There’s no need to read between the lines of Tim Cook’s attack on the data monetizers of the world. As the Apple CEO stated in an open letter posted on Apple’s website Wednesday night:
“We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t 'monetize' the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you.”
Although Cook’s communique ostensibly addresses consumers – Cook doesn’t actually mention Google, Facebook or any other of its other big rivals – it seems pretty clear who he has in mind.
“On the first level he’s addressing Google and on the second level he’s addressing folks like Facebook and Amazon,” said Rodger Desai, CEO and co-founder of remote processing payment service Payfone.
Cook also categorically states, once and for all, that advertising simply isn’t all that important to Apple, noting in his letter that only “one very small part of our business does serve advertisers, and that’s iAd.”
He went on to say that the only reason Apple even built iAd in the first place was “because some app developers depend on that business model and we want to support them, as well as a free iTunes Radio service.” (In a very Pandora-like move, Apple will reportedly add targeted local ads to iTunes radio.)