NEW YORK As Apple continues to flood the market with more iPhones, Google is readying new options for advertisers to target iPhone owners directly.
In meetings with agencies, Google has presented a new option to show different ads in response to searches made from iPhones. The change, expected to be implemented shortly, means advertisers will be able to create an iPhone ad group as part of their regular search campaign, according to agency executives briefed about the modification.
Google representatives would not confirm the new option, although one said it had been under consideration.
The move highlights Apple's growing clout in the mobile ad market, as well as the challenges raised by iPhone for marketers.
Unlike phones that browse the mobile Web, the iPhone pulls up sites directly from the Internet. This means the ads users see, unless a publisher creates an iPhone-specific site, are the same as those viewed from a computer. The new option would in essence build a bridge between repurposing Internet ads for a mobile experience and creating a parallel structure for it.
For instance, American Airlines could use the new Google option to change a search ad from a call to action to click to one driving a phone call to reservations. Or the ad could highlight the airline's iPhone-optimized site for booking flights.
Mobile ad networks JumpTap and AdMob have constructed networks for the iPhone focused on application providers.
Apple has sold an estimated 10 million iPhones, according to a pair of bloggers who examined reports of mobile equipment registration numbers. In January, The New York Times reported that the iPhone was already the No. 1 source of mobile traffic to Google's search engine.
The change would mark the first time Google allowed advertisers to craft specific messages for mobile searchers from their search campaigns. Google offers advertisers the option of running mobile-specific campaigns that target users of WAP phones.