Apple Exploring Ad Business As Smartphone Sales Fall

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple is looking to expand its ad sales business, representing a huge shift in the tech company’s business strategy. Previously, Apple has leaned on its hardware business as its main profit driver. However, as global smartphone sales fall, there’s less to gain from staying in the smartphone business.

Apple has reportedly met with Snap Inc, Pinterest, and other developers on Apple’s platform to measure interest in an Apple-run ad network.

Apple already runs a “small” ad business selling promotional ads for search results in its App Store. This delivered almost $1 billion in revenue last year, an insignificant number for Apple.

If users were to, for example, search for “iPhone” in Pinterest, Apple might distribute an ad within the application for a nearby Apple Store. The WSJ article does not mention how far along Apple’s plans are for this potential expansion of their ad business.

Apple has always differentiated itself from rivals Google and Facebook by not collecting user data. Therefore, this expansion of its ad business is an interesting move for the privacy-minded tech company.

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