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AdMob: Android user base catching up to iPhone in US

updated 09:50 am EDT, Wed May 26, 2010

AdMob April 2010 study has Android near-even

The total number of active Android phones in the US is quickly catching up to iPhones, AdMob's latest results show. Tracking on its ad network shows about 8.7 million unique Android phones in the US for April where Apple had 10.7 million. The number doesn't include total devices sold but shows that Google's multi-carrier, multi-device strategy has helped Android within the US.

The same couldn't be said for Google's international performance, the researchers discovered. Worldwide, Android only grew slightly more at 11.6 million while Apple's iPhone user base is much higher, at 27.6 million; 75 percent of Android devices came from the US. The remainder was split almost equally between Asia and Western Europe with the rest belonging to Canada and other smaller countries.

The gap between Android and iPhone OS also widened when including the iPad and iPod touch: 18.7 million total devices from the US were on AdMob's network last month, while 40.8 million were active worldwide. Appropriately, the US represented just 44 percent of iPhone-based hardware where the UK (9 percent), France (6 percent), Canada (5 percent) and Japan (4 percent) played larger roles.

Usage share results reinforced this view that Android wasn't necessarily gaining overall traction. Both worldwide and in the US, Android's OS use was virtually flat at 25 percent worldwide and 46 percent in the US. Apple lost both device and OS share worldwide but could actually attribute this to RIM's BlackBerry and the predominantly Nokia-led Symbian platform, not Google.

The results are likely to vary substantially in the next few months and may lean in Apple's favor, as a new iPhone as well as expanding iPad sales may trigger upsurges in use. More Android phones, like the Motorola Shadow, may help offset this, as may shifts in mobile advertising: the launch of Apple's iAd may take a small amount of iPhone providers away from AdMob, and the recent approval of Google's AdMob buyout may lead AdMob to favor Android more than it would otherwise.

by MacNN Staff



  1. tfmeehan

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Isn't adMob the company Google just bought?

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969



    it's outside the U.S. where I expect Android and RIM ultimately to have the greater advantage - because they can compete on price. And that has not been so important up to now, because smartphone early adopters were not usually price sensitive.

    But those still clinging to their feature phones - those last to make the conversion, are price averse - thats where the full spectrum of RIM or Android phones that reach all the way down to the prepay market.

    You say, the iPhone is only $97 at wal-mart, yes but "on-contract" the people paying $99 per month for unlimited plans are not the price sensitive folks I'm talking about...I'm talking about the people going to virgin mobile for $25 a month 300 voice minutes/unlimited data plan....worldwide, there are a lot of price sensitive markets, and a variety of mobile carriers that cater to those markets, and Apple has not struck deals with those carriers to go into the low end of the market.

    So as this conversion to smart phones continues...obviously the high end goes first, and Apple owned that - and I think they will continue to own it for years -- but its just the nature of this thing, we'll be moving down market as the market matures.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    about Nokia & RIM & Android

    I have both a Nokia smartphone and a RIM Blackberry.

    Nokia's Nuron on t-mobile is eligible for the $10 a month web2go unlimited data plan. Plus its killer feature is turn-by-turn navigation that is installed for free, and has no additional monthly charge.

    That make is valuable - but, as a smartphone, wow is it bad. Yes it has a webkit browser, but Nokia's clunky interface just ruins the whole experience.

    Then there is Blackberry - they don't even have the webkit browser, but again, when you can get for $25 a month unlimited data, plus 300 voice minutes, its a bargain. They badly need OS 6 to come out, and soon.

    They are so bad, but I also own an android device....guess what, its not that bad. It's maybe a step behind Apple, but its quite usable, elegant, and gets the job done. On Android, I don't bemoan who terrible the experience is - the experience is just fine and dandy.

    So if Android moves down market, and we see the plans on the drawing board to have Android based phones on Cricket (a regional $30 a month, unlimited voice&data carrier)....well if that comes to fruition, Android adoption is just going to be that much faster.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Hmmmm

    Google has not bought AdMob. They have a bid in to purchase them, but it has not been finalized waiting for approval from the feds.

  1. fds

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "on the AdMob network"

    Or you could simply read their stats for what they are: iPhone users are more likely to pay for apps rather than use an ad-supported free version that is using AdMob's netowk.

    Once Apple's own iAd is out, AdMob's market share among iPhone users is going to shrink drastically.
    The next headline is going to be "AdMob: Nobody uses iPhone any more."

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: on the adMob netork

    Yeah, that's it. All those Apple i-users are paying for apps left and right, while those Android users are always just getting the free ones. I knew there had to be a reason, since it couldn't be that the user base is catching up. That could never happen.Nor could people be reading these stats for more than what they are.

    AdMob cares not whether people are using Android or iPhones or some Blackberry. What AdMob cares about are what platforms are using their service. Because their customers (the advertisers) need to know this information. If you were hawking iPhone gear, and AdMob's iPhone market drops to miniscule proportions, as you predict, why would you advertise through AdMob?. Conversely, if you were selling some Android apps, you would see that AdMob's share going to Android phones is increasing, which makes them more attractive as an ad-purveyor.

  1. KanMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Actually, who really cares...

    Most people buy something because they like/prefer it over the other choices. If more decide Android is for them, bravo. If iPhone, bravo. If people buy because that's what everyone else seems to be buying without using their own brain well....... enjoy the lemming dance over the cliff.

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