Millennial: iOS on Top but Android Revenue Growth Beats iPhone

Millennial Media's MobileMix report is out this mornng and it has some interesting data points. The story is mostly the same as previous months: iOS devices lead but Android is fastest growing collection of devices. The data also suggest that RIM is holding its own in an increasingly competitive smartphone landscape.

Here are the top data-points, followed by some charts from the report:

  • Android ad requests grew 26% month-over-month. Since January, Android has grown 1,283%.
  • Apple ad requests increased 10% month-over-month. Since January, Apple has increased 18%. iPad ad requests grew 63% month-over-month.
  • RIM ad requests increased 16% month-over-month. Since January, RIM has increased 143%.
  • This month, for the rst time, Android revenue exceeded iPhone-only revenue on our network amidst strong raw iOS impression growth.

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Compare March 2010 Millennial data, showing smartphones with a 45% share and Apple with a 70% share of that segment: 

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 Now back to the current month:

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What do we take away from all this? Apple's iOS suite of devices remain the market leader (though the iPhone is far less dominant), with Android gaining. And good ol' RIM is alive and kicking, showing some growth in this report. 

Update: Millennial ads some "color" to the numbers released this morning in a blog post

One of our key observations was the continued growth of Android Smartphones on our network. Though we’ve predicted that Android would eventually overtake iPhone in revenue, we didn’t anticipate it to happen this soon.  In September, Android revenue exceeded iPhone-only revenue.  However, impressions from iOS still outpace Android impressions.  So how is it that Android could see fewer impressions, but come out ahead in revenue?  Here are a few reasons:

  1. Devices versus operating systems – We are only comparing iPhone and Android devices, not operating systems. iOS includes not only iPhone, but also iPad and iPod Touch. Currently, Android only consists of Smartphones on our network.  Of course, as Android-powered tablets and other consumer electronic devices hit the marketplace in the near future, that will certainly change.
  2. Less inventory coupled with soaring demand – We saw higher average fill rates, click-through rates and prices on Android applications and mobile web inventory than on iPhone inventory last month. Why?  We believe this occurred because there are fewer applications available on Android than on iPhone (though the gap is narrowing), and the mix of applications available on Android is still different than the mix on iPhone.   This means less inventory to meet current advertiser demand, resulting in higher fill rates and prices.
  3. Reaching a diverse set of Smartphone buyers – Many Android users are often first-time Smartphone buyers.  We believe some advertisers are paying a premium to reach those users early in their Smartphone experience.   Our advertisers have also shared that Android allows them to reach a diverse set of consumers across all major carriers, making the platform highly desirable and increasing demand for the platform.

When we consider all of these elements together, it helps us see how Android overtook the iPhone on a revenue basis on our network in September.  With more advertiser demand per each available impression on Android, it resulted in more revenue per impression.