Apple’s New Developer Agreement Unlevels the iAd Playing Field

Much has already been written about how the new Apple developer agreement bars developers from using Flash, but the agreement also takes a swipe at third-party ad networks.

While Apple says that it will continue to allow developers and other advertising companies to serve adds within apps, those apps cannot collect data on users. Specifically, the agreement reads, “The use of third-party software in Your Application to collect and send Device Data to a third party for processing or analysis is expressly prohibited.”

That line could cause more developers to join the iAd network, which requires that they send 40 percent of ad revenues to Apple. But perhaps more importantly, it could make it more difficult for developers to improve their apps based on user data. One anonymous developer says that Apple told him, “It is not appropriate for applications to gather user analytics. Specifically, you may not collect anonymous play data from a user’s game.”

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