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Android takes mobile ad market share from iOS

Android gained steam as an advertising platform in July, taking share of ad impressions away from iOS for the first time this year, according to a new report from mobile ad technology provider Velti.

Velti?s July ?State of Mobile Advertising? report found that Android's share of impressions was 42 percent, up from 38 percent in June while iOS' share decreased from 62 percent to 58 percent during the same period. Velti expects Android impressions will continue to pick up ground this year.

?Although Android?s four percent surge appears modest, we should bear in mind figures from IDC indicating 68 percent of smartphones shipped in 2012 have been Android models,? said Krishna Subramanian, chief marketing officer at Velti, San Francisco

?Arguably, iOS figures are likely down as consumers await the iPhone 5 launch, but still these results support the view that volume of Android impressions will continue to grow over the course of the year,? he said.

?If marketers haven?t already, they should ensure their mobile strategy is cross platform.?

Kindle Fire heats up
One possible effect of Android's gain in ad impressions is that publishers could reduce the lag time between iOS and Android app releases, per Velti.

By device, the iPhone had a 27 percent share of impressions in July, down from 31 percent in June and the iPod touch a 19 percent share, down from 22 percent.

The iPad was the only device to gain share of impressions in July with a 12 percent share of impressions, up from 9 percent.

When it comes to tablets, iPads still dominate with 90 percent of tablet impressions. Apple released the new iPad in China on July 20 and, in the first week, saw traffic jump 150 percent.

However, here too, Apple may face increasing competition from Android devices, in particular the Kindle Fire.

?Despite the success of the iPad, Apple shouldn?t rest on its laurels,? Mr. Subramanian said. ?The status quo is likely to be disrupted by the launch of the Kindle Fire 2 and Google Nexus 7.

?The Kindle Fire could be a game-changer and a platform marketers need to be looking at,? he said.

?In our July 'State of Mobile Advertising' report, we found that the Kindle Fire has the lead for all Android tablets, accounting for 38 percent of total share.?

Engagement opportunities
In terms of Android tablets, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 had 24 percent of impressions, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime 12 percent, the Acer Iconia A500 9 percent and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 4 percent.

The data also points to the growing importance of geo-targeting in mobile advertising, with weather - which features a high level of geo-targeted advertising - generating the highest effective cost per thousand impressions, or eCPM.

?Tablets are here to stay,? Mr. Subramanian said. ?According to eMarketer, one in three online consumers will use a tablet by 2014.

?We are seeing this trend on our exchange as well, July data shows that iPad took a greater share of mobile in-app advertising impressions with a 33 percentage increase,? he said. ?Brands that are not capitalizing on tablets are missing a tremendous opportunity for consumer engagement and conversion.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York