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Industry Watchers Question Apple's Mobile Ad Strategy

Putting a harsh light on Apple's mobile ad strategy, Andy Miller, its VP of mobile advertising, is reportedly on his way out.

Sources tell All Things Digital that Miller -- who sold Quattro Wireless, the mobile ad company he co-founded, to Apple in early 2010 for $275 million -- will become a general partner at VC firm Highland Capital.

Industry watchers took the news this week as an opportunity to question Apple's mobile ad efforts.

"Apple's flashy iAds made a big splash when they launched in April 2010, but eyebrows were raised when reports circulated that they were being sold for ten times the normal rate," PC Mag points out.

"Dozens of major advertisers have launched campaigns with iAd since its launch last summer, but Apple faced some early challenges," reports The Wall Street Journal. Along with its high prices, "Ad executives expressed frustration over Apple's tight control over the creative process."

Miller's "departure is yet another sign that Apple is struggling to morph into an advertising company," writes MobileBeat, adding that Apple recently lowered its iAd prices and reduced restrictions.

To date, "Apple's ad aspirations have been a bit of a bumpy road, as the company has tried to fine-tune the offering, even as competition ... has increased," All Things D writes.

Still, "Despite its initial growing pains ... iAd expanded into both Japan and Europe" months after its launch, writes Macworld. "And in December of 2010, an IDC study projected that iAd held 21 percent of mobile advertising revenue -- not the lion's share of revenue, certainly, but nothing to sneeze at either."

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