One of the brilliant ideas that came from the genius of Steve Jobs was to force his users to see advertising as they used his iOS.
Apparently Jobs had a vision of ad-supported operating systems in 1999.
According to MacRumours, the idea was that the user receiving free or discounted goods or services in exchange for viewing the advertisements. Steve Jobs was named as the lead inventor.
According to Ken Segall, who was Apple’s creative advertising director, Jobs wanted the idea under the bonnet of the 1999 release of Mac OS 9.
He thought that rather than charging his fanboys to receive a constant barrage of spam the wanted to ship a second version of Mac OS 9 that would be given away for free.
The big idea was that some fanboys did not want to upgrade because it cost them too much. This would mean that they could upgrade without having to pay.
If an owner of the free version wanted to get rid of the advertising, he or she could simply pay for the ad-free version.
Steve’s team done all the numbers and it could have worked.
When you started up you would get a 60-second commercial from a “premium” company at startup, with the ads occasionally being automatically swapped out for new ones over the Internet.
Segall thought the idea was pants but believed Apple was going to proceed with it. Jobs and Apple ultimately decided to scrap the idea.
What is a little strange is that, although the idea was scrapped, it was patented in 2008 nearly nine years after Jobs’ lept from his bath screaming Eureka, Eureka.