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Apple Advertising • quiet introduction of the revolution?

Apple Advertising • quiet introduction of the revolution?

Wojtek Andrzejczak
Wojtek Andrzejczak
Apple Advertising • quiet introduction of...

Apple deprecating IDFA on iOS 14 but also introduces the Apple Advertising option in the privacy settings. What could it mean?

iOS 14 beta

With the beta versions of the iOS 14, we can make an overview of the new privacy changes. The first noticeable change is that the Privacy section is on the very top of the settings menu so that every user will notice this.

Allow Apps to Request to Track

In the Privacy section, the first thing we notice is the Tracking option where the user can disable displaying the Tracking Permission screen. When we disable this option, iOS will disable showing permission screen for all apps.

iOS 14 / Settings / Privacy / Tracking
iOS 14 / Settings / Privacy / Tracking

Such an excellent move. Make IDFA as opt-in and giving users a clear and direct message to disable the new opt-in screen.

Apple Advertising

In the same Privacy section on the very bottom, we will find an additional option called Apple Advertising.

iOS 14 / Settings / Privacy / Apple Advertising
iOS 14 / Settings / Privacy / Apple Advertising

Inside we find a new option to disable Personalized ads coming inside the App Store, Apple News, and Stocks.

iOS 14 / Settings / Privacy / Apple Advertising / Personalized Ads
47iOS 14 / Settings / Privacy / Apple Advertising / Personalized Ads

But why they called this option Apple Advertising instead of Apple Search Ads since they don’t have anything else right now like Google (Google Ads and Google Marketing Platform).

Personalized ads vs. Tracking

The Apple Advertising section is relatively hidden from most of the user’s eyes. And only to make it hard for the user to turn off Apple Personalized ads. But from the technical aspect, users receive personalized ads because they are tracked. So why is this option not in the Tracking section?


Apple is forcing apps to use Pay with Apple, but they could introduce the payment provider’s certification program. So they could align with Apple’s restrictive guidelines for security and user payment flow. Otherwise, the app would not be allowed to be published in the Apple Store.

Apple has made use of the Sign with Apple for all apps. And again, why? I’ve Gmail, Twitter, or Facebook. Why should the user use an additional option to sign in? It does not make sense.

Apple removes IDFA but introduces Apple Advertising with the Personalized ads option. But make it separated from Tracking and gives a few months to prepare publishers for new changes. They could make an official announcement that in 1-2 years, there will be no IDFA, so please make sure you will be ready. But no, Apple made everything to disrupt not only advertising but also the analytics and marketing ecosystem.

My opinion

When I look into all changes Apple did over time I have thoughts:

  • Removing IDFA – Makes Google, Facebook, Xandr, and other weekers on the mobile market so they lose revenue, user reach, and give them no time to adjust their business.
  • Force apps to include Sign with Apple – If they think about advertising, then without IDFA, they would need to have users signed into the apps. That was, Apple would know the gender, age, and which apps the user is using to build affinity audiences based on the user profiles.
  • Force use of Pay with Apple – Apple could collect how wealthy the users are and collect even more data about users in the apps that do not require a sign-in option.

Apple is going to a subscription model for the services. Even Steve Wozniak mention this as a direction of the current digital market.

Dagbladet Børsen: Steve Wozniak: How Steve Jobs would react if he could see Apple today // 21 Nov 2019

And if we look into the official financial statements, we can see that hardware sales do not grow anymore, instead, Apple increases earnings from the services quite significantly every year. If the trend keeps going in 1-2 years services will bring more money to Apple then selling hardware alone.

And everything under cover of the user privacy, and the fact that only Apple could keep the user data safe. They have a right when they say about user privacy problems in advertising. But how they act implicates questions of the reasons how they proceed.

On the one hand, they defend users, but on the other, they attack everyone else.

“Attack is the secret of defense; defense is the planning of an attack.”

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

I hope I’m wrong, but if Apple wants to launch a display advertising platform while isolating everyone else. Well, this will be a revolution in the advertising business. It would change quite a lot.


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