Apple iOS reclaims dominance, Android market share declines dramatically in 2012

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Mobile tech firm Velti has released results of a survey of mobile tech winners and losers for 2012. One of the survey’s key data findings shows a major reversal for Android in 2012, during which Google’s mobile OS platform lost significant ground to Apple’s iOS globally, its market share declining dramatically from 61% in 2011 to 37% in 2012.

Also revealed was that Samsung and Apple were neck and neck as the tablet of choice this year, but the Velti researchers say the iPad is quickly creating a gap and expect the iPad to beat out Samsung’s Galaxy as the tablet of choice in 2013. Entitled “State of Mobile Advertising 2012: Year in Review,” the report highlights key mobile trends in 2012, including insight into iOS’s market dominance and the growing international opportunity in developing markets. Contributing factors include the popularity of the iPad mini and iPhone 5, as well as increasing affordability of the iPod touch and iPhone 4S. In fact, new iOS devices released in 2012 had the strongest influence on changes in mobile use and impressions.

For example, the iPad mini saw more total impressions at the end of November 2012—less than six weeks after its October 23 unveiling—than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 did in the entire year. By year end, the iPad mini will have averaged 20 times more impressions than Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (42.4 billion vs. 2.1 billion impressions).


And while Samsung’s Galaxy S3 was released at the end of May 2012, the iPhone 5—released in mid-September 2012—has already caught up to the Samsung Galaxy S3 in impression share. The iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3 each held 50% of impression share, respectively, by the end of November after five months on the market for Samsung’s flagship handset vs. less than half that for the iPhone 5.

Despite having the largest mobile carrier share in China, China Mobile has a much smaller share of impressions than China Unicom (5% and 11%, respectively). Velti’s research team deduces that this is most likely due to the fact that China Mobile does not carry the iPhone.

“Looking back at 2012, we really see Apple’s power over the mobile landscape,” said Krishna Subramanian, CMO of Velti. “A great example: despite the fact that China Mobile is the biggest carrier in China, it has low overall mobile impressions, without the iPhone, and advertisers in this market just aren’t reaching consumers in the volume they could. This is incredibly valuable insight for marketers and brands. At the end of 2012, iOS devices held a 63% share of the market—so we know that Apple holds the key to reaching consumers.”

Velti’s report also reveals that international growth is booming, offering a huge value to mobile marketers to reach consumers around the globe.

Other notable data from the report includes:

  • Impressions served on photography apps grew 389.7% between January and the end of November. Likely contributing factors: better camera hardware on the devices themselves, and the availability of Instagram to Android users in April of 2012.
  • On Android phones, consumers love productivity apps. The category’s impression share on Android (5.7 percent) dwarfs other platforms (1.4 percent on Android Tablets, .6 percent on iPhone and .7 percent on iPad).

Data for this report is taken from the Mobclix Exchange, which sits at the intersection of 33,500+ apps and 45+ ad networks.

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