Will Apple make “The” big announcement tomorrow?

Apple has been in the media limelight for the last 3 years since the launch of iPhone and a lot of curiosity builds-up every time there is any rumor about it. The latest rumor is about possible launch of Apple’s mobile advertising platform that might be branded as “iAd”. This story was first reported by MediaPost and follows a flurry of activities that indicate the battle-lines are being drawn between Apple and Google.

Apple and Google have been at loggerheads ever since Google launched Android, a competing platform to iPhone OS. Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, resigned from Apple’s board in August last year and since then the two companies have been trying to build assets to negate each other’s dominance. Apple acquired Quattro Wireless when Google snapped up AdMobs a few months back. Both Admobs and Quattro are mobile advertising platforms. Google plans to dominate the mobile space in the same way it dominates the fixed internet and advertising is an important asset.

Apple recently published “App Store Tip” where they discouraged developers from creating apps that “use location-based information primarily to enable mobile advertisers to deliver targeted ads based on a user’s location.” The primary reason for this tip is that Apple would want to do this by itself. This means iAd would focus on location based advertising which would be more local and yet more targeted. With its iAd platform, Apple would like to provide monetization platform for developers in order to win the developer mind share away from Android (A poll on Telecom Circle indicated that over 40% telecom professionals believe Android is the future winner). However, this would put Apple in direct conflict with Google as Google recently got the patent for rendering advertisements based on user’s location.

There is no doubt that Apple would do anything to monetize its assets through advertising but there are doubts that it would want to announce such a big news just four days after iPad launch. It is possible that Apple may have deliberately leaked  partial information and wrong date about iAd so that it keeps the consumer and analyst interests going besides getting free publicity.

Another rumor is about Apple launching the preview of its new operating system, iPhone 4 OS. Will Apple launch iAd as part of the new version of iPhone OS? We will need to wait till tomorrow to find out the answers.

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