iOS Gains Ground on Android, Still the Best Bet for Developers

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iOS (s aapl) is gaining back some ground on Android’s (s goog) smartphone market share, according to Millenial Media’s Mobile Mix report released Thursday. The report also reinforces that Apple’s mobile platform is still the most lucrative for paid app developers by a considerable margin.

The first bit of news probably doesn’t come as a surprise to Apple, which has launched the iPhone on multiple carriers in multiple clients around the world, and no doubt knows that when network choice is an option, it can attract more customers. The Verizon (s vz) iPhone likely contributed significantly to Apple’s 11-percent gain when it comes to ad impressions as measured by Millenial. iOS now accounts for 31 percent of measured ad impressions, compared to Android’s 48-percent piece of the pie. This is the first time iOS has made real upward progress against Android since Google’s OS started rising in the ranks late last year. Despite Android’s overall win in ad impressions, the iPhone is still the device that racks up the most hits, with 19.42 percent of total impressions. The next closest device is the BlackBerry Curve (s rimm), with only 5.37 percent.

While the data probably doesn’t indicate iOS will ever rise to overtake Android again (despite possible iPhone availability to T-Mobile customers if the proposed AT&T (s t) acquisition of goes through), it is a good sign that predictions of a single dominant global smartphone platform are overstating things. Even discounting any possibility of cheaper devices or multi-network support, the iPhone is holding its own with a platform that, on paper, should have much better reach.

Apple also appears to remain the platform of choice for developers hoping to entice app buyers. iOS remained the top platform in terms of revenue, with 47 percent of the overall smartphone revenue generation picture. Android is the next closest platform with 36 percent of the total, and RIM comes in a distant third with only 7 percent. The disparity probably accounts for the continued lead enjoyed by Apple in terms of mobile app library and quality.

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“While the data probably doesn’t indicate that iOS will ever rise to overtake Android”

Given that you did not show the profit generated (the only thing that really matters on the ad networks), it is interesting you wrote that. Android has not yet passed iOS in a meaningful (read that as revenue) way yet.

Based on the same dataset (and your report): “iOS remained the top platform in terms of revenue, with 47 percent of the overall smartphone revenue generation picture.”

Isn’t this the number that really counts? And add to this the 18X the revenue from purchased apps, is there a a reason to develop for Android yet?

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