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AdMob: iPhone tops ad requests but Android surging

The iPhone accounted for 40 percent of AdMob's ad requests in May, a dip from a year ago, while Android's shared climbed to 26 percent, according to the company's latest stats.

The iPhone still enjoys a commanding lead of all ad requests on AdMob's network. But the growth of Android phones continues to boost the share of Google's OS, according to AdMob's "May 2010 Mobile Metrics Report."

Released Wednesday, the new stats (PDF) peg the iPhone's share of all AdMob ad requests in May at 40 percent, down from almost 50 percent in May 2009. Android's share hit 26 percent, up from 5 percent a year ago.

Google in late May finalized its acquisition of AdMob, which gives the ad network more visibility but presents it with some thorny challenges moving forward.

AdMob now faces the question of how it can objectively collect data from its own parent. But even trickier, Apple in June changed the terms of its developer agreement to prevent ad networks from sharing data with their advertisers. That move effectively cuts off AdMob's bread and butter, triggering a response from its CEO, Omar Hamoui, who said Apple's new terms are not in the best interests of users or developers.


According to AdMob's May 2010 report, the rise in Android's share comes from the sheer proliferation of new phones outfitted with Google's OS. In May of this year, 14 phones accounted for 92 percent of all Android traffic, compared to just one a year ago. Among all Android phones, the Motorola Droid proved the most popular in May, grabbing 21 percent of all ad requests.

The report also found significant growth and differences in mobile phone usage around the world.

In this past May, 92 countries were responsible for AdMob's requests, compared with just 27 countries in May 2008. Nokia still leads in Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia, while Apple is tops in North America, Western Europe, and Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, and nearby islands). Collectively, Apple, Android, and Nokia's Symbian totaled 90 percent of all AdMob's requests for the month.

Android continues to experience huge demand in North America, which saw 67 percent of all ad requests in May. Apple's growth has been more global. The ratio of all Apple mobile devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) to Android devices was 2-to-1 in the U.S. but 3.5-to-1 around the world.

Both Apple and Google can thank their strong app markets for boosting sales, the report noted. By operating system, users of all Apple mobile devices and those with all Android devices now spend at least 79 minutes a day using apps and download around 9 apps each month.

AdMob generates its data from ad requests in its network of more than 23,000 mobile Web sites and iPhone, Android, WebOS, and Flash Lite applications. But the May Mobile Metrics report may be its last, at least in its present form.

In its Wednesday blog post, "The Life and Times of AdMob," the company said it plans to continue sharing data but will take a break from the Mobile Metrics Report while it figures out how to reinvent the report to make it more useful and relevant. No doubt it will also be grappling with how to factor in its new relationship with Google and also deal with the gauntlet thrown down by Apple.