Different operating systems, carriers share mobile ad space: survey

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A number of operating systems are major players in the US mobile advertising space, which is not dominated by any one device or carrier, according to figures from ad network Millennial Media.

Google's Android operating system, used in smartphones such as the Motorola Droid, commands the same share of ad impressions as Apple's iOS within Millennial Media's network, which covers more than 80% of the US mobile ad market.

Although Apple devices still carry the largest share of ad impressions (25%), both Android and iOS have a 37% share of ads. Research in Motion's RIM OS, which operates Blackberry devices such as the Curve and Storm smartphones, is second with a 20% share of ads. Other operating systems, such as Windows OS and Symbian, have about 2% share each.

The findings emphasize the need for platform-agnostic advertising efforts that can work on any phone, said Erin McKelvey, SVP of marketing at Millennial Media.

“If an advertiser chooses to only focus on Apple and Google's platforms, they have the potential to miss a significant number of mobile users,” she said, via e-mail. “It's very important for advertisers to keep in mind the overall impression share for all mobile platforms, including feature phones and connected devices.”

Among device types, smartphones increased their share of ad impressions to 61%, and feature phones also improved their share to 28%, according to the study. Feature phones are not as technologically advanced as smartphones, but have some texting and mobile Web options.

“We expect to see more diversity in the types of devices that consumers are using to access the mobile Web and applications, and therefore more ads,” said McKelvey.

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