AdMob: The Original iPhone is Dead, Android Becoming Increasingly Diversified

Here at MobileCrunch, we love numbers. We especially love numbers that make good stories. And we more especially love numbers that make good stories about phones. And so we love it when AdMob packages together data from 18,000 mobile ad publishers and sends us a little PDF detailing what they’ve found.

AdMob (which is being acquired by Google) released its March 2010 Mobile Metrics Report today. For this report, AdMob gathers data from the 18,000 mobile websites and applications that leverage AdMob for their advertising services. Because AdMob is the largest advertising platform on mobile with 40% market share, they do have a large pool of data to pull from. However, the data has some obvious selection bias and isn’t the best for cross-platform comparisons.

That said, the report showed the clear stratification of the Android handset market. Whereas in September 2009, there were only 2 major Android handsets, there are currently 11. In September, HTC dominated Android with HTC devices accounting for 96% of all Android web traffic. This month, Motorola took that throne, and accounted for 44% of Android web traffic. HTC was close behind with 43% of requests and Samsung sat at an abysmal 9%.

Though the focus was on Android, some interesting news came out on the iPhone. Just 2% of iPhone OS web traffic came through the 1st gen iPhone, compared with 39% for the 3GS, 25% for the 2nd gen iPod Touch and 20% for the iPhone 3G.

That shows two extremely interesting trends: first, nobody uses the 1st gen iPhone for web browsing anymore. Second, the iPod Touch is continuing to be used heavily for web browsing. More specifically, the 2nd gen iPod Touch is the most popular iPod, accounting double the traffic of the 3rd gen iPod Touch.

The Android market is becoming increasingly diversified, with 3 manufacturers and 11 devices accounting for Android’s web traffic. Based on my conversations with developers, this can be a bit frustrating – there are 3 popular OS versions for Android (1.5 – Cupcake, 1.6 – Donut, and 2.x – Eclair), whereas 95% of iPhone OS devices are running a 3.x version.

That said, Android is clearly continuing its assault on the iPhone. The Droid accounted for 4% of web usage in March, compared with 22% from iPhone devices. That’s a significant number, especially considering the Droid is 2.5 years younger than the iPhone.

It’s also important to note that BlackBerry and WinMo/WinPho are nowhere to be seen on this report. I don’t even know if you can call those phones “smart” anymore, given that their users rarely use them to access the internet.