Apple Launches iAd in the USA Today

Hot on the heels of Steve Jobs’ famous announcement back at the 2010 WWDC and in amongst the furore surrounding the iPhone 4 antenna, Apple is scheduled to launch its new iAd Advertising Network in the USA later on today.

The iAd network is designed to give advertisers access to the millions of individuals around the world who own an iPhone or an iPod Touch and is said to combine “the emotion of TV advertising with the interactivity of internet advertising” by allowing in-app, interactive adverts to be displayed on devices.

This will of course pitch Apple squarely against Google in the mobile advertising sphere and specifically create something of a high-noon standoff between Quattro Wireless, the mobile ad network Apple bought a few months ago and AdMob, the mobile advertising network Google acquired for an eye-watering $750m.

In a further complication, Apple recently changed their terms of service to prohibit any application developer from using an ad network associated with a company that distributes mobile operating systems, a rather roundabout way of saying “you won’t be using AdMob thank you very much”.

Apple claims to have $60m of media booked already, which they say represents almost 50% of the total mobile advertising spend in the US for the second half of 2010. Let the battle commence!