Android finally outshines iOS in mobile ad traffic

For the first time ever, Android's share of mobile ad impressions surpassed those of iOS, according to mobile ad platform Opera Mediaworks.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Android shoots past iOS in mobile ad traffic. Opera Mediaworks

Apple's iOS has always been top dog in the mobile ad world, but last quarter Android apparently knocked the mobile operating system off its perch.

Surveying the worldwide mobile ad market for the first quarter of 2014, Opera Mediaworks pegged Android's share of traffic at 42.8 percent across all mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. That number was up from 37.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. Over the same time, iOS' piece of the pie shrunk to 38.2 percent from 43.4 percent.

Last quarter marked the first time Google's mobile OS overtook Apple's iOS to snare the largest percentage of overall mobile ad impressions, according to Opera Mediaworks' new Q1 2014 State of Mobile Advertising report. Android took over as the leading smartphone OS in the fourth quarter of last year.

Among all Android device makers, Samsung took home the highest portion of ad impressions with a 60 percent share. LG trailed with 11 percent, followed by Motorola with 5.7 percent, HTC with 3.3 percent, and ZTE with 2.5 percent. That left all other Android device makers with a collective share of 17 percent.

However, iOS was still the top global money maker last quarter, accounting for 52.2 percent of all mobile ad revenue, according to the report. Android took second place with a 33 percent share of revenue, though that was up from 26.7 percent a year ago.

Most of Android's gain in both mobile ad impressions and revenue came at the expense of BlackBerry and Symbian, Opera Mediaworks said. Though no longer supported by Nokia, feature phone OS Symbian is still alive, earning a 5.8 percent share of mobile ad traffic. BlackBerry managed just slightly higher than 1 percent.

Opera Mediaworks analyzes mobile ad impressions from more than 500 million users across 14,000 websites and apps, resulting in 64 billion ad impressions per month.

Google shares rose 1.3 percent, or $6.87, to $535.49 in trading on Tuesday.