Mobile advertising network AdMob has released its mobile metrics report for April 2010, which takes a closer look at the geographic distribution of unique iPhone and Android devices. The report also looks at the ratio of iPhone OS and Android devices overall, and in specific geographical locations.
While Android is gaining lots of momentum, as posited by both the number of increased ad-requests and by sales estimates, the report highlights that Android is still largely concentrated in North America. The iPhone, in comparison, has a broader global reach.
Looking at the data broken down by geographic location, AdMob is seeing that 75% of unique Android devices are located in North America. Asia is next with 12%, and then Western Europe with 11%. The iPhone, conversely has 49% of its unique devices in North America, 28% in Western Europe and 14% in Asia.
This data gets more interesting when broken down by country. While the iPhone is growing tremendously in Asia and is a big hit in Japan, Android is already winning in China. According to AdMob, China had the second greatest number of unique Android devices (after the U.S.), and there are more Android devices than iPhones in China as of April 2010.
The Importance of the iPod Touch and the iPad
Android is quickly gaining on the iPhone in the U.S. — when just comparing phones, AdMob’s network measures 8.7 million unique Android devices to 10.7 million iPhone devices in the United States. However, when you add in non-phones running the iPhone OS, like the iPod touch or the iPad, that number becomes 18.3 million versus 8.7 million.
Worldwide, this trend continues. According to AdMob, there are 11.6 million unique Android OS devices and 27.4 million unique iPhone devices across the globe. However, add in iPhone OS devices like the iPod touch and iPad, and the iPhone OS number jumps to 40.8 million worldwide.
As we start to see more Android devices that aren’t primarily sold as phones — the Dell Streak, for example — this will be an interesting space to watch.
The importance of non-phone devices is twofold. First, non-phone devices run almost all of the same software that the phone counterparts run, thus adding to the overall marketshare for the respective platforms. Second, users who have one type of device and have already invested in applications for that device are more likely to want to move to a corresponding device for either a cellphone or for a tablet.
Conversely, an Android owner who has a Nexus One or Droid Incredible may be less likely to get an iPad and more interested in looking at Android-based solutions, including the Dell Streak, because of the cross-compatibility of applications.
This report highlights one of the greatest areas of opportunity for Android (and Google) as a platform: Europe. Android is taking off in the U.S., but the U.S. is only part of the picture. iPhone adoption is growing faster in Europe and Asia than it is in North America; this is to be expected as the market becomes more saturated and more competitors enter the ring.
While Android may chip away at — and perhaps even surpass — iPhone sales in the U.S., the platform still needs to focus on other parts of the world. Apple, RIM and Nokia have had a multi-year headstart in getting more international traction and this is an area that Google needs to really zero in on.
Microsoft, which is on the verge of basically re-launching its mobile platform, also needs to make sure it focuses in the international market. The space is more crowded, but the userbase is also larger. There are plenty of opportunities for multiple players to have great success.