Apple's mobile iAds could soon explode onto the entire screen

iAd's all up in your grille

BlackBerry isn't the only smartphone maker generating headlines for their mobile advertising initiatives this week: Apple is said to be working on iAds that automatically play video in full-screen mode on iOS devices.

Ad Age dug up a scoop on Apple's forthcoming plans for its mobile iAds which may soon see those relatively innocuous banner ads exploding all over their display with full-screen video playback - whether users like it or not.

According to the usual "people with knowledge of Apple's plans," iPhone, iPod touch and iPad owners may no longer have to voluntarily tap on a banner-based iAd to make it play.

These so-called "interstitials" are rumored to catch a user's attention while they are in the process of jumping to another level of gameplay or after reading an article, rather than disrupting whatever they happen to be doing at the time.

Lights, cameras, iAds?

Launched in 2010, Apple's iAds generated a lot of buzz but never really took off with advertisers, who balked at the initial asking price of $1 million (about UK£596,500, AU$1.99M) per buy.

Although Apple doesn't report iAd revenue, the iPhone maker is said to have steeply marked down the price of such ads to a more reasonable $100,000 (about UK£59,650, AU$109,890) in the years since.

According to IDC data, iAds added another $125 million (about UK£75M, AU$137M) to its already overflowing coffers in 2012, but that's a pittance compared to Google-owned AdMob, who advertised its way into $243 million (about UK£145M, AU$267M) during the same year.

Apple has yet to comment on its future plans for iAds, but Cupertino is expected to offer full-screen video interstitials through a rumored ad exchange, where space is auctioned off to the highest bidder.

  • Check out our completely iAd-free review of the iPad Air!