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Apple closes gap in ad impressions, still lags behind Android: report

Apple continues to gain share of mobile ad impressions in North America despite the increasing popularity of new Samsung devices, according to a new report from Adfonic.

The Global AdMetrics Third Quarter Report shows that Apple increased its share of ad impressions by one percentage point from 31 percent to 32 percent while Samsung's share remain unchanged at 20 percent. By platform, Android still leads despite losing some ground compared with the second quarter.

?The news for iOS is that, having lost its lead by ad impressions to Android in Q2 2012, it has started to close the gap in Q3,? said James McDonald, U.S. general manager of Adfonic, New York.

?In Q2 2012 we showed that Android had, for the first time, overtaken iOS to become the most popular platform for mobile advertisers,? he said.

?However in Q3 we saw that iOS had closed this gap a little. It moved from 34 percent to 37 percent in Q3, compared to Android which moved from 46 percent to 45 percent.?

Two-horse race
While Android leads in share of ad impressions by platform in North America, iOS widened its lead over Android in providing higher click-through rates and effective cost per thousand impressions.

By manufacturer, Apple and Samsung dominate Adfonic's platform for global share of ad impressions. However, Apple has a 12 percentage point advantage over Samsung when it comes to mobile ad impressions in North America despite the increasing popularity of new Samsung devices, such as the Galaxy SIII.

?In the Adfonic Global AdMetrics Report for Q3 2012 we saw that Apple and Samsung dominated Adfonic?s share of impressions, confirming that essentially this is still a two-horse race between the two manufacturers,? Mr. McDonald said.

?The next quarter will reveal the impact of new Apple devices such as the iPhone 5, the iPad Mini and the new iPad with retina display. Meanwhile Samsung will continue to issue new devices such as the Galaxy S3 Mini.?

?Over the past quarter Samsung devices such as the S3 had become widely available and yet Apple?s dominance grew,? he said.

Tablets make an impression
By device, the iPhone and iPod touch occupy the two top positions when it comes to share of ad impressions in North America, accounting for 21.9 percent and 8.7 percent of ad impressions. The BlackBerry Curve gained three percentage points to place it in third place with a 4.5 percent share.

The report also reveals that Google's Nexus 7 made it onto the list of North America?s top 10 tablets by share of ad impressions within five months of its June 2012 launch. The device is in tenth place with a 1.4 percent share.

The iPad is in first place with a 40.3 percent share of tablet ad impressions and the Kindle Fire in second place with a 17.8 percent share. Both the iPad and Kindle Fire lost 3 percentage points during the quarter.

By vertical, the entertainment and media category was responsible for 55 percent of all advertising spend and had a stronger performance than in the second quarter with a 20 percent increase in eCPMs.

?One of the key drivers for 2013 will be the rise in usage and effectiveness of RTB led mobile advertising,? Mr. McDonald said.

?The holiday season is also likely to deliver confirmation to retailers that mobile is increasingly becoming a core component of the digital sales funnel, and the high probability of record mobile sales this holiday season will continue to drive increases in mobile ad spend from the retail sector, among others, throughout 2013,? he said.

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