Just how much of a market share does Verizon have of the iPhone market, 30 days after launching the device? The latest number: 4.5 percent, according to Millennial Media and based on impressions on its mobile advertising network in the first two weeks of the device’s launch on Verizon’s CDMA network. The number comes days after a rival ad network, Chitika, claimed anything between 12 and 9 percent of all iPhone devices used in the U.S. were from Verizon. So which number should we believe?
“[Chitika] are an online ad net that serves 3 billion impressions a month (on the web-probably a fraction of that on mobile) and is loosely involved in mobile. We’re a mobile ad net that serves more than 21 billion [impressions] monthly….Across 5,500 devices,” notes Erin McKelvey, SVP of marketing for Millennial.
If accurate, the numbers, which come from Millennial Media’s latest mobile ad report, indicate that Verizon, even in the space of two weeks, has already made a dent in AT&T’s share of the iPhone market in the U.S. Maybe not as big of a dent as Chitika would have you believe, but a dent all the same.
More interesting is if we take both reports as legit: Chitika’s numbers, which are in “real time” (updated hourly) seem to point to a market share that is gaining ground quickly, having more than doubled in the last couple of weeks.
Given that Millennial is still putting individual iOS devices as the very biggest in terms of media consumption (and subsequent ad serving) above all others, whether the public decides to go the CDMA or GSM route, it’s all good news for Apple.
What might have a much more significant impact longer-term is how operator data caps might impact media consumption. AT&T (NYSE: T) has introduced data caps for new iPhone customers, and while Verizon is currently offering “unlimited” mobile data tariffs, it is also, it seems, looking to introduce some metering as soon as this summer.
Other notable points in Millennial’s report of U.S. traffic and devices:
— Android is, overall, the most popular OS on Millennial’s network, the third month in a row it has held the spot. It had a 51 percent share of all impressions on the network in February. Apple’s iOS is at 27 percent, with RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) at 17 percent in third place (see pie chart, left, for the full breakdown).
— Samsung is in the number-two position now in the overall manufacturers’ ranking, with its Galaxy Tab tablet cracking into the top-30 for the first time, at number-seven, just behind the iPad (see below).
— The iPod touch is still seeing a lot of traction, growing 13 percent over the month before. After the iPhone, it’s the second most-popular device on Millennial’s network. On the one hand, that indicates the induring popularity of using the iPod, but on the other, it demonstrates the market interest in WiFi-only handheld media players as routes to consuming apps and browsing the web — something that should be encouraging to Samsung as it tries to tackle that market with its Android-based Galaxy Player (and despite the failure of Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) to get anywhere significant with its Zune device).
— Millennial’s now tracking “connected devices” as a separate segment, and as you would expect for now iOS, driven by the iPod and iPad, is blowing everyone else out of the water, with an 80 percent share compared to its next-closes rival, Android, at 17 percent.