Android Ad Impressions Stalled As iOS Holds Steady

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Android, as you might have heard, has been on a tear, selling like gangbusters. But in Millennial Media’s latest report for November, the platform has hit a lull in ad impressions as it competes with a resurgent family of iOS devices. According to the latest figures from the independent mobile ad network, ad impressions for both Apple iOS and Google Android were tied at 38 percent, similar to last month when both were tied at 37 percent. Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS, meanwhile, came in third place with 19 percent of impressions.

The numbers suggest that Android’s breakneck growth, at least with ad impressions, has hit a bit of a plateau on the Millennial network. Android’s ad impressions have grown from 14 percent in March, fueled by a slew of Android phones from all the major carriers, while iOS’s share has fallen from 70 percent in March. The slowdown could be temporary as more sales, particularly new Android tablets and increasing developer support, push Android forward. Or it could further illustrate what my colleague Kevin wrote about yesterday, that Android phone sales on Verizon Wireless were overtaken by iPhone sales on AT&T in the third quarter, necessitating the need for a Verizon iPhone.

The November figures also show that Apple is holding its own, boosted by a strong line-up of the iPhone 4, the iPad and the iPod touch. Indeed, the iPhone and iPod touch were the top two mobile devices on the Millennial network last month, while the iPad was seventh, and Apple remains the top manufacturer overall with a 25-percent share. While we often focus on the smartphone battle, much of Apple’s strength lies in its family of devices that share an operating system. That’s clearly an advantage until Android tablets ramp up, and it also makes me wonder why we don’t have a very good Android competitor for the iPod touch. Google hasn’t optimized Android yet for tablets either, which won’t happen until the release of Android 3.0, another factor holding back the Android platform.

The future still looks bright for Android, however. Millennial said Android applications represented 54 percent of the platform mix by revenue in November, growing 10 percent from the previous month, compared to 39 percent for iOS. Publishers said Android was the top new platform they planned to support in 2011 with 29 percent planning for Google’s platform, compared to 20 percent for the iPad and 20 percent for Windows Phone 7.

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