Apple could soon put adverts into iPhone apps such as Maps

Alanya, Turkey - March 31, 2020: Man hand holding iPhone 11 with Apple map on the screen. iPhone was created and developed by the Apple inc.
Could adverts soon appear in Apple Maps? (Getty) (Prykhodov via Getty Images)

In recent months, Apple has restricted the data which advertisers such as Facebook can collect on iPhone users - but could Apple be about to expand its own ad services?

A report by Bloomberg suggests that the iPhone tech giant could be about to expand search-driven advertising into its own pre-installed apps including Maps, Books and Podcast.

The report says Apple has already internally tested search adverts in Maps, which might display recommendations when users search for restaurants or nearby shops, Bloomberg reported.

The report suggests that new adverts could soon appear on Apple TV+.

Bloomberg writes, “The only question is whether the customers of Apple—a champion of privacy and clean interfaces—are ready to live with a lot more ads.”

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Apple already displays advertising within some of its pre-installed apps such as News and Stocks, as well as adverts within App Store.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman wrote, “Apple will also soon expand ads to the main Today tab and within third-party app download pages.”

“Search ads in the App Store are a bit different: Developers can pay to have their app featured in results when a user searches terms like "car racing" or "basketball," for instance.”

Bloomberg suggests that this form of search advertising could expand to apps such as Maps, Books and Podcasts.

Bloomberg writes, “I believe that the iPhone maker will eventually expand search ads to Maps.

“It also will likely add them to digital storefronts like Apple Books and Apple Podcasts.”

“And TV+ could generate more advertising with multiple tiers (just as Netflix Inc., Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. are doing with their streaming services).

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Companies such as Facebook were hit hard by Apple's 'App Tracking Transparency' feature, which allows users to block advertisers from tracking them across different applications.

Analysts predicted that the company could see a $12 billion loss from the feature.

Apple’s Tim Cook said, “We believe users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it’s used. Facebook can continue to track users across apps and websites as before, App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 will just require that they ask for your permission first.”

Apple says it defends data privacy rights, but the company has faced criticism from Facebook, app developers and startups whose business models rely on advertising tracking.

The April 2021 software update allowed users to decide which apps can track user activity - crucial information that helps companies like Facebook deliver tailored ads to users and measure their impact.

Analysts predicted that the launch of the feature might mean that Apple would move into the advertising market.

RBC analyst Brad Erickson said in October 2021, "We view (the privacy changes) as a sign

that Apple may want to compete in global advertising.”

Erickson suggested that Apple might use the privacy changes as “cover” while investing in a Google-style search engine.

He said, "(Apple) can use data privacy as cover while it invests in a search algorithm behind the scenes.”

Watch: Apple to boost ads across native apps