Android ‘overtakes iPhone ad revenue’


Google’s Android ad revenue has surpassed that of Apple’s mobile devices, despite the iPhone accounting for more ad impressions, according to new data from ad network Millennial Media.The study found that while the iOS platform remains the forerunner in terms of total market share, Android ad requests have grown 1,284 percent since January of this year while requests on iOS have only grown by 18 percent in that time period.

Android is up to 29 percent of total smartphone share, while Apple has dropped from a dominant 70 percent in March to just under half of total smartphone users at 46 percent at the time of the report. "This month, for the first time ever, Android revenue exceeded iPhone-only revenue amidst strong raw iOS impression growth," according to Millenial's October 19th report.



Millenial CFO Michael Avon explained in a blog post that Millenial saw higher average fill rates, click-through rates and prices on Android applications and mobile Web inventory than on iPhone inventory last month.

"We believe this occurred because there are fewer applications available on Android than on iPhone (though the gap is narrowing), and the mix of applications available on Android is still different than the mix on iPhone," Avon explained. "This means less inventory to meet current advertiser demand, resulting in higher fill rates and prices."

Research In Motion (RIM)'s ad requests from its Blackberry phones also continue to increase, growing by 16% between August and September and 143% since January.

RIM now generates 19% of the ad impressions on Millennial's network. Overall, smartphones accounted for 58% of all ad requests, up seven points since August. Feature phones and connected devices such as the iPod Touch and Sony DS account for the rest of the ad impressions.

Also of note is Motorola’s move to the number two spot of top smartphone manufacturers, overtaking Android competitor Samsung.

Android has increased in popularity on its home turf in the US, where Google's platform recently overtook Apple's to become the most popular among new smartphone buyers. The OS also continues to gain on rival platforms in terms of installed user base, with a number of analysts forecasting that it will become the biggest smartphone platform in the world within the next few years.

As the OS gains momentum, Google discussed its mobile ad revenues for the first time in its third-quarter earnings call last week, estimating that sales will soon reach $1bn.

Apple boss criticizes ‘fragmented’ Android

Commenting on growing competition from Google in the mobile market, Steve Jobs, Apple CEO said: “There is no solid data on how many Android phones are shipped each quarter. We hope that manufacturers will soon start reporting the number of Android handsets they ship each quarter, but today that just isn’t the case.”

Speaking on an Apple earnings call for the first time in two years, Jobs also criticised the operating system a ‘fragmented’.

“Google loves to characterize Android as ‘open,’ and iOS and iPhone as ‘closed.’ We find this a bit disingenuous, and clouding the real difference between our two approaches. … Android is very fragmented,” he said.

“Many Android OEMs, including the two largest, HTC and Motorola, install proprietary user interfaces to differentiate themselves from the commodity Android experience. The user is left to figure it all out. Compare this with iPhone, where every handset works the same.”

Jobs added: “You know, even if Google were right, and the real issue is ‘closed’ vs. ‘open,’ it is worthwhile to remember that open systems don’t always win. … We think the open-vs.-closed argument is just a smokescreen to try and hide the real issue, which is, ‘What’s best for the customer, fragmented versus integrated?’”

Apple sold 14.1m iPhones in its latest quarter, overtaking RIM which sold 12.1m BlackBerry devices. "I don't seem them catching up with us in the foreseeable future; they must move beyond their area of strength and comfort into the unfamiliar territory of trying to become a software platform company," said Jobs. However, later in the call he acknowledged and accepted recent Gartner stats which say Android phones out-shipped Apple in the June quarter.


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