updated 10:15 am EDT, Mon April 23, 2012
InMobi suggests iOS edge closer than it seems
The total mobile user base is significantly less oriented towards Android than phone market share would suggest, according to research. An InMobi study saw iOS extend a slight lead in North America based on ad impressions, going from an 0.6-point lead at 33.1 percent in the fall to a 2.7-point gap at 36.8 percent in the winter. It had Apple, not Google, growing faster for at least the past several months.
A common thread between the two saw the BlackBerry on a steep decline. It fell from 11.9 percent of North American share to 7.3 percent in the winter. Historically, despite a public rivalry between Android and iOS, their gains have come almost exclusively by siphoning off customers from struggling platforms, such as the BlackBerry and Windows Mobile/Phone.
The difference was exemplified when broken down into individual hardware manufacturers. If including the iPad and iPod touch, Apple would have 37 percent of device hits. The next closest manufacturer, RIM, had just 1.9 percent attributed to the BlackBerry Curve 8520, while HTC's Evo 4G (PC36100) was the Android leader at 1.8 percent. The iPhone was Apple's leader at 19.7 percent of total North American share, followed by the iPod touch at 12.2 percent and the iPad at 4.9 percent.
Worldwide, Nokia had the largest mobile impression footprint at 35 percent, but it was on the decline. Apple's global device share kept it in front with at total of 18 percent worldwide when combining its three core devices.
InMobi saw potential wildcards, such as a rumored Android smartphone and Windows 8, but didn't want to commit to a prediction.