Apple is reportedly preparing a way to display ads in its iPhone apps. The news comes via a report by Mark Gurman at Bloomberg (paywalled article).
Apple isn't the first company to try this, as many Android OEMs already display ads on their phones, most notably the Xiaomi with its MIUI. Xiaomi is an Internet company first and an OEM second.
The low prices of its phones attract many buyers, creating a large user base to which it can advertise. Samsung on the other hand has started showing ads in its Weather app, even on its flagship devices. But the idea failed when users attacked the company.
With Android though, you can usually get rid of the bloatware and ads with a custom ROM. Of course, some technical experience is required. With iOS, you have no such options.
Apple currently displays ads in certain areas of iOS and macOS. There are three types of ads in the company ecosystem. The ads you may see in the Apple News and Stocks apps are similar to what you see on websites, namely third-party ads.
The App Store has its own advertising system, which allows developers to promote their apps. Apple recently updated the App Store with controversial changes that promote subscription-based apps. A new policy even allows developers to extend subscriptions and even increase the price without notifying users.
The Today tab will soon start showing ads, as will app lists.
The Cupertino company also promotes sports content on the Apple TV+ app, specifically Friday Night Baseball.
There's another way Apple advertises its own products, since the Settings app on iOS can promote Apple Music, iCloud, etc. You can usually dismiss these suggestions, but they keep coming back.
Apple continues to be quite vigilant in protecting user privacy. Most of its telemetry options are opt-in, meaning the settings are not enabled by default. It also has an app tracking transparency system, kind of like permission controls, to prevent apps from tracking you on websites. You can disable personalized ads from Settings > Privacy & Security. This of course will not provide full protection from trackers, but an extra layer to protect your privacy.
The point, of course, is that we never expected a high-end device manufacturing company to follow Xiaomi's practices.