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Impact of the iPhone 6 Launch on Mobile Advertising

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Posted by Garrett McGrath on September 11, 2014
Impact of the iPhone 6 Launch on Mobile Advertising
Since the initial release of the first iPhone in 2007, Apple has managed to uphold an annual release cycle for new generations, and each release has managed to dwarf the preceding one. While Apple disappointed several fans and critics in 2013, with the overhauled version of 2012's iPhone 5 having been unable to be on par with its competitor's innovations at the time, they managed to please their stakeholders with the iPhone 6 - a bigger 4.7 inch display, NFC functionality, and a few other improvements are what Apple enthusiasts have been waiting for.

Now, the mobile app and advertising industry is facing a whole new dimension of possibilities - make sure to watch out for the following:

  • What's the impact of the iPhone 6's larger screen on iPhone advertising?

While the iPhone 6's new screen size may be a first within the Apple device ecosystem, it isn't all new to smartphones in general; there's no necessity to define completely new ad formats and standards. However, it changes the amount of dimensions publishers can use in their apps (and demand sources that can deliver to that inventory) - if you're developing for (or adapting to) iOS 8, make sure to keep that in mind.


  • What are the most relevant new features in iOS 8 for publishers?

Continuing iOS 7's shift to flat design (and away from skeuomorphism), iOS 8 most notably sets the stage for health functions with the "Health" app, which aggregates third-party fitness and health info. This will most likely spur a new genre of apps - and a new dimension of advertising possibilities; it's quite likely that mobile advertising spend in fitness and health are going to substantially increase.

iOS 8 is also rumored to soon have split-screen functionalities for iPads; this will also offer new possibilities in terms of ad space sizes and formats.


  • What possibilities do the new features in messaging, notifications and Siri offer to advertisers?

In addition, iOS 8 adds functionalities in the Notification Center (in-line interaction with notifications), sharing locations via Messenger and Siri integrating Shazam features, as well as the new HomeKit feature enabling controls for home lighting, locks and thermostats. What advertising opportunities do these new provide? Depending on integration options and data access, time will tell.


  • What about the iPhone 6's NFC chip?

For a while, leaked information has hinted at the new iPhone generation now containing a Near-Field Communication chip, which is most commonly used for payments and other sensitive verification. Although Apple's move to NFC may deliver some momentum, NFC may be considered still on the rise - standards, open technology, business models and regulatory aspects are yet to be established, so the impact of NFC for mobile advertising isn't fully anticipatable, but some past advertising campaigns - like Samsung's Galaxy 3's NFC posters campaign "I have a song for you" - hint at lots of possibilities, especially for highly localized advertising opportunities.


Either way, Apple - as one of the most important players in the market - has now set a new bar, and if experience should prove us right, the mobile advertising ecosystem will heavily adapt. If you're developing for iOS, make sure to check back for important SDK updates!

Written by Garrett McGrath

Garrett is Smaato's Senior Vice President, Product.

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