updated 11:55 am EDT, Thu May 19, 2011
Millennial has iOS dwarf Android in mobile ad cash
Millennial Media in its mobile ad study for this past April highlighted the mounting problem of getting Android users to pay for apps. Although Google recovered from a dip in March and now represented 53 percent of ad hits on Millennial's network, iOS devices stood for 50 percent of the actual revenue where Android was at 39 percent. iOS ad impressions were growing at a much faster rate as well, at 47 percent since the start of the year where Android grew by 19 percent.
The split was helped by a rise in non-phone devices like the iPad and iPod touch, whose ad traffic has jumped 200 percent between the fall and April. Android has usually had little adoption outside of phones and is still marginal in tablets.
Google has had routine problems with encouraging the adoption of paid apps and still sees most Android apps going free where the reverse is true for Apple's App Store. Most of it has been blamed on poor discoverability, where phone owners don't even know an app exists, but it has also been pinned on both a culture encouraging free apps as well as having few safeguards against piracy. An upcoming redesign of Android Market is coming soon that would focus on improving this with a much more visual layout and more categories.
Among individual manufacturers and devices, Apple widened its lead. It gained most of a point to represent 32.76 percent of device makers, and the iPhone crested just over 20 percent among individual phones. The BlackBerry Curve was a distant second followed by the HTC Evo 4G, although Google's official Android 2.3 device, the Nexus S, jumped in at fourth place with 2.64 percent. LG's unusually hot-selling Optimus V was also notable at seventh place.
April was a turning point for the mobile ad field, Millennial said: the month was the first in which the top 20 devices were all smartphones. Most were Android models, though the BlackBerry Bold and Torch made part of the list.