Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Adobe ad man tapped to run Apple's struggling iAd service

January 4, 2012: 6:31 PM ET

Taking another crack at the $1.23 billion market for ads on tablets and mobile phones

According to several sources, Apple has hired Adobe vice president Todd Teresi to head its iAd mobile advertising service, a position that has been vacant since last summer.

iAd was one of those projects Steve Jobs launched with great fanfare but which hasn't quite panned out -- at least not yet.

He pitched it in April 2010 as a high-end alternative to AdMob, the mobile ad company that Google (GOOG) snatched up for $750 million before Apple (AAPL) had a chance to buy it.

In response, Apple bought Quattro Wireless for $275 million and put its CEO, Andy Miller, in charge of  a service Jobs described as delivering ads as fun and interactive as a good iPhone app. For this, clients were expected to pony up a minimum ad buy of $1 million.

By Aug. 2011, Miller was out and Apple was selling iAd packages for as little as $300,000. In December, the Wall Street Journal ran a piece that described the project as a disaster. "It hasn't really worked," IDC analyst Karsten Weide told the Journal. "Apple we believe will, over time, fade into the background."

According to the chart that accompanied the Journal's story, however, Apple had already captured 15% of a market that eMarketer estimates reached $1.23 billion in 2011, up from $743 million in 2010.

Before joining Apple, Teresi headed Adobe's (ADBE) media solutions division.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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