Android & iPhone Dominate 2 Years Of Mobile [ADMOB]


If you’re an Android-loving numbers cruncher than you probably love Admob’s monthly report on the mobile industry, each time taking a slightly different approach on the data. This go-round they take a step back and look at the last two years of mobile transition. While the results are astounding… I think it’s fair to say they’re not surprising.

Apple and Android were newborns two years ago and today are both dominate powerhouses in terms of market share and growth. For obvious reasons I’ll focus my coverage on Android, but the iPhone’s influence cannot be ignored.


It’s no secret that America loves Android. Eight of the Top 10 handsets in terms of Admob’s ad request metric are Android handsets. While the iPhone captures the #1 spot, the sum of Android’s moving parts (Android’s 8 combined) is 43.3% which surpasses the iPhone in terms of OS market share. And indeed, the bar graph above shows Android has surpassed iOS in the United  States market with 47% share compared to 35%.

It gets pretty interesting when you put this into perspective:

  • Motorola feature phones were the top three devices in AdMob’s network in May 2008, but in May 2010 the only Motorola device in the top ten was the Droid.
  • A year ago, the HTC Dream (G1) was the only Android device broadly available. In May 2010, the leading handset, the Motorola Droid, had only 21 percent of the Android users in the AdMob network demonstrating the broad range of Android devices available.
  • The Nokia N70 was the number one smartphone in AdMob’s network in May 2008. It dropped to number two in May 2009 and down to number four in May 2010, but continues to be the top smartphone from Nokia in AdMob’s network.

Wait a minute… Nokia still exists? They surely do and they dominate in some countries. Take for example India, one of the world’s most highly populated developing countries that (according to Admob) is #2 in terms of number of ad requests (USA is #1 with 40%):


Pummeled into mother earth by Nokia. The company owns ALL 10 of the Top 10 spots in India. To say that is a devastating destructifation would be an understatement. But don’t expect that lead to last; I think the outlook for aging Nokia is ominous at best.worldwide

If you ask me, the above shows that while Android and iPhone dominate America, they’re slowly taking over the world as well, and its only a matter of time before India and other outliers are next. This may sound like a doomsday scenario, but trust me when I tell you that citizens the world over without access to Androids and iPhones are feverishly trying to get their fingers on compatible devices with these top OSes.

We’ve seen Android Market slowly rolled out to new countries, first free, then paid, with new currencies, and this will continue. Entering new countries and markets brings many complications, some of them infrastructural but many legal such as the South Korea gaming problem. Google and Apple are both looking to overcome these types of obstacles and as they do, one by one, we’ll see new countries running rampant with Android fever.

I could be wrong- there is no underestimating the power of familiarity and culture. But, from everything I’ve seen, the entire world wants something new in the mobile market. Many of us have gotten our fix with Android, but for those who haven’t… it’s coming. And when it does, these metrics reports will be even more unbalanced.

An interesting and bittersweet side note is that this will be the last Admob Mobile Metrics report for awhile. The company was recently acquired by Google and will be putting their data to use in other places. I’m wondering if they didn’t want to push the growth of Android as a monthly bragging piece and instead as an internal analytical tool to make strategic decisions.

Whatever the case may be, it will certainly be interesting to see how Google leverages the Admob acquisition and as usual, we’ll continue to keep our eyes on the global growth of Android.

[Via Admob]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Up and Up goes Android, Down and Down goes Apple.

  2. If Nokia were to release an Android phone it would have a huge impact on the Global market. I have heard some rumours about that, it must only be a matter of time.

  3. No offence, but in the last bar graph Nokia increases its market share by 6 percentage points, to Androids 2. I don’t see how you managed to go from that to proving that Nokia is in trouble.

  4. I wouldn’t say the final graph (worldwide share) is ominous for Nokia, far from it. In 4 months they’ve grown 6%, to the point where Symbian is almost equal with Android’s share – in fact at this rate, they could well overtake Android next month to take second place. iPhone is hurting big style worldwide though – dropping 10% in 4 months? Ouch.

    I’m quite surprised, I didn’t really see Nokia as being a growing player, but based on these figures it looks like I was wrong.

  5. Great minds, eh Ben? :)


  7. Let me get this straight, Symbian picks up 3x as much growth worldwide as Android and owns every position in the top 10 in the world’s #2 market, and you report their future as ominous? Man I wish my company’s outlook looked so bleak!

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Android (Evo and Hero in my household), but to suggest that there’s a clear cut trend around the world that mirrors the US market is dubious, if not downright ridiculous.

  8. I think Nokia’s growth is taking place in countries where Android and iPhone are absent and enough to offset losses in other countries. However, when Android enters these markets – specifically because of its ability to deliver low-cost alternatives – I don’t see Nokia being able to hold their ground.

  9. @Phil except for the fact that Nokia is dropping Symbian on a lot of devices in the coming months for MeeGo. So that Symbian share should drop some while MeeGo tries to pick up steam.

  10. Nokia is correctly dropping Symbian in their high-end phones but using Symbain more and more in their low-end where a lot more phones are sold. This probably also the reason for the increasing Symbian trend as Nokia sells a LOT of cheap smartphones with Symbian on them.

    With this in mind and the above figures in mind saying the Nokias/Symbians future is ominous is outright stupid and just a sign of Amrerican arrogance.

  11. Well it’s completely depends on the product…who knows Nokia may introduce a new phone as a competition for all the existing phones and may capture the entire Global Market.. Anything may happen at any point of time… :)

  12. Nokia is very popular in Asia, It was almost the only brand we knew good thing I read about android and now a happy N1 owner. Nokia is slowly losing its ground here though, I live in the Philippines

  13. LOL @ windows mobile haha

  14. symbian’s future looks ominous not because of its marketshare but the fact that it hasn’t captured the attention of developers. Without apps, symbian is just an OS that nobody cares about.

  15. I am originally from India, now in Sacramento, California. The reason for Nokia dominance in India is the lack of bandwidth. And that arises from the extreme corruption in the government.

    For the last 3 years, the government has been planning on auctioning the 3G bands to the wireless carriers but has failed. They only managed to finalize the auction a couple of months back. The amounts are staggering, for example the 3G license for New Delhi, the capital of India went for $715 million USD (Indian Rupees 33 Billion). The total amount that the government got in licenses was a staggering USD $15 Billion (INR 677 Billion).

    Right now 3G is only available in 2 or 3 metropolitan cities and that too on the government run carrier, which has the lowest number of subscribers.
    The release of IPhone 3G and 3GS had allowed users to buy the smartphones but the data plan they could use was Edge speeds.
    It really is a pity that with so much money floating around in that country and the wireless companies ready to pump more, the greedy government employees want a big slice of the whole pie.

  16. Something wrong with these numbers.

    Motorola Droid has 15.4% of US share after just six months of launch, while the iPhone has 35.3% after more than three years? The Droid would have to outsell the iPhone by huge margins each month to get there. We all know that is not the case.

    Obviously this report does not tell the whole story. All it talks about is ad requests volume from smartphones – so potentially Droid users made far more admob requests than iPhone users, for whatever reason.

    The full report is available here

  17. This looks great and all. Im a huge supporter of Android….but I think theres a reason for Android taking over in May.
    Really. Who’s going to buy a 3GS in May when the 4 came out in June. June stats are likely going to be very different from May.

    Itll probably take at least a month or 2 for Android sales to recover from the Iphone 4 release.
    On worldwide scale particularly, considering the hottest Android phone, EVO, is only available in the States, for some mind boggling reason…although a sales rep in the know told me last month we’d be getting them in Taiwan sometime in July.

    I’m really interested in what these numbers will be in January. If Android handsets keep moving ahead like they have been, they’ll already be far ahead of Iphone 4 *cough, HTC Vision* *double cough, Gingerbread*

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