Apple Bans Location-Based Ads In Apps Where Location Isn't Core

steve jobs apple AP

Apple put out a note for developers about location based advertising in the iPhone:

If you build your application with features based on a user’s location, make sure these features provide beneficial information. If your app uses location-based information primarily to enable mobile advertisers to deliver targeted ads based on a user’s location, your app will be returned to you by the App Store Review Team for modification before it can be posted to the App Store.

After reading this note, many people leaped to the conclusion that Apple was trying to stamp out app makers so its Quattro Wireless purchase would be more lucrative.

In the words of Twitterific developer Craig Hockenberry, “Looks like Apple is going to keep location-based advertising to themselves.”

We don’t read that from this note. It appears Apple is saying you can’t use location based information for advertising if your app is just some frivolous game. Location-based services need to be core to what your application is about if you’re going to apply them to advertising.

It seems unfair that Apple would do this, but remember Washington is cracking down on targeted ads on the web. Maybe Apple is trying to preemptively stem similar regulations in mobile.

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