The full picture of the new iOS14 update is going to be revealed only when the real number of total users that have updated to iOS14 gets revealed. This is going to take place around Q2 of 2021, but for now, there are other factors getting impacted by this update that are necessary to take note of. For those who are not aware of the entire situation, Apple has introduced an update in their operating system that would ask permission of users before allowing Apps to track their data which is going to affect the digital landscape of advertisement severely.


How professionals are deciphering this change is either their quest to protect their users’ privacy or as many are hinting at, Apple’s own targeted strategy to monetize a new opportunity. This cannot be discarded as Apple is a for-profit company that ultimately takes a decision in light of it being a valuable step for the company. What people are further concerned about is when exactly this will come in effect and further on, which platforms and applications will get affected by it. As advertising has branched out to almost all social media platforms, this update is bound to impact all applications which are dependent on user tracking information in order to target, track and measure the impact of their Ads. Mobile App advertisers are inherently more impacted as this update applies to any application download on an Apple device. Website tracking, however, is not impacted through this update.


Apart from the platforms, the intensity of this change is also impacted by the number of users of iOS14. CEO Tim Cook shared as part of the company’s Q1 earnings at the start of 2020, that the number of active Apple devices has grown to 1.5 billion from the previous 1.4 billion. We can only imagine where that number has reached at this point in 2021. Apart from the number of users, the stats on how many users opt-out of sharing their data or vice versa, will tell us what number of consumers will be lost from the targeted audience.


Another important thing of note is highly dependent on the users of Apple products that update their systems to or buy new products with pre-installed iOS14. Because the update is to ask permission from the users before sharing the data, which was previously automatically done.  There are many questions for platforms such as Facebook, that highly depend upon the data procured through phone applications to run their Ads, specifically in the realm of improvement. Ever since the news first started making rounds, in mid to end of 2020, the business teams at these apps have been finding ways to bounce back from this update in time for mass opt-out by the users, which is predicted at this point.


What agencies and businesses can do to counter this is to consider this time before the effect comes in to analyze their overall digital strategy and how it can be diverted from direct data collection towards another more reliable option of targeting and analyzing your Ads. This might be a tough change to go through, but it’s not unprecedented with multiple for-profit organizations working in a competitive environment, all customers can do is wait and seek solutions where possible and be smart about their own strategy.

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