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Android easily outpaces iOS on mobile ad network

The Google OS has a commanding lead over Apple's iOS as the top smartphone platform on Millennial Media's ad network during the third quarter.

Millennial Media

Android captured 56 percent of all ad impressions on Millennial Media's mobile network over the third quarter, outshining Apple's iOS, which accounted for only 28 percent.

Looking at the third quarter as a whole, Millennial Media's latest Mobile Mix report crowned Google's OS the top platform in the Connected Device and Smartphone category, which includes both tablets and phones.

Android scooped up the lead over the past year "due in part to their contrasting strategy to iOS, allowing multiple device manufacturers to have access to their platform," said the report. "Device manufacturers have created an Android device at every price point, resulting in rapid consumer adoption."

Though in second place overall, iOS scored the top spot in the Connected Device category, which covers only tablets and devices, such as the iPod Touch. Apple has experienced huge growth on the mobile ad network from last year. Since 2010's third quarter, iOS impressions rose 60 percent, iPad impressions soared 456 percent, and iPod Touch impressions grew 30 percent.

"The popularity of the iPad and iPad 2 has not been matched by any other tablet device, and the iPod Touch has renewed popularity after re-launching the device with a front-facing camera," the report noted.

Eyeing other mobile operating systems, Research In Motion's BlackBerry OS took home 13 percent of all ad impressions for the quarter, leaving Nokia's Symbian and Microsoft's Windows Phone each with just 1 percent.

Among the actual device makers, Apple stayed firmly on top during the quarter with a 23 percent share of all impressions. The iPhone itself was the leading smartphone on the top 20 list with a 12.5 percent share. Samsung, which has been duking it out with Apple in the smartphone arena, grabbed a 16.5 percent share with four of its smartphones on the top 20 list.

In third place was HTC with a 15.5 percent share of all ad impressions, a gain of 100 percent from last year's third quarter. The company witnessed a surge in growth over the past year, said the report, "moving from a white label mobile phone manufacturer to a top consumer-facing smartphone brand."

Overall, smartphones continued to surge in popularity with consumers, according to the report. Among all devices, smartphones grabbed 72 percent of all ad impressions for the quarter, a 37 percent jump from a year ago. That left feature phones and connected devices each with a 14 percent share.