Apple’s iPhone (s aapl) and iPod touch are still among the top three mobile devices used in the U.S. and UK, according to a new report from mobile ad network JiWire released on Tuesday, but they are shedding market share. Luckily for Apple, the iPad, which rounds out the top three, is still experiencing positive share growth.
Apple’s iPhone dominated ad requests from JiWire’s mobile network in both markets during the third quarter of 2011, despite giving up a bit of market share. In the U.S., the iPhone accounted for 41.9 percent of all ads served, down 1.8 percent from the previous quarter. In the UK, it took 50.6 percent of all ad requests. In both markets, iOS easily beat out other competing mobile platforms, with 79.9 percent of requests in the U.S. and 71.1 percent in the UK. JiWire’s data is gathered from mobile users connecting via public Wi-Fi locations, which means that its reports mainly cover traffic outside the home, likely with a high percentage of business travelers. Millennial Media sees different results from its advertising network.
In both cases, however, iOS as a platform dropped, by 2.0 percent in the U.S. and 6.5 percent in the UK. The losses were in spite of 2.9 and 2.3 percent gains in the share of ads delivered to the iPad in the U.S. and UK, respectively. Surprisingly, the platform benefitting most from Apple’s drop isn’t necessarily Android(s goog). In the U.S., for instance, Android climbed by just 0.5 percent in ads viewed, while Windows Phone (s msft) was up 1.2 percent. In the UK, too, Windows Phone rose 5.5 percent, compared with Android’s more modest gain of 1.5 percent. Might this indicate the early stages of the emergence of a truly competitive third mobile platform? Increased ad spend could attract more developer attention for Microsoft’s mobile OS.
The iPad’s gain is good for Apple, since it slows the rate at which the company loses ground to the competition. But it’s also good news for mobile commerce. JiWire found that 82 percent of tablet users were willing to buy directly from their devices, versus just 76 percent of smartphone owners, and that 67 percent of tablet owners spent $50 or more, while only 57 percent of smartphone owners and 52 percent of those on notebooks were willing to do the same.
As you can see from the numbers, Apple by far still has the lion’s share of mobile ad market share according to JiWire’s numbers. And while it is losing ground, it at least doesn’t appear to be doing so to the exclusive benefit of just one major competitor, like Android.