While Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is busy courting developers with free Lumia devices to promote its new mobile OS of choice, Microsoft’s Windows Phone, a timely infographic from Israel’s Inneractive demonstrates that the company’s legacy OS, Symbian, is actually doing quite well when it comes to consumer responsiveness to apps — specifically, one of the key revenue drivers within them: mobile advertising. The big question is whether that strength will be a help or a hindrance in the company’s efforts to turn developers and consumers in a new direction?
Inneractive counts a lot on the Symbian developer ecosystem for its business: Hillel Fuld, head of marketing for the company, says that the majority of free apps on Symbian integrate Inneractive’s ad network to fill their inventory. But he also notes that this isn’t the whole story: put simply, “Nokia users click more than [those on] iOS and Android,” he says.
That seems to indicate that Nokia users will behave the same with any free app that they consume on Nokia devices, regardless of the platform, as long as those apps are at least as easy to use and discover, and have at least as much variety as they do on the Ovi store. That should be the case regardless of whether traditional Nokia developers choose not to channel their efforts in the same direction as before — meaning those developers working on Windows Phone already could stand to benefit here, too.
Putting Inneractive’s overly enthusiastic endorsement of Symbian to one side in the infographic below, some interesting trends come out of the tables:
» Even as Symbian has declined in market share, those who are using the platform seem to be doing so enthusiastically, generating progressively more ad requests over the last several months.
» Clicking through advertisements on the Nokia platform seems to follow the general ebb and flow for click-throughs across all platforms, but the numbers additionally seem to indicate that at least where Inneractive’s own network is concerned, those ads that run on Nokia apps seem to generate significantly more clicks than those on other mobile platforms. This is about rates, though, not volumes — a game where Android and Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) would win.
Stats like these are a big deal in those ecosystems where free, ad-supported apps figure strongly. It must be said that Nokia seems to be pushing an alternative model as well here, with app billing tied in with carriers as another signficant way to generate revenue. The success of that route could imply, potentially, less importance being placed on advertising in Nokia apps in the longer term.