Google Android Gains on Apple in Smartphone Ad Share

Speaking with ClickZ last week, AdMob’s VP of advertising sales, Tony Nethercutt, said the company was beginning to see Google’s Android operating system attacking the dominance of Apple devices across its network. Supporting that comment, the company’s recent monthly metrics reports suggest the Android operating system is growing its share of U.S. smartphone ad requests, largely at the expense of the iPhone.

In January, iPhone devices accounted for 47 percent of ad requests across the AdMob network. That represents growth of a single percentage point from December 2009, but a significant dip compared with the 55 percent share achieved in November.

By contrast, the share of handsets running Android was up three percentage points during January, accounting for 39 percent of requests from smartphones overall. Between November and January, Android’s overall share of requests grew by 12 percentage points.

Mobile Operating Systems by Share of Smartphone Ad Requests
Operating System Share of Ad Requests in Nov 2009 (%) Share of Ad Requests in Dec 2009 (%) Share of Ad Requests in Jan 2010 (%)
iPhone OS 55 46 47
Android 27 36 39
RIM OS 10 9 7
Windows Mobile OS 3 3 2
Other 5 6 5
Source: AdMob, 2010

However, this data does not include requests from iPod Touch devices, since they do not include phone functionality. In January, iPod Touch devices accounted for 20.8 percent of all ad requests across AdMob’s network, compared with the 23 percent accrued by the iPhone. That data suggests the iPhone OS — on which both the iPod and iPhone run — ultimately accounts for a far greater portion of ad requests when compared with the Android OS.

BlackBerry operating system RIM OS, and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile OS both experienced a decline in their share of ad requests, month-over-month.

Methodology: AdMob classifies a phone as a smartphone when it has an identifiable operating system. Despite running the iPhone OS, the iPod Touch is not a phone, and thus not considered a smartphone based on this definition.

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