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Apple's first iAds hit the iPhone

The company's new ad-serving program debuts on iOS 4 devices. Here's a peek at some of the first in-app ads, which include those from Nissan Motor and Unilever.

Nissan's iAd for the electric Leaf.
Nissan's iAd for the electric Leaf.
Screenshot by Erica Ogg/CNET

The first day of July brings the first real-world glimpse of Apple's foray into mobile advertising.

As planned, iAds debuted on iOS 4-based devices on Thursday, with the first examples of Apple's program enabling advertisers to present interactive ads directly within iOS apps. Engadget has Dove's entry, starring Major League Baseball's Albert Pujols and Andy Pettitte.

There's also a YouTube video of Nissan Motor's interactive campaign for the new electric Leaf. It's essentially the same as the Leaf ad Steve Jobs demonstrated at its Worldwide Developers Conference last month. As promised, the ads are embedded into iPhone applications, and when clicked, they appear as a window within the app. iAds do not send users to a Web advertisement.

Dove's first iAd.
Dove's first iAd. Engadget

Apple shelled out for Quattro Wireless earlier this year so that it could own and control the way ads are served on its devices and have a say over how analytic data is reported. Last month, Apple updated its developer agreement to exclude nonindependent ad networks from collecting analytic data from iAds. It was widely interpreted as targeting Google's newly acquired AdMob mobile-ad network.

It's been reported that Apple charged $1 million to the first advertisers participating in the program. Together, companies such as Walt Disney, Nissan, Citigroup, Unilever, AT&T, Chanel, General Electric, Liberty Mutual Insurance, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, Geico, Campbell Soup, Sears Holdings, J.C. Penney, Target, Best Buy, DirecTV, and Turner Broadcasting System have put up $60 million in promised spending through the end of 2010, according to Apple.

Jobs said Apple started the program, which is native to the iOS software developer kit, to help developers make money on free applications in the App Store.