Previously in 2009, a patent by Apple, in an application had showed up leading towards the possibility that the company had seeked out the idea of having advertisements within an operating system, well specifically Mac OS X as you can see in the image below. The user then would receive free or even goods and services for free in return for having the advertising on their computers. This patent application which was actually filed in 2008, shows an image of advertisements within Mac OS Xwhich was notable for the listing being made by Steve Jobs himself as the lead inventor himself.
As revealed in the book Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success (written by Ken Segall), there is an idea that indeed actually did belong to Steve Jobs, though it’s specifically considered that the implementation had been considered in 1999 in the release of Mac OS 9.
Rather than charge the normal upgrade price, which in those days was $99, he was thinking of shipping a second version of Mac OS 9 that would be given away for free – but would be supported instead by advertising. The theory was that this would pull in a ton of people who didn’t normally upgrade because of the price, but Apple would still generate income through the advertising. And any time 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 had worked out the preliminary numbers the concept seemed financially sound.
It was a vision of Steve Jobs to have advertisements in the OS for Mac OS 9 in displaying 60-second commercials from a much more premium company at the startup of the OS, and the ads would automatically be swapped out from time to time and would be replaced by newer ones over the Internet. He then pictured the use of “contextually relevant ads”, like an Epson printer ink advertisement ad being shown when the printer owned by the user was warning the user that the ink was low.
Though Segall obviously didn’t like the idea, though the idea was left as something that was going to happen after a meeting was held about it, though Apple normally was going to go with the plan as it was the “TBWA\Chiat\Day” team started thinking about the companies that would be candidates for advertising in the Premium category. Though for some unknown reason, Apple and Jobs had ditched the idea.
As the genesis of this idea is appearing to be lying within Jobs, it’s not very clear on how Apple had decided to do it again nine years later with even a patent with the idea, leads to the confusion in between if it was seriously being considered or if it was just Apple protecting the idea that Steve Job’s had started so long ago so that no one else would try to patent the idea before them.