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Admob: Android Showing Strong Growth

Mobile metrics firm Admob—which measures the penetration of mobile platforms and devices by accesses, primarily via ads—has released its mobile metrics report for February 2010. The results are predictable in some ways—Apple’s iPhone leads the pack for mobile Internet usage amongst smartphone platforms around the world—but the surprise is how fast Android is growing: from a 2 percent share in February 2009 to a 24 percent share in February 2010. And most of that growth is coming at the expense of Symbian, whose share of requests dropped from 43 percent to 18 percent worldwide over the same period. In February 2010, the iPhone commanded about 50 percent of traffic from smartphone platforms.

As interesting, feature phones—which are dominated by Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, and LG—saw their overall share of worldwide mobile Internet traffic drop from 58 percent to 35 percent during the last year. However, in absolute numbers, the amount of traffic from feature phones grew by some 31 percent, meaning more and more feature phones are tapping into Internet content around the world. The fact that a 31 percent increase in raw traffic actually translated into a proportional loss of over 20 points in a year also highlights the astonishing growth being seen from smartphones and mobile Internet devices like the iPod touch (and, soon, the iPad).

In terms of Android’s popularity, the top five Android devices worldwide in terms of traffic to the Admob network from February 2009 to February 2010 were the Motorola Droid, HTC Dream, HTC Hero, HTC Magic, and the Motorola CLIQ.

Before taking Admob’s figures as gospel, consider another interesting aspect to Admobs’ figures: RIM’s BlackBerry platform accounted for only about 4 percent of mobile Internet traffic to Admob’s network in February. (Windows Mobile managed a 2 percent showing.) Considering the global popularity of BlackBerry devices, the disparity between sales and Admob’s tabulations of mobile Internet usage could highlight differences between typical BlackBerry and iPhone users—along with differences between how applications for the platforms are monetized via advertisements.

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