The mobile device industry is one that's hotly contested on several fronts. But while the device market is a field that's fraught with peril and competition on all sides, the mobile advertising market seems to be going disproportionately in one direction. According to the results of a recent examination of the market by the mobile ad network Adfonic, that direction is "straight toward Apple".
Apple, according to Adfonic, represented fully 37 percent of all mobile ad impressions on its network. In second place, not surprisingly, was Samsung by a pretty healthy margin, as they only accounted for 24 percent of the market. The rest of the market represented the remaining 39 percent, meaning that they were traveling very far behind both Apple and Samsung alike.
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The Adfonic AdMetrics report went on to further detail the moves in the market, and by extension, provide some insight into what's likely to happen by the end of the fourth quarter. For instance, Apple managed to gain three percentage points over their lead on Samsung in the third quarter, and that was well before the impact from the iPhone 5 could be calculated this quarter. While Samsung has made some gains of its own in the third quarter--they actually managed to knock Apple off their perch as top device sold at one point--the iPhone 5 will likely take that top slot back for the fourth quarter and in turn change the advertising picture once again.
However, it's important to note that, despite the move on Apple's part to launch the iPhone 5, Samsung will not be sitting idly, and will be bringing out its own devices, as well all those other firms that make up the rest of the impressions pool.
Considering the rate of advertising impressions is a fair measure of not only use but also monetization, it's a measure worth examining by any stretch. While Apple is a clear leader in terms of both smartphones and tablets--Apple's lone tablet entry, the iPad line, accounts for nearly two out of every three ad impressions in tablets--Samsung products occupy most of the top 10 smartphones list, with the lone exception being the Blackberry Curve, holding the fourth spot on the list. Meanwhile, for the rest of the market, it's a downhill slope of varying grades.
Those who believe that, eventually, the market will be defined largely by Apple and Samsung, and potentially a third party comprised of the market's "and the rest", may not be too far from the truth. With all the other companies losing ground or holding fast in ad impressions, it's a critical market segment that's losing out, and a clear signal to makers like LG, Sony Ericsson, HTC and others who want to remain viable in the market but may not be able to do so without a robust user base behind them.
It may be hard to believe that so much of the market can be read just from the advertising impressions report--indeed, this is likely to be a look at a future that only may be as opposed to must be--but if things go on as they currently are, the mobile device market might start looking a bit slimmer in the future.
Edited by Brooke Neuman