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Thursday, March 25, 2010, 08:40 am PT (11:40 am ET)

February mobile device traffic up 193%, led by Apple iPhone

Fueled by strong growth of both the iPhone and Android platforms and heavy application use on both mobile devices, mobile traffic increased 193 percent year-over-year in February.

The latest Mobile Metrics Report from ad firm AdMob was released Thursday, and showed the tremendous growth seen in the company's ads served to more than 15,000 mobile Web sites and applications around the world. In all, smartphones like the iPhone accounted for 48 percent of AdMob's worldwide traffic, well up from the 35 percent share it took in February 2009.

Apple remains the far-and-away leader in presence in the ad network. February 2010 numbers show the iPhone OS taking a 50 percent share of all worldwide smartphone operating systems. That number has held consistent since December of 2009, even as Android's presence continues to grow.

Google's Android mobile operating system represented 24 percent of the worldwide smartphone market online in February, up from 19 percent in December 2009. The February numbers were also a dramatic increase from a year prior, when smartphones with Google's operating system were just 2 percent of the market.

But Apple also saw a noteworthy increase year over year, with its 50 percent share up from just 33 percent of the market in February 2009.

AdMob 1


While the iPhone and Android have seen big gains over the last year, the big loser, according to AdMob, has been Nokia's Symbian mobile platform. The survey found that Symbian's share of requests collapsed from 43 percent in February 2009 to 18 percent in February 2010.

AdMob 2


Late last year, AdMob was approached by Apple for a potential acquisition, but the firm was eventually bought by rival Google. One recent report alleged that Google willingly overpaid in its $750 million acquisition of AdMob simply to keep the company away from Apple. But the iPhone maker quickly responded by purchasing mobile advertiser Quattro Wireless for $275 million.