Apple weighs up non-skip ad plan

LONDON - Apple is considering introducing advertising on its iPhones, iPods, computers and Apple TV which users would have to watch or listen to before being allowed to use the products.

The company has filed a -patent application in the US for 'enforcement routine' software. It is understood that this will allow Apple to create unskippable ads that could help reduce the cost of the products.

The technology could freeze the hardware and require users to answer questions about the advertising to prove they have not avoided it.

would let users share the ads and go online to buy products. It would also be able to gather specific user data for advertisers to tailor ads to particular consumers.

The ad patent has been filed for computers but states that the advertising could be applied to any Apple visual user interface including its music players, media receivers, game devices and mobile phones. The move has been criticised on online forums.

Apple could also charge users a fee for services without advertising. iTunes rival Spotify already gives users the option to stream music tracks for free in exchange for listening to
ads, or subscribing to an ad-free service for £9.99 a month. The music player is expected to launch in the US in 2010.

Meanwhile, Apple is expected to launch its much-hyped touch screen 'tablet' computer, next year. The device will be similar to a bigger iPod Touch.


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