Apple winds down Quattro to focus on iAds

iPhone manufacturer Apple is winding down the Quattro Wireless mobile advertising network as it turns its attention to the exclusive support of its recently launched iAd platform.

In a posting on the Quattro Wireless web site, the firm said that as of September 30, Apple and Quattro will support ads exclusively for the iAd network. The firm is no longer accepting new campaigns for the Quattro Wireless network, and will soon begin winding down existing campaigns.

“The iAd Network combines the emotion of TV advertising with the interactivity of the web, giving advertisers a powerful new way to reach mobile users. We believe iAd is the best mobile ad network in the world, and starting next month we’re going to focus all of our resources on the iAd advertising platform,” Quattro said.

Apple acquired mobile advertising firm Quattro in January for an undisclosed sum, and has since attracted the suspicions of the Federal Trade Commission after releasing new developer terms for iPhone and iPad app developers blocking the rival AdMob mobile advertising platform.

Apple launched its own iAds mobile advertising platform on July 1 as the US watchdog greenlighted Google’s acquisition of AdMob. An iPhone app developer we spoke to suggested that Apple’s real motivation for banning AdMob as an advertising platform was because all that data about how the iPhone was being used and by who was going straight to Google, which of course, is pushing a rival mobile platform in the shape of Android.

The developer asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal from Apple.

Apple has also has set a minimum account spend of $1m for its iAds platform, effectively limiting the number of advertisers that will be able to adopt the platform in the first place. understands that iAds advertisers will not only pay a $10 cost-per-thousand (CMP) rate, but also a $2 click through fee every time someone clicks on an ad.

Steve Jobs recently said that Apple has iAd commitments for 2010 totalling over $60m, which represents almost 50 per cent of the total forecasted US mobile ad spending for the second half of 2010.

As Informa principal analyst Shailendra Pandey notes: “Mobile advertising in apps presents a huge opportunity but its early days. Most brands run campaign to reach the mass market and therefore companies will use mobile apps more as a branding, CRM and marketing exercise rather than for running mobile advertising campaigns.”

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