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Android Jumps Past iPhone in Ad Clicks, But Symbian Is Still Tops

Android-based handset owners in the U.S. are now clicking on more mobile ads than those with iPhones, according to Smaato, a mobile ad measurement firm. During the month of May, Smaato measured a U.S. Click Through Rate (CTR) index of 118 on Android (s goog) vs. 111 on iPhone (s aapl) devices — a reversal from April, when the iPhone’s CTR was 125 as compared to Android’s 95.

The timing of this swap is rather serendipitous as Apple’s latest developer terms appear to block the use of Google’s mobile advertising platform as well as AdMob’s ad measurement service — which Google purchased in November — although Google is unlikely to accept Apple’s actions without a fight.

Meanwhile, Symbian phones still lead the pack when it comes to high CTRs, just as they did last month, which prompted my suggestion that developers consider targeting apps at the Symbian platform, even though iPhone and Android are considered the hot handsets these days. Smaato reinforces my suggestion:

“Symbian remains the leading OS in terms of click through rates worldwide, this month with almost three times the click through rate of iPhone. Putting this into perspective, we have to consider the sheer number of Symbian devices compared to Apple devices, but it should again also serve as further proof to advertisers that the iPhone is far from the be-all and end-all in mobile advertising.”

Indeed, the biggest ad generation threat to Symbian is neither the iPhone nor Android — the lowly feature phone is on pace to topple worldwide Symbian clickthrough rates as early as next month, with continual CTR gains in every month of 2010.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

13 Responses to “Android Jumps Past iPhone in Ad Clicks, But Symbian Is Still Tops”

  1. Is this the “click-through-rate” as in “number of clicks per hundred impressions”? Or is this the total number of clicks coming from that OS?
    If click-through-rate then the total number of phones with that OS shouldn’t matter. If you are talking about the total number of clicks, then your use of the term “click-through-rate” here may be misleading.
    Please clarify. I found the discussion confusing.

  2. I thought the plan with Symbian was to keep driving the price of the low end Symbian based handsets down so that they became equal in price with feature phones? This would allow them to maintain there lead.

  3. On my phone, I click on exactly ZERO ads.

    That would be akin to calling 411 (at almost $2 a pop) because one doesn’t want to search or cannot save a phone number to one’s phone.

  4. Apple and Android may been ‘seen’ to have the hot handsets but Symbian sell about three times as many web enabled handsets.

    I think developers are less swayed by hype and more by actual customer base.

    • Chris K

      IT’s part customer base, but also how often that customer base actually goes online.

      My guess is 99% of Symbian users go online once before discovering the surfing experience sucks. CTR is probably inflated due to this.

  5. i agree with bob. iphone had its time and its done and gone. all of the hype is starting to die down and out of the shadows android is slowly becoming more and more popular. u could compare android vs. iphone to mac vs. windows. android stuggled at first just as windows did, and iphones were all the rage just as macs were, but android is slowly coming into its own and starting to give the iphone a run for its money. especially with the release of Froyo(android 2.2 with flash). windows 7 is also a great step forward for the windows company. apple products are good for the average “simple” user, but the more society starts to rely on technology and the more people start to learn about operating systems the more they will realize the capability of windows and android.