updated 10:46 pm EDT, Fri October 12, 2012
Galaxy S III now among top five devices for ad impressions
A pair of mobile marketing analytics companies -- Velti and Chitika -- have released statistics updating trends in both mobile ad impressions and web traffic, with some surprising results. According to Velti, the introduction of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 has pushed Apple into a growth position over combined Android statistics in ad impressions. Chitika, meanwhile, reports that Android's top-selling phone, the Galaxy S III, has fallen to the iPhone 5 in terms of web traffic -- possibly suggesting that sales of the new iPhone have grown significantly.
Velti's monthly studies had seen Android "catching up" to iOS in terms of ad impressions -- a useful measure of app and web engagement -- over the summer, but as the company says "September marks an end to this trend." The launch of iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 saw iOS gaining share against Android for the first time in months, adding five percent to claim 62 percent of ad impressions, versus the combined Android ranking of 38 percent. Some 43 percent of impressions came from the US, with 14 percent from Japan and eight percent from the UK.
According to Velti, the first week of iOS 6 availability saw 40 percent of users upgrading. Eleven percent of iPhone owners are still on iOS 5, with almost all of the remainder on iOS 5. Importantly for the platform, the rapid adoption rate means that the price paid by advertisers per thousand impression rose 15 percent. Uniform upgrading and rapid adoption are two important advantages that Apple, which issues updates to all eligible devices simultaneously, holds over Android -- where carriers decide when and if various devices will get upgrades, and often delay or forbid updates in the hopes that users will upgrade to newer hardware.
Velti also monitored how usage broke out during the iPhone 5's first weekend and say the largest use (27 percent) was from social networking apps, with 22 percent going for games. The company said that photo usage dropped to a low of eight percent, but suggested that this was due to users taking advantage of the new built-in photo abilities and using ad-supported third-party camera apps less rather than indicating a drop in actual photography use. The iPhone 5 has a built-in panorama mode as well as an improved camera.
The company says the uptick mirrors exactly the spike seen when the iPhone 4S initially shipped. Velti uses information from the Mobclix Exchange, an amalgamation of more than 45 ad networks which monitors impressions on more than 33,500 apps. According to the compiled data, AT&T has around half of the US iPhone "market" based on ad impressions, while Verizon has about a third. After being available worldwide since May (or the end of June in the US), Samsung's flagship Galaxy S III cracked into the top five of devices in terms of ad impressions, claiming one percent of all impressions. The other four spots are all iOS devices.
Early in September, Samsung had announced that they had sold 20 million units of its marquee smartphone and chief iPhone rival, the Galaxy S III. The number was based on both nine million non-US preorders as well as sales since the phone debuted. However, Chitika found that during the week of October 3-9, web traffic volume from the iPhone 5 had overtaken the Galaxy S III, 56 percent to 44 percent respectively.
Apple announced that it had sold over five million iPhone 5 units in the initial weekend, though it was later found that this figure did not include more than two million in pre-orders. However, those numbers alone could not account for the surpassing of Galaxy S III web traffic, suggesting that Apple's sales after the initial weekend have continued at a strong pace -- and possibly hinting that the iPhone 5 has taken 18 days to outsell the Galaxy S III's five-month sales record. Firm conclusions are difficult to draw, however, as numerous studies have shown a strange disparity between web activity on Android units compared to iOS devices, with users of the latter consistently found to be more active on the web with their mobile devices.