The latest report (PDF) from mobile advertising network AdMob has good news for the company’s parent firm, Google (s goog), but greats news for Google’s mobile rival Apple (s aapl).
For February, smartphone traffic share increased an astonishing 193 percent over the same period last year with a corresponding drop in feature phones. Half of that traffic belonged to Apple.
However, it should be noted those numbers aren’t market share, or web share, but ad share as measured by AdMob from data “pulled across ads served on more than 15,000 sites and applications,” half of which are from devices in North America.
Having disclosed all that, Apple is set to rule the mobile web. Just look at the graph and follow the thin blue line.
According to AdMob, the Mobile Internet Device (MID) represented 17 percent of traffic in February of 2010, up 403 percent year over year. Mobile Internet Devices include handheld gaming consoles from Nintendo and Sony and general purpose handhelds like the Zune HD. Apple’s iPod touch, according to AdMob, currently accounts for 93 percent of that traffic.
That’s not a typo, and while some might suggest that dominating percentage is hopelessly prejudiced by the data source, there is corroboration of a sort from Net Applications, which does track market share.
Leaving Java Mobile Edition out of the mobile OS pie because it fits better with feature phones, the remaining operating systems again demonstrate Apple’s dominance. The iPhone OS accounts for 60 percent of the market, while the iPod touch competing against smartphones is bested only by Symbian. Nintendo and Sony don’t even show up.
The downside is that not too long ago the wedge for Android didn’t exist, and more threateningly for Apple, Android share tripled from last month. AdMob backs up those gains, with Android now accounting for 25 percent of smartphone operating systems, up from just two percent last year, but that’s okay.
The hottest potential market isn’t smartphones, but Mobile Internet Devices. Apple effectively controls the market for handheld MIDs with the iPod touch, and 10 days from now that could happen all over again with tablets and the iPad. When Steve declared Apple a “mobility” company, it wasn’t the usual Jobsian hyperbole, but a declaration of the company’s business model going forward.
The future begins April 3.