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Android Smartphones Extend Reach

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Ever since they hit the market, Apple’s iPhone and iTouch devices have accounted for a disproportionate amount of overall mobile Web usage. That’s still true, but the slew of new phones employing Google’s Android software, such as the Motorola Droid, are starting to catch up.

According to a new report issued by the mobile ad network AdMob, Web-friendly smartphones such as the Blackberry and iPhone accounted for 48 percent of mobile ads delivered in November of this year, up from 31 percent in November 2008.

Individually, the iPhone and iTouch still command a hefty share of mobile Web usage, but collectively, Android devices generated 27 percent of the smartphone ads that AdMob delivered in the U.S. in November 2009, up from 20 percent in October 2009.

Part of that growth can be attributed to the proliferation of Android devices. According to the report six months ago, the HTC Dream G1 device generated 92 percent of Android traffic tracked via AdMob’s network. Yet by November, that phone generated just 37 percent of Android ads, while two other devices -- the Motorola Droid and HTC Magic -- each accounted for over 20 percent of the growing Android ad traffic.

Besides the growth of Android Web surfing, AdMob found that a lot more smartphone users are accessing the Web via WiFi networks.

According to its report, 24 percent of AdMob’s ads in the U.S. were delivered via WiFi last month, up from just 8 percent one year ago. A chunk of that usage is being driven by the increasingly popularity of nonphone mobile devices, such as the iTouch, Sony PlayStation Portable and Nintendo Dsi, says AdMob’s report.

Given the size of its network, AdMob can claim to have a fairly broad perspective on the mobile Web. The company, which was acquired by Google last month for $750 million, serves ads on roughly 15,000 mobile Web sites and applications across the globe.

See also:

"Lippert's Critique: HTC Gets You"

"Lippert's Critique: Verizon's Droid Rage"

"The Revolution Will Be Mobile"