Devices running Google’s Android operating system have dethroned Apple’s iPhones and iPads as the biggest drivers of worldwide mobile ad traffic, according to a new study from Opera Mediaworks.
Almost 43% of all mobile ad impressions came from an Android device in the first quarter of 2014, the latest State of Mobile Advertising report found. That compares to about 38% for iOS, 5.8% for Symbian, 1.14% for BlackBerry, and 0.18% for Windows Phone. (The other 11.84% came from minor operating systems.)
Apple’s idevices are still more profitable, however – iPhones and iPads between them accounted for more than 52% of mobile monetization in the quarter, according to the study.
About 60% of impressions served to Android devices went to Samsung-built smartphones, Opera found. Competitors like LG, Motorola and HTC trailed badly, at 11%, 5.7% and 3.3%, respectively.
The study tracked statistics provided by Opera’s mobile advertising platform, which, the company said, serves 64 billion impressions per month, to half a billion global users.
The type of app involved made a clear difference in term of ROI and impression rates. Social media saw the most impressions served, at roughly 27% of the overall total, but apps in the “arts and entertainment” category drove the most revenue, at about 17%. Music and video apps, sports apps, and social media were also major revenue drivers.
The U.S. drove a little more than half of the world’s mobile ad impressions during the quarter, followed by Asia at just under 23% and Europe at 13%.
Android’s growth in mobile advertising numbers mirrors the platform’s increasing market share dominance, having long since surpassed iOS in terms of sales – nearly four out of five smartphones sold around the globe in the fourth quarter of 2014 were Androids, according to IDC.
Email Jon Gold at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.