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On a mobile device Search hasn't happened

This is one of the most thought provoking things I’ve ever heard.  Some of the implications are unfathomable.  Before we dive into the implications of iAd, here is the exact quote from the Apple Special Event, April 2010 (iPhone 4.0 launch) around 45 minutes in.

When you look at a mobile phone, it’s not like the desktop.
On the desktop, Search is where it’s at.  That’s where the money is.
But on a mobile device Search hasn’t happened. Search is not where it’s at. People aren’t searching on a mobile device like they are on a desktop.
What’s happening is that they’re spending all their time in apps.
When people are looking for a place they want to go out to dinner they’re not searching. They’re going into Yelp. They’re using apps to get the data on the internet rather than a generalized search.
And this is where the opportunity to deliver advertising is.
Not as part of search but as part of apps.

Jobs is making a set of huge claims:

  1. There is no search on devices.
  2. There is no money in search on devices.
  3. Apps create an inventory of billions of ad impressions every day
  4. Apps are better at delivering the data from the internet than a browser
  5. Apps are therefore the new browsers and eyeball aggregators

This is heavy stuff.  I believe what gives Apple the confidence to make these claims is the vast amount of data on user behavior that the app store collects. It’s possible they’re wrong, but it’s more likely they’re right.

If they’re right, what are the implications?  First, obviously, iAd adds up to a lot of cash « Asymco.  Second, this has dire consequences for Google.  Jobs could not be more blunt: search is not where the money is at.

I can chip in some personal experiences that confirm this preference for apps over browser interfaces, but I leave it as an exercise to the reader.