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Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 04:28 pm PT (07:28 pm ET)

Apple's iOS edges out Android in mobile ad traffic, dominates in revenue

For the fourth quarter of 2013, Apple held an impressive lead over rival OS Android in mobile advertising marketshare, says Opera Mediaworks, but more importantly the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch combined to net 55 percent of all ad revenue for the period.

Mobile Ads

Clockwise from top left: Mobile ad traffic by region, overall OS and device share, platform traffic distribution.Source: Opera Mediaworks


According to a study released by ad solution platform Opera Mediaworks on Tuesday, Apple's iOS accounted for 43.39 percent of mobile traffic during the three months ending in December, while Google's Android came up with 37.71 percent.

Eyes-on traffic is only half the story, however. Perhaps more important to advertisers is conversion and monetization of their investments. For this metric, iOS was the dominant leader, generating 55.70 percent of all mobile ad revenue for the quarter. In comparison, Android came away with a 31.73 percent share of revenue over the three-month period.

Looking specifically at smartphones, the sheer number of Android makes and models on the market garnered the platform more ad traffic than Apple's handset, resulting in a 35.85 percent share versus the iPhone's 28.72 percent. Despite the lower number, the iPhone produced 40.03 percent of ad revenue compared to all Android smartphones, which only managed a 30.07 percent stake.

In fact, the iPhone's share of revenue outperformed Android's overall piece of the pie, smartphones and tablets included. Slates running Android took 1.86 percent of mobile ad traffic and netted 1.67 percent of revenue for the quarter. By contrast, Apple's iPad accounted for 10.59 percent of traffic and 12.70 percent of revenue during the same period.

Digging deeper into Opera Mediaworks' numbers, the firm saw a 52 percent rise in mobile ad traffic worldwide. Although U.S. share of traffic dropped to 48.64 percent, the country accounts for about 70 percent of the ad platform's revenue. South America also saw significant growth during the fourth quarter and throughout 2013 as Brazil overtaking Mexico in the top-20 countries as measured by traffic. Android was a clear leader in the burgeoning market, with 47.56 percent of traffic compared to iOS' 14.88 percent.