Apple currently has a rather limited ad implementation on iOS, consisting of Search Ads on the App Store as a way for developers to promote their apps, as well as ads inside the first-party Stocks and News app. Weirdly, the latter even serves ads to paying subscribers of News+, though it is a minor issue in terms of the overall iOS experience.
Apple's ad strategy is now on the verge of a major reorganization, with an increase in annual ad revenue in line with an expansion of advertisements across new iPhone and iPad devices.
According to a Bloomberg report, Apple Maps, Books, and Podcasts apps may be suitable for these ads, as well as an ad-support TV+ version soon on the App Store's 'Today' tab and within third-party apps' download pages.
Search-based ads have apparently been tested internally in Apple Maps, which appear to follow a Yelp-like system that allows paying businesses to be ranked at the top of local listings. For Apple Books and Podcasts, users might see a sponsoring author show up higher in results, as well as appear in other ads placed in these apps. Apple TV+, however, might follow Netflix and other streaming competitors for a more affordable pricing structure.
The report by Bloomberg reveals Apple's privacy-focused App Tracking Transparency and how Cupertino's use of this feature has radically impacted the revenues of third-party businesses and developers. Although iPhone users tend to opt-out of cross-app tracking, this may create an unlevel playing field for Apple's ad business that might lead to some antitrust lawsuits in the future.
The possibility for Apple's iOS ecosystem to expand might also slash the iPhone's value, as owners spend more for a clean, unobtrusive experience. On the other hand, paying for subscriptions for many of Apple's existing apps and services will likely make it harder for Apple to justify the iPhone's premium pricing point.