Also some shade thrown at Facebook in the screen time demo, they called out Instagram and Facebook as great things to block. Not a full war declaration, just "how about less Facebook".
Some examples of why this doesn't completely block everything... All the cell phone companies have unique ids on each device which they seem quite happy to sell.  There are many ways to fingerprint people on the web (how fast code is running, gpu speed, touch and scrolling style) that will be wack-a-mole for awhile. Each website that is tracking you now could use it's own cookie to record user behavior and then send it to FB/Google on the backend to link them later. For your phone on wifi, your isp or cable company is selling data based on your mac address and ip address. 
Great that unlike GDPR, this isn't an enormous pain for every little website in the world. It just makes big company Facebook/Google tracking harder.
I dunno if this is realistically practical. Right now the reason people do this is basically because of a combination of a perception that doing so adds value to the page and the fact that it's incredibly trivial because the web frontend platform is relatively uniform.
Having to add and maintain a backend shunt for the data though? That's not something that's going to creep on to every single website in existence like facebook like buttons have. Hell, it requires you to even have a backend, which many sites that have these buttons barely even have.
Which they need to document due to GDPR.
Alex Stamos, CSO of Facebook, tweets:
"If this is about protecting privacy, and not just cute virtue signaling, then they should block all 3rd party JS and pixels."
Some funny responses:
""If this is about reducing the climate change, and not just cute consciousness about improving the world, then they should live in the forest with a wooden stick and nothing else" - you know exactly that Apple is trying to balance UX and privacy" @RL_Scharf
"Guy who set the house on fire is upset that he’s being denied access to matches, claims nobody should have them." @poiseavan
Why is that? They’re not at war with any particular company, mainly at war with a business model equivalent to cancer. Those companies will be welcome back anytime once they find out a proper business model that respects users.
Look, if you declare war on "primarily German-speaking countries", the end result is you're probably at war with Germany.
There’s only a very few countries where German is the main language.
There are unfortunately many businesses where ads (aka cancer) are the main business model.
Few of which really matter at Apple's scale. A war with adtech is going to primarily be a war with Facebook and Google - the two companies look to have somewhere between 60-80% of US digital ad spend captured.
Your local newspaper is a) probably using Google Adsense and Doubleclick anyways and b) has no power to harm Apple.
Business is business. For a section of people the main reason to buy an iOS phone over a cheaper Android one is privacy.
The more privacy iOS can give you versus Android the more competitive advantage Apple can gain.
But don't you agree that advertising is analogous to cancer in the tech world? It starts off slow, then gets bigger and bigger, consumes more stuff in its way and transforming/removing the company's core values (like Google's "Don't be evil", or "algorithmic" feeds in Twitter & Instagram) before eventually killing the host when users had enough and leave the platform en masse.
Generally, all business models favor growth, not steady state. No matter what Apple is saying now, they face the same pressure that everyone else is to show quaterly growth, continuously. Sooner or later, saturation will hit smartphone sales, performance will plateau, and they will need to seek out ways to either monetize their platform, or nickel-and-dime the users and developers even more.
It is the constant need for growth that is the basis for cancer, and sooner or later, a company either accepts it is no longer a growth company, or it starts to involve itself in little evils that accumulate over time.
Don't believe me? Look at Apple kowtowing in China. Moving iCloud users to unsecure platforms, banning VPNs, and who knows whatever backdoor deals they made with the CCCP to stay on good terms with Beijing. They have sold a little part of their soul in exchange for a huge market in China, and continued ability to manufacture their phones with cheap labor, all to preserve margins and growth. And now they're stuck, Beijing threatens, they'll bend over. In the US, they'll strenuously and publicly fight back against similar measures, but in China, Tim Cook will go to an internet conference and praise how they've managed the internet in China.
Once you're beholden to shareholders, you don't have much choice.
Given the current climate politically vis-a-vis privacy, such a move would put a lot of pressure on Facebook and Google. Here's the thing though, Apple doesn't really make their money from ads. They likely make a whole lot more money on premium apps, IAPs and store fees actually. (Not to mention hardware which just blows ALL of that out of the water in terms of revenue and profit.) I wouldn't be surprised if it's a COST center for them to run their ads infrastructure. They just have to run it because a lot of large developers, like Google and Facebook, want ads.
I'm not saying Apple would ever be this evil, but if they wanted, they could REALLY press their considerable advantages right now both politically AND in the market. Putting companies like Google and Facebook even more on their back feet than they already are and then going in for a crippling blow on them.
Point is, if Apple wanted to go "evil", if they wanted to go for a knock out blow here, they could. It would probably benefit them in the end. To be honest, I could even see a LOT of other (NON-Ads based) developers loving it. As it would result in the removal of a lot of ads based riff-raff from the store.
So would it good for US? No.
But would it be good for a lot of other very important stake holders not to mention Apple itself? Absolutely.
Part of the reason you can't charge for your app (or at least this is true for many apps) is that you have to compete with ad-supported alternatives which are "free".
I really wonder whether the App Store would be a more or less pleasant experience if there were only two types of apps: totally free and paid (either freemium, one-time upfront or subscription). I'd also love seeing a new category that mimics the podcast model: "sponsored" apps that advertise 1-2 products for a month or two at a time, but don't transmit any user data back except aggregate views. (This is also similar to the Masters golf tournament in the US with its very limited commercial breaks from 1-2 companies each year. It's the only golf I really enjoy watching.)
Apple desperately needs a trial infrastructure so that devs don't have to do the very anti-user move of blackmailing them with ads every 12s. and an "ad free" IAP. That just puts me in a sour mood toward the dev and starts off the whole relationship on the wrong foot (yes, I probably take devs auctioning off my user data more personally than I should given that they don't have much choice in the matter if they want to eat).
Look, I know the game in Silicon Valley is to be bound and gagged by whatever billionaire is willing to throw money at you in their desperate quest to catch a unicorn. Some of us like to do it a different way. And our users are okay with that! They understand the transactional value of ads!
I use it too. But that doesn't make it a good model for all involved.
No offense taken :)
I'm not sure in-app ads should be completely blocked, but there should be strong policies around what is allowed, and possibly an approval scheme for ads just like there currently is for apps. Also, a paid tier that removes all ads should be mandatory if an app has any kind of ads in there.
I believe Apple would rather avoid such a position for themselves (especially considering that this might not even be legal -- Adblock has already has a legal battle in Germany over the conflict of interest which they have won but might lose in other jurisdictions).
What I would really like is a proper ad blocker. The ones available in Safari are not really good. They seem to be only using a blacklist and cannot have well defined rules like uBlock origin.
Perfectly acceptable outcome if you ask me!