It’s Gonna Be an Android World, We’ll Just Live in It

42 Comments

While it’s been dawning on us for some time that Android is a beast, each day seems to bring new confirmation that the monster shows no signs of letting up. Android (s goog) mobile ad impressions drew even with iOS (s aapl) for the first time, according to Millennial Media (PDF). The largest independent ad network said Android OS is tied with iOS with a 37 percent share of ad impressions. That’s a big change from last month, when iOS represented 46 percent of impressions while Android grabbed 29 percent.

The Millennial data came on the same day Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak predicted Android will be the dominant smartphone platform, comparing it to the dominance of Windows (s msft). Last week, consultancy PRTM said Android is helping build a Wintel-like juggernaut with Qualcomm (s qcom), dubbed Quadroid, that could ultimately weed out some manufacturers. I’m not so sure about that last point, because there seems to be a fair amount of competition still in the processor market, with Texas Instruments (s txn) and Samsung in the mix, Nvidia (s nvda) still pushing, and Intel (s intc) pressing to get into the market. The ARM-licensing (s armh) model means an x86 style domination would be more difficult to maintain. Plus, Android is also more open and customizable than Windows ever was.

But the point is, Android is ascendant by almost every measure, including Millennial’s ad data. The platform last month eclipsed iPhone-only ad revenue, according to Millennial, and now appears poised to leave iOS behind in overall impressions. Android requests have gone up 65 percent month-over-month, and since January, have grown by 2,182 percent. Apple requests are up 12 percent month-over-month and have increased by 32 percent since January. Android impressions should continue to grow, especially as more Android tablets like the Galaxy Tab go on sale. And as Kevin pointed out, cheap Android phones like the LG Optimus are also selling like hotcakes.

Smartphones continued to grow overall with 61 percent of all ad impressions, up 3 percent over September. Symbian showed up for the first time on Millennial’s rankings, garnering 2 percent of ad impressions. Apple still has the most impressions by manufacturer with 25 percent, followed by Samsung (17 percent), Motorola (s mot) (15 percent) and RIM (s rimm) (13.5 percent). The top device continues to be the iPhone. Millennial, which reaches over 80 percent of mobile web, decided to start counting connected devices — portable gaming machines, tablets and other portable Internet devices — enabling the iPod Touch to jump into third place while the iPad came in ninth.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

42 Comments

Gerald Shields

Okay, so what?! As a developer, it’s still tough to make money developing Android apps. Some of the best apps on Android are the ones the other cellphone platforms wouldn’t want: A anti-virus app; a task killer app. Wow.

free_radical

This is simply history repeating itself. Apple can slam “fragmentation” all they want, but it’s the very thing that’s going to eventually push them to the sidelines. Same thing happened decades ago. Apple’s produces were initially very popular but eventually failed to compete with dozens of companies producing very similar Windows-based products. The competitors by virtue of their numbers were able to innove much faster than Apple could. Portable devices are following a similar trend, albeit at a much larger scale. Soon enough Apple’s produces will once again become niche items.

PXLated

Ahhh, using ancient history (and not really the same situation at all either as Microsoft was given the business market and all computing then was business) – How bout considering more recent history like the iPod?
It’s early in the game, android is not guaranteed anything once iPhone hits Verizon. Android satisfaction rating is in the mid 20s, the iPhone is almost 60%.

Manuel

Large piece of the pie usually does not equal better. Buy 1 & get 1 free phone deals is ridiculous to compete against. Personally, I can’t wait to dump my Android HTC Eris. It is a POS. 6 months after purchasing, no more updates and lots of problems. Verizon gets the iPhone and many will dump their Androids; like me! :)

honkj

every one keeps using the term “Android” like it is a single entity… there are 4 going on 5 major versions of Android, and each of those have dozens of skins… and that is on going on 100 devices…. all different, from half a dozen different manufacturers, with only a handful of the apps that actuall work on any given handset…… it is like saying the “Car” has the highest market share of automobiles… ????

if you look at individual Manufacturers for instance they have tiny market share… if you wanted to “invest” in “android” you’d be quite taken back by how much money you are about to lose. that is how “singular” android is.

but hey more power to ya.

JB

Seems like the number of ad impressions as a measurement is far more meaningful with respect to google, a company whose earnings are entirely driven by advertising profit than Apple which charges a premium on hardware and vertical hardware+software devices.

Tim Williams

The numbers in the last paragraph add up to 70.5%. I see no mention of HTC, which I am sure at least *fits in well* to that missing 29.5%. Surprised to not see any mention of HTC in the last paragraph.

Yorch Artur

You should clarify that almost all that data came from the USA, not the world.

eric Chan

you can tell who the dodos are in this forum … all the nokia folks … lol

some people just dont get the concept of GROWTH RATE … hell they probably thought that moto razrs were the phone to develop for back in 2007 ….

davamava

“davamama”

Those were market shares in the USA, but globally things look completely different. Nokia is the clear number one globally and in many big countries does have over 50% market share.

Here you have a smartphone market share graph by Reuters:
graphics.thomson reuters.com/F/07/GLB_SMPHN0710.gif (remove the space between the thomson and reuters words)

The Symbian software Nokia (and some Asian manufacturers as well) uses in smartphones has been recently updated (code rewritten) and early in 2011 we will have a user interface update (completely new user interface). Symbian will again gain more market share, that is for sure. About half of smartphones sold to date are Nokia Symbian devices, and many loyal customers have been waiting for this new model lineup to be available. And demand has been very high, still waiting lists in many countries (for any color of N8, and will be for some time before all colors are available in stock at all markets).

Then there will be MeeGo, the Linux based open source OS that has had biggest supporters in Nokia and Intel, and now AMD. Most big telecom operators are also members in MeeGo foundation. And big car manufacturers will take MeeGo into car infotainment systems (like BMW, GM, PSA = Peugeot/Citroen). MeeGo will be positioned as Nokia´s highest end devices where as Symbian will cover the mid segment and upper mid segment (N8).

davamava

Those were market shares in the USA, but globally things look completely different. Nokia is the clear number one globally and in many big countries does have over 50% market share.

Here you have a smartphone market share graph by Reuters:
http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/F/07/GLB_SMPHN0710.gif

The Symbian software Nokia (and some Asian manufacturers as well) uses in smartphones has been recently updated (code rewritten) and early in 2011 we will have a user interface update (completely new user interface). Symbian will again gain more market share, that is for sure. About half of smartphones sold to date are Nokia Symbian devices, and many loyal customers have been waiting for this new model lineup to be available. And demand has been very high, still waiting lists in many countries (for any color of N8, and will be for some time before all colors are available in stock at all markets).

Then there will be MeeGo, the Linux based open source OS that has had biggest supporters in Nokia and Intel, and now AMD. Most big telecom operators are also members in MeeGo foundation. And big car manufacturers will take MeeGo into car infotainment systems (like BMW, GM, PSA = Peugeot/Citroen). MeeGo will be positioned as Nokia´s highest end devices where as Symbian will cover the mid segment and upper mid segment (N8).

Jim

Microsoft has spent $5 billion in developing WP7 and $5 billion for the ad campaign. They will get NOTHING back, more development costs in the future and an another unfinished product reputation.

Here are the real numbers from the Gartner Group of the mobile phone market share. The numbers in this article are totally misleading and false: http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1466313

Symbian (Nokia) has 36.6% market share, Android (tens of vendors) 25.5%, iOS (Apple) 16.7%, RIM 14.8% and Windows mobile 2.8%.

Jim

These number are US only. Global statistics would show that the leading platform is Symbian (mostly Nokia), not iOS nor Android. You lie when you try to convince yourself that this is not true. Some studies even proved that the Nokia users are actually looking at the ads more than the other platforms.

In the US markets Nokia is invisible by now. It will change in 2011-2012 when they are going to release the operator contract with AT&T.

About Android fragmentation you can check the Angry Birds. Rovio did update their long list of unsupported Android devices: http://phandroid.com/2010/11/18/rovio-updates-angry-birds-compatibility-list-will-develop-a-lightweight-version/

Darwin

The ad revenue thing is silly to bring up. Googles business model is ads so viewer se them whether they want to or not. It’s a sideline and a premium product for Apple and their advertisers get far higher return on their ads than the typical Google ad. Android users are bombarded by crappy ads that they avoid paying any attention to at all.
Also we have the old easily seen through canard of numbers sold equaling profit when it clearly does not in so many situations.

PXLated

Aren’t all U.S. market share numbers irrelevant until iPhone hits Verizon? Right now, the only option any of the other carriers have if they want to play in the smartphone market is android. Could be a whole different set of numbers once iPhone has been on Verizon for awhile.

JB

These aren’t global numbers. These numbers don’t reflect the title of this being an Android world. Android’s fragmentation will eventually lead to it’s dilution as each manufacturer is practically developing their own OS on top of Android kind of how Windows Phone 7 is built on top of Windows CE 6. The difference is the repulsive fragmentation. Fragmentation defined here as multiple OEM developed versions of the same core system. Samsung and HTC are guilty of developing devices (and not updating them in the case of non-most current Android version devices) that are of different versions. What this means is inconsistent OEM, carrier and developer support. It’s irresponsible to promote Android under the auspices of open source when support for it does not bring a cohesive “end” prior to deployment of the devices as a complete product before the devices reach the end-user. That’s like Oracle selling alpha Business Objects software. Open source is supposed to SIMPLIFY software use, not just expand unrestricted development for it. So far, no OEM that builds a device around Android has done so where they’ve actually closed the thick book of gaps that it has, and when/if one OEM does accomplish closing a gap, they will file patents to protect their alleged “innovations” so no competing Android provider can support the same innovation, thereby reducing the “choice” that having various OEM’s produce their own variables on Android is supposed to promote. The consumer can’t win with Android. You know what’s worse? Neither can developers and neither can Android. It’s like a summer fling built to last until just before Christmas when commitment becomes “important.” I have a really old phone because this “open source” thing is not making things better. I bought an EVO and couldn’t even get my email to come through HTC’s Exchange ActiveSync-equipped email app. Why? Because with Android, OEM’s can use their own apps, whether they break a normally functioning protocol or not. Really sad to say this because Jobs is a JERK, but Apple has got the right idea in a way. I just wish there were more form factors and more carriers it’d work with.

Wu

Each OEM makes their own android version, each OEM support their own. No one ever asked Samsung to support HTC sense, or vice versa. The key is they all have to be compatible with default android platform. Developers doesn’t have to make one version for Htc phone and another for Samsung phones, they just have to make one that works on the base android format.

I also wouldn’t worry about manufacturers filing for patents for innovations they build on top of android. No matter how many they file, bottom line is default/stock android is always available and free. The more patent/protection people file for, the more it drives other manufacturers to go stock, which take cares of all the fragmentation “problems” you speak of.

andrei.timoshenko

Why would the market not settle at 3-4 big platforms, each with roughly equal market share (changing a bit from generation to generation), as it is with consoles? What are the huge network externality benefits (for consumers) that would encourage a ‘winner-takes-all’ market structure?

Jbelkin

Bargain hunters need a new WIN … And google delivered the new unsafe at any speed bargain hunters delight of various os various telco skin no two phones that operate the same OS … good luck with that … What’s that new verizon deal to drive android phones cheaper and cheaper, buy 1 get 3? Bwahahaha

Ashif aslam

Looks like Gigaom gets lot of dough from google to promote Android and to diss Nokia.

Ryan Kim

We’re not on the Google payroll. I’d just like some access to their cafeteria. But we’ll be there when and if Nokia shows the same kind of upward momentum with its smartphones.

Anon

You may not be on their payroll, but you’re playing the same game Microsoft played with the press for years. Favorable coverage buys you access. Access buys you stories. Stories pay your salary.

Ad impression data is not a valid measure of platform success, especially when on one platform, developers have no other way to make money. So, you’re either swallowing and regurgitating Google propaganda unfiltered, or you just don’t understand what you are writing about.

Mark

Really? Well try using a global player on the mobile ad world like, say, Smaato and not a one horse US centric operation.

‘k?

JB

Ummmm … fragmentation is not upward momentum. I like the paths that webOS, iOS and Windows Phone 7 are taking. They all have their shortcomings, but at least they truly have no where to go but up. Android gets re-done by the different OEMs in each device. You can go from an EVO 4G to an Epic 4G and find such a fragmented experience not just because of form factor or version number, but because of the lack of consolidated OEM, carrier, and developer support pre-retail, so the end-user suffers. I hope Android does become less fragmented but it has so many holes as it is, it’s best left in Google’s Labs. It’s very much a sloppy alpha research project. This is from a Froyo user of two different devices.

Wu

Sure there is fragmentation with android headsets, but that’s also the best part. If I don’t like sense, I can go with touchwiz, motoblur, stock, cyanogen or miui. With the other Os (iOS, WebOS, win 7), I have no choice if I don’t like the default UI.

Also when it comes to android, fragmentation is actually an good indication of upward momentum, it says that more and more variety of OEMs are making device based on android.

dudeMan

@Wu,

Dude…you seriously need to get laid….more often than you do now

Boston George

LOL, this is all just subtle fear mongering. Android’s world we’ll just live in it, Android is a monster, Android will be like Windows. Whatever.

Ryan Kim

The headline is catchy, no? But seriously, Android has a lot of momentum but it’s still very early in the game.

Leslie

Good article but I need to hurry up and finish the fart application on Android Market. Can see lots of $$$ there.

Hoof Hearted

We don’t need no stinking apps in Android Market.

Smell me later. LOL

Comments are closed.