple. This is technically unfair competition and i'm sure the Justice Dept is going to make a big stink of this. I hope Apple thought this through.

If Microsoft said Firefox, Netscape can be the only browsers installed but not Safari because they have a competing OS, wouldn't last long you'd think. I'll be following this one closely. Apple has seemed to be treading on thin ice lately. Their decisions are tied to their emotions it seems. I don't think they quite understand that they aren't just a little fish in a big pond, when it comes to mobile devices and internet.
 
Comment

darkplanets

macrumors 6502a
Nov 6, 2009
853
0
Since its their closed system and they're not the dominant market force, etc; it's perfectly legal. I personally liked it before, when there was almost no analytics data being allowed. Less of my data = happier me.
 
Comment

tatonka

macrumors 6502
Aug 25, 2009
495
40
Since its their closed system and their not the dominant market force, etc; its perfectly legal. I personally liked it before, when there was almost no analytics data being allowed. Less of my data = happier me.

The only thing is, it is not going to be "less of your data". In fact they are going to use more data it is just going to be centered all at Apple HQ and not in different places as before.

T.
 
Comment

mm1250

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2007
323
41
Since its their closed system and their not the dominant market force, etc; its perfectly legal. I personally liked it before, when there was almost no analytics data being allowed. Less of my data = happier me.

Your obviously missing the point completely.
 
Comment

jamone13

macrumors regular
Apr 20, 2010
115
0
That's what I'm afraid of - more free apps with ads, without a paid version without ads. I really don't want ads on ANY app I use, and will pay for an ad-less version any chance I get. Developers might not feel the need to to offer a paid/ad-less version after a while.

Great for developers, I guess. Sucks for people like me who just don't want ads....EVER.

The problem is that the whole $0.99 or even $1.99 price point that most people expect and will pay for apps isn't enough for most developers to survive. Yeah if you are in the top 100 or so you can, but for most everyone else its just a side job. I'd much rather have nice iAds and allow more devs to afford doing this full time. Then they could make even better apps. I know that's my problem now. Without a better way to get a constant income making apps is just a hobby and I can't do everything I really want my apps to do because lack of time.
 
Comment

Wolfie Scooter

macrumors member
Jul 15, 2008
44
0
Since its their closed system and their not the dominant market force, etc; its perfectly legal. I personally liked it before, when there was almost no analytics data being allowed. Less of my data = happier me.

Google was allowed to purchase AdMob (by the FTC) because of Apple/iAd. That means the FTC considers iAd to be a dominant market force, at least on par with AdMob. The FTC could easily consider excluding AdMob as anti-competitive.
 
Comment

guzhogi

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,152
1,039
Wherever my feet take me…
The problem is that the whole $0.99 or even $1.99 price point that most people expect and will pay for apps isn't enough for most developers to survive. Yeah if you are in the top 100 or so you can, but for most everyone else its just a side job. I'd much rather have nice iAds and allow more devs to afford doing this full time. Then they could make even better apps. I know that's my problem now. Without a better way to get a constant income making apps is just a hobby and I can't do everything I really want my apps to do because lack of time.

I agree. Though I would like these apps to have a higher priced version without apps for those people that don't want ads & can afford it. That way, everyone wins. And with the version with the ad, have an in app thing where you can "upgrade" to the ad free version. So if the person doesn't like it, they would have only paid the lower price, not the full ad-free app price.
 
Comment

babyj

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2006
586
8
Google was allowed to purchase AdMob (by the FTC) because of Apple/iAd. That means the FTC considers iAd to be a dominant market force, at least on par with AdMob. The FTC could easily consider excluding AdMob as anti-competitive.

How can iAd be a "dominant market force" when it hasn't even launched? Google and AdMob is the dominant market force they were worried about, with Apple and iAd reducing their concern enough to allow the take over to go ahead.

I can't see anyone getting too worked up about this. Other ad companies can still place their ads on iOS devices and the overall market share of the iOS devices is small enough for there to be no concerns.
 
Comment

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,310
32
Ouch, do you think this is a response to the recent Google VP outburst against Apple?
 
Comment

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,310
32
But ads fund the development and give you your content for free (or cheaper) - ads give you free TV channels and such already. That's all they're asking is for a small banner on the bottom of their app which even if you tap doesn't rip you out of your app. Ads are already in apps and are poorly implemented - it's not as if Apple's making anything worse.

And @Rojo, if they don't supply an ad-free version then contact them and say you're interested because it wouldn't be much effort to simply delete the iAd element and charge money for the app.

The maker of the Elements app said 1 day of App Store sales > 5 years of Google ad revenue.

Seems like Google siphons most of the ad revenue for itself, leaving just a little for the developers / publishers.
 
Comment

ruinfx

macrumors 6502a
Feb 20, 2008
894
0
Comment

GQB

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2007
1,196
109
hmmm. blocking Admob from the platform seems pretty gutsy for Apple. This is technically unfair competition and i'm sure the Justice Dept is going to make a big stink of this. I hope Apple thought this through.

If Microsoft said Firefox, Netscape can be the only browsers installed but not Safari because they have a competing OS, wouldn't last long you'd think. I'll be following this one closely. Apple has seemed to be treading on thin ice lately. Their decisions are tied to their emotions it seems. I don't think they quite understand that they aren't just a little fish in a big pond, when it comes to mobile devices and internet.

For the 10,000th time, the difference is that MS controled over 90% of desktops, so preventing access DID constitute unfair business practices. As the Apple haters will be happy to tell you (when it suits their need), iPhone is a minority device that is 'being squashed by Android'.

Can't have it both ways. This is a non issue.
 
Comment
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