Apple puts iAd-supported iPhone apps for kids out of business with no notice

By on May 11, 2011 at 3:08 PM.

Apple puts iAd-supported iPhone apps for kids out of business with no notice

Apple has reportedly confirmed to a developer that it is no longer serving advertisements tied to its iAd platform in iOS apps geared toward children. When Mike Zornek — developer of Dex, a free Pokemon app for the iPhone and iPod touch — noticed iAd ads were no longer being served in his app, he contacted iAd support. The purported reply he received from Apple reads as follows:

Hello Michael,

We periodically review the apps in the iAd Network to ensure that all apps receiving ads are aligned with the needs of our advertisers. Currently, our advertisers prefer that their advertising not appear in applications that are targeted for users that are young children, since their products are not targeted at that audience.

We appreciate your understanding.

Best Regards,

 iAd Network Support Apple, Inc. 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino, CA 95014

Apple’s iAd product hasn’t been the sweeping success many thought it would be when the company announced the product last year. Apple has since cut its minimum spend in half to $500,000, and it also tried to draw attention to the platform with a gallery of iAd ads packed into a dedicated iOS app. It now looks as though Apple is trying to add further appeal to its iAd product by delivering a network that is more targeted than several competitive networks might be. Of course developers like Zornek stand to suffer from the changes, and in typical Apple fashion, no notice was given to developers. “And that’s how an iAd supported version of Dex died,” Zornek wrote on his blog. “No warning, no notice and inevitably no respect to the developers who have cenetered [sic] their app’s revenue model around the iAd platform.” More →

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Apple hit with class action suit alleging targeting of minors with pricey in-app purchases

By on April 15, 2011 at 1:03 PM.

Apple hit with class action suit alleging targeting of minors with pricey in-app purchases

A Pennsylvania man has filed a class action lawsuit against Apple in a U.S. District Court in San Francisco alleging that the firm deliberately targets children with free applications that have appealing in-app purchases. Garen Maguerian believes that kids are purchasing in-app content and unknowingly costing their parents bundles of cash. In-app purchases are a great way to purchase extra content, such as levels or characters, in games. However, games such as Smurf’s Village or FarmVille can charge up to $99.99 for extra content that can be used to advance further in the game. “These games are highly addictive, designed deliberately so, and tend to compel children playing them to purchase large quantities of Game Currency, amounting to as much as $100 per purchase or more,” the suit says. Maguerian believes Apple is fostering these actions by allowing children to buy currency with the same iTunes App Store password they use to download free games. Since minors are entering the agreement with Apple to pay-up, Maguerian thinks that the contracts are not valid. “Apple has not offered to return to its account holders any of the millions of dollars it received from their minor children’s purchases,” Maguerian said in the lawsuit, which he is seeks refunds (including interest), damages, and legal fees. More →

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