That is, until today.
For the first time Android has passed iOS in mobile ad traffic according to a report on Forbes. According to Forbes’ Robert Hof, the report released by Opera Mediaworks suggests that Android smartphones are getting capable enough to challenge the iPhone:
“The numbers: Android claims the most ad traffic, with 42.8% of ad impressions vs. iOS’s 38.2%. Android smartphones actually took the lead over iOS phones in the fourth quarter, but Apple’s tablet traffic still kept iOS ahead overall. That edge evaporated in the first quarter.
Apple’s devices still hold a big lead on Android devices in making money off those ads, however. The iOS smartphones and tablets together commanded 52.3% of revenues to Android’s 33.5%. But the latter is an improvement from 26.7% a year ago. And iOS’s share is down from 60% in last year’s first quarter.
The bigger losers are Symbian, Blackberry, and Windows, all of which even combined trail the mighty “other.” “We’ve seen steady declines in other platforms,” de Silva says. “It’s really a two-horse race in the U.S.”
Android’s gain in ads may help it gain on iOS among software developers as well, potentially creating a virtuous cycle. “It used to be that developers focused on iOS first,” de Silva says, and indeed apps and game makers still do. “We’re starting to see they’ll be equally compelled to come out on both platforms.”