Google’s AdMob mobile ad unit June 2 released a software development kit to let developers insert advertisements into native iPhone OS applications on Apple’s iPad.
The new SDK supports text and tile and image ads in native iPad applications.
Ads targeted for iPhone OS include the iPad by default, though developers may also target iPad devices only.
While this may seem like a small gesture, it is surely a preemptive strike against Apple’s iAd platform, expected to launch June 7 with the iPhone 4G or 4.0.
Created from Apple’s acquisition of Quattro Wireless in January, iAd is Apple’s first stab at mobile advertising. This is an area where Google has a solid start but not the firm grasp of the market that it has in desktop search.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs said iAd will provide interactive advertisements within applications, keeping users within their content rather than launching them to new windows.
Jobs made it clear iAd is geared for publishers and advertisers that wish to target applications and ads for the iPhone and the iPad, of which Apple has sold more than 2 million units in less than two months.
In fact, Apple could sell more than 10 million iPads per year. That is mobile real estate Google’s AdMob unit can’t afford to ignore as it jousts with Apple to make money from the mobile Web through ads.
This notion is not lost on company founder Omar Hamoui, who sold AdMob to Google for $750 million in a deal that closed May 27. Hamoui said AdMob is already working with advertisers to create campaigns for the iPad.
For example, e-commerce giant Amazon.com is running a campaign promoting its Kindle for iPad application. See screenshots of these Kindle for iPad ads here.
Moreover, Hamoui said such ads are for the present; for the future, the company is already testing iPad ad units using HTML5, the language Apple is wholeheartedly supporting as it moves deeper into the Internet.
AdMob was one of the first companies to launch ad units for both iPhone and Android applications, and it was certainly the leading provider of ads with applications on the iPhone.
With the backing of Google’s click-to-call ads and overall ad expertise, AdMob has the chops to challenge iAd. AdMob’s iPad SDK is a message to that effect.