Greetings, iPad!

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welcome_smallADOTAS – Apple announced its widely anticipated iPad device last week. I arrived in San Francisco yesterday just as Steve Jobs kicked off his presentation, so I wasn’t able to make it to the event. But like most of you, I was excited to see this long-rumored mobile device finally announced to the market.

As we have come to expect from Apple, the iPad is a beautiful device, well-designed and well thought out. It is a logical extension of both the iPhone and iPod Touch. As an iPhone, user I can easily imagine all of the advantages of a more powerful, larger iPod Touch.

As the CEO of the leading independent mobile advertising network and technology provider, I am excited about the opportunity to extend our advertising solution to the new iPad ecosystem of application developers, publishers and advertisers.

I wanted to share a few of my initial thoughts on the iPad:

The iPad is a big mobile device, not a stripped down PC. This isn’t a surprise to us. We have been predicting for years that tablet devices would ultimately be based on mobile platforms. Why? I see a couple of reasons for this.

  • First, the mobile experience is inherently different from the desktop experience. Devices and applications (and ad networks) built from the ground up to serve mobile users deliver a far superior experience. Trying to cram the wired web into smaller, mobile devices just doesn’t work for mobile consumers.
  • The other primary reason is that mobile users are more willing to pay for content and are much more responsive to advertising (if done correctly) than web surfers on the wired web. Publishers and application developers see the potential of extending the smart phone ecosystem of pay and advertising- supported applications and mobile web-based content to a new category of device that is, from its inception, inherently mobile.

The price is right. I was excited and a little surprised to see an entry price point of $499 for the device. I was even more excited to see $29.99 unlimited data plans, with no contract, and that it was only an additional $130 for 3G support.

Clearly, there are different levels of pricing to appeal to specific user demands for speed and storage capabilities. This shows that, from the start, Apple sees the iPad as a mainstream, mass-market device. The unlocked, non-contract 3G support (free use of AT&T’s hotspots is another great addition) is healthy for the industry and good for consumers.

Applications are more important than ever. Millennial Media supports a large ecosystem of application developers across numerous mobile platforms. Each application developer in our network that I have spoken with, from the largest media companies to the independent developer, has been incredibly excited about extending his or her applications to this new class of device.

The palate for mobile advertisers has just been expanded. We have spent a good deal of time over the past year helping our advertising partners best use emerging mobile platforms, like the iPhone, Android and Blackberry platforms, to reach mobile consumers in new and exciting ways. With the iPad and numerous other tablet devices poised to reach the market early in 2010, we are excited to work with advertisers to help them get the most out of this new class of mobile device.

The monetization roadmap for developers increasingly needs to be a coordinated business strategy. New screens, new platforms and new opportunities mean complexity for developers. Developers should partner with providers who give them broad device and opportunity coverage in a coordinated fashion, and that have direct relationships with the advertisers who seek these new and powerful audiences.

Mobile applications are a rich and growing market, and being tied to a single operating system or set of devices can have a limiting effect (reach and financial).

What are your thoughts on the potential for mobile advertising on the iPad? Will it become as hot a product as the iPhone?

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