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Apple mobile ads taking share from Google, Microsoft

The new iAds system for iPhone app advertising is estimated to end the year with 21 percent of mobile ads.

Apple iAds started appearing in apps on July 1. By year's end it could have one-fifth of the mobile ad market, according to IDC.
Apple iAds started appearing in apps on July 1. By year's end it could have one fifth of the mobile-ad market, according to IDC. James Martin/CNET

One of the newcomers to mobile advertising is making its presence felt quickly.

Today Bloomberg BusinessWeek published some estimates of how the mobile-advertising industry will look at the end of 2010, and just a few months since Apple's iAds debut it's taking share from mobile-advertising leaders Google, Microsoft, and others.

According to IDC, Apple will close out 2010 with a 21 percent share of the mobile-ad market. That will tie Google, which will drop to 21 percent from last year's 27 percent share. Microsoft's share will sink from 10 percent in 2009 to 7 percent this year, Yahoo will dip from 12 percent to 9 percent, and Nokia from 5 percent to 2 percent. Mobile advertising in the U.S. will double from last year to $500 million, according to estimates from IDC.

Google's share is combined with AdMob's, which it purchased this year, but doesn't sound worried about Apple's growing presence on its mobile-ad turf, saying that "if it is losing share, this market is growing faster than any one we've seen." The implication is that it is still expanding the business and making money even if its total share of the pie is smaller.

Apple didn't have a mobile-ad business this time last year, but it purchased Quattro Wireless earlier this year, which had a 9 percent share in 2009. iAds went live on July 1, with 17 brands purchasing interactive, in-app ads for iOS devices. The number of brands has since doubled, Apple told BusinessWeek.

But will Steve Jobs' June prediction that iAds would account for halfof the mobile-advertising dollars ($60 million) spent in the U.S. by year's end come true? IDC calls that "wishful thinking."