updated 03:00 am EDT, Fri April 19, 2013
While iPhone fights competitive battle, iPad clears the field
A pair of new studies have found that, even years after they were first introduced and months since the latest models debuted, Apple's iOS platform and its iPad tablet are actually growing their share in two key metrics: the iPad and iPhone are actually taking usage share away from Android in the US, and the iOS platform has increased its dominance in mobile ad spending, a key metric for developers. Recent stats from March show the iPad gaining 1.4 percent in usage share, and iOS taking now 75 percent of mobile ad spending.
The iPad's gain in usage share, as measured by ad-tracking firm Chitika, seems to come mostly at the expense of Amazon's Kindle Fire HD -- which dropped 0.9 percent since February while the iPad increased its share to nearly 82 percent of US and Canadian web traffic. Beyond Amazon and Samsung's tablets, most other tablets also saw dropping share thus far in 2013.
Chitika believes the uptick in iPad share may be due in part to Apple's increasing stock of discounted refurbished iPad models, as well as the ongoing popularlity of the iPad mini. Another factor may be the lack of any clear signals that a refresh of either the full-size or iPad mini models are on the horizon, though both are expected to be renewed at some point this year. Chitika's statistics come from ad impressions in a sample size of 100,000-plus users, and align with other studies of real end-user Internet activity.
Market analysis company MoPub's study looks at all components of Apple's iOS platform as well as Android, focusing on how many mobile ad dollars in the US market are spent month-to-month on each platform. In March, the Android platform saw a significant drop from the previous month, dropping 3.8 percent to just over 24 percent of all mobile ad spending. The iPhone has seen increases each month in the most recent quarter, while the iPad has been up and down and iPod touch-directed ads have seen a steady but gradual decline.
Ad spending targeting the iPhone have steadily increased in 2013 so far, increasing about three percent per month, and in March cracked 50 percent of all mobile ad spending all by itself. Combined with the iPad and iPod touch, Apple took 75.68 percent of all mobile spending in March. The iPad saw an increase in March compared to a five percent drop in February, but is still not up to the 22.26 percent share it enjoyed in January. Unusually, MoPub found that mobile advertising in the first quarter of 2013 was actually higher than it had been in the holiday season of 2012.
MoPub noted that although Android smartphones have seen only a slight decline in ad spending, Android tablets have all but completely failed in terms of attracting advertising, accounting for less than one percent of total ad spending. Another factor that is helping Apple with mobile advertising is that its users are already connected to an eco-system with payment methods already on file, and the fact that iPad and iPhone buyers tend to have higher disposable incomes. Though the number of Android users has increased in the past year, advertisers "discovered the increase in user value on Android devices was offset by a poor conversion rate of users from of ads."
Interestingly, Apple's 75 percent share in mobile advertising is about the same percentage it holds in profits on mobile phone sales and mobile app sales, according to various other studies, AppleInsider reports. Apple's own iAd network, despite being exclusive to the iOS platform, has remained the third-largest ad network. The MoPub survey gathered data from auctions for mobile ad impressions, including over 230 top mobile advertisers and 58 of the top 100 advertisers in the US.