Re: So very little for end users then...
Actually, there's quite a bit for end users there.
If we accept that developers of free or cheap apps will use ads to support their development, then they will go with the advertising system that offers them the most convenience or money, or both.
Up until now, all they had to chose from has been a series of sleazy companies that collect and hoard as much personal information from users and attempt to make money out of this by selling it around, diluting privacy and control of such data.
This is bad.
Now Apple promises to deliver a purportedly more effective advertising system that will be even more convenient for developers since it is included as part of the SDK and iTunes environments. With this system, iOS developers can get paid directly as part of their app transactions, easily and conveniently.
However, the real news here is that Apple has already said that developers--and advertisers--will get *NOTHING ELSE*. The ads will show, users may click on them or not, and impressions will be marked and in-ad sales will be tallied. The Advertisers will get aggregate data of impressions; the developers get aggregated sales totals. That's it. Just like traditional newspaper or TV ads.
Apple made a point that the end-user's privacy will be respected, inasmuch as the devices try to do today by controlling the user experience and requiring the user's consent for certain transactions. The user will be able to exit from an interactive advert at any time, and none of his personal or device information will be collected nor shared with developers or advertisers, ever. The advertiser nor the developer may impose anything on the user, other than a display of a banner on his app. Attempting to extract additional information from the advert transaction by non-approved means will violate the license agreement, and you know how Apple deals with this in the App Store.
This is--if not good--a much better situation than the status quo. Developers and advertisers will complain about the lack of information and control (and indeed, already have), but will use the system because of its convenience and effectiveness.
I agree that more adverts are never a good thing, but hopefully this will not mean *more* adverts, but actually less sleazy, annoying, and invasive adverts. If the user must be subjected to ads, let he be in control.