Apple, Nokia dominate worldwide mobile market

Apple's holds the top mobile market share in Western Europe and America, while Nokia takes the lead in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe, says new report from AdMob.

Apple and Nokia each control big chunks of the worldwide mobile market and are duking it out for more.

In the final quarter of 2009, Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPhone operating system reigned in markets in Western Europe, North America, Latin America, and Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, and nearby countries), according to an AdMob report (PDF) released Thursday.

Meanwhile, Nokia's mobile devices and the Symbian OS led in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe,

AdMob sells text and banner ads to publishers on mobile platforms; as such, it tracks and measures which phones and mobile devices are used in which global regions.

Worldwide, Nokia lost market to Apple throughout 2009, with its share of ad requests on the AdMob network dropping to 18 percent in last year's fourth quarter from 33 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.

On the flip side, Apple's share of requests on AdMob's network rose to 36 percent in the fourth quarter from 9 percent in the prior year's fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, handset maker HTC saw its share rise to 6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 from 1 percent in 2008's fourth quarter, thanks in part to robust sales of its phones with Google's Android operating system in North America and Western Europe. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion stayed flat with a 3 percent share.

Though smartphones accounted for only about 14 percent of all mobile devices shipped last year, they cooked up 39 percent of the traffic generated on AdMob's network. Overall, traffic from Android phones rose to 16 percent in last year's fourth quarter from 1 percent in the prior year quarter.

Across specific regions in the fourth quarter, in North America, Apple won a 40 percent share, followed by Samsung's 17 percent, and Motorola's 11 percent. In the arena of operating systems (as opposed to manufacturers), Android's cut of the market in North America hit 27 percent in the fourth quarter--the largest for Android in any region tracked by AdMob.

Apple also led Latin America with a 39 percent share of the market, leaving Nokia with 15 percent and Sony Ericsson with 11 percent.

In Western Europe, Apple devices took home more than two-thirds of all ad requests tracked by AdMob, while Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson lost ground. In the Oceania region, Apple again saw its market share surge, accounting for the vast majority of traffic seen by AdMob.

But Nokia stayed firm in its corners of the globe. The company is the leading cell phone maker in Asia, grabbing 53 percent of AdMob's traffic there in the fourth quarter.

In Africa, Nokia won 54 percent of the traffic. And in Eastern Europe, Nokia lost some ground but still held a strong 35 percent cut of the market in the fourth quarter, followed by Apple with 23 percent.

Update at 10 a.m. PST: The AdMob graphic was swapped out for a different one from the company's report.