Adding to a fusillade of good news for Google as it pushes its Android operating system, a mobile-advertising company said Android devices accounted for more than half its traffic in the third quarter.
Millennial Media said that while Apple devices comprised the largest percentage of ad impressions for any one manufacturer, 23.09 percent, devices by Samsung (16.48), HTC (15.50) and Motorola (10.70) that run Android collectively steered 56 percent of the connected-device and smartphone impressions to the platform. (HTC and Samsung also make devices using Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 operating system.)
Research In Motion's BlackBerry devices ranked fourth, with 11.5 percent of traffic.
Of the iOS devices detected by Millennial Media, 54 percent were iPhones, while iPod Touch and iPad devices combined made up the other 46 percent.
Dominating the Top 20
Of the top 20 phones detected by the company, 15 were Android-based, and six of those were made by Taiwanese manufacturer HTC, showing 100 percent growth year-over-year. The iPhone was the No. 1 phone with 12.55 percent of impressions, followed by LG's Android-based Optimus at 6.3 percent and the BlackBerry Curve, with 4.7 percent. No Windows-based phone made Millennial's top 20.
Impressions by Windows-based devices made up just 1 percent of the total, as did Symbian-based phones.
Android apps also showed impressive power, with a 49 percent share of impressions coming from apps, a 20 percent growth quarter-over-quarter, with gaming making up the top app category for ads, up 26 percent from the prior quarter.
But Apple's iOS was no slouch in the report, either, with a 60 percent rise in impressions over the last year and a whopping 456 percent rise in iPad impressions over last year.
Smartphones made up the largest share of impressions by far, 72 percent, compared with 14 percent each for feature phones and connected devices, including tablets.
One vs. Many
As in any smartphone comparison of Android to Apple, it should be noted that Apple's numbers are impressive given that it only makes one phone (with several models) compared to the dozens that run Android.
The news comes as mobile-research firm Research2Guidance reported that the application market for Android devices reached 319,000 (though some of those may be later removed) and that developer interest in the platform is skyrocketing. At the same time, ABI Research found that Android-based phones were downloading more apps than iPhones. Additionally, Strategy Analytics found that Android-based tablets have risen to 27 percent of the market, up from just over 2 percent at the end of last year.
The ad impression statistics came during a quarter when many premium Android devices were released, such as Motorola's Droid Bionic, but before the release of Apple's iPhone 4S this month.
"I think it's reasonable to say that Android has profited from RIM's continuing, overall weakness," said Charles King, principal analyst of Pund-IT.
King said the continued momentum of Android made him wonder about Apple's "insistence on owning and controlling virtually every aspect of its products, from the development process through sales to customers, as compared to the OEM model that Android phones and Wintel PCs leverage."
"That's been great from an overall profit standpoint," King said, "but it's also tended to limit Apple's ability to grow or even -- in the case of PCs and servers -- to compete effectively ."