While Tim Cook didn’t seem to place too much emphasis on advertising being a core business for Apple when asked about mobile advertising during his recent D11 interview, BusinessInsider reports it has heard from sources that Apple is gearing up to launch an ad exchange service similar to recent efforts by Twitter and Facebook:
We heard it from an executive who is one of the biggest players in online advertising… an ad exchange would work by allowing advertisers to target users as they enter the Apple eco-system on their iPads, MacBooks, various web sites and apps. The system would alert advertisers that an Apple user arrived. Any advertiser tracking that user with a cookie (a piece of software that records previous web sites you’ve looked at) could then bid to serve an ad targeting that user.
When asked why Apple wasn’t making money off its mobile ad business in comparison to other companies such as Facebook, CEO Tim Cook told D11 attendees that the focus for advertising was making developers money, not Apple. Cook said the company would continue doing things in advertising only if it contributed to its developer community, but according to several execs in the advertising industry quoted in the report, Apple could have much bigger plans for its ad business in the months to come.