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The View from Q4: Android Gets the Traffic, But iOS Gets the Money

Posted Feb 4, 2015

One thing is clear when it comes to the battle for mobile operating system dominance: There will be no one-and-done skirmish. We’re in for a long, drawn-out war between two well-funded, technologically-savvy challengers.

On one end you have iOS, and on the other you have Android – with Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and even Symbian (really?) as mere distant blips on the radar. Of course, that’s not news. But the latest State of Mobile Advertising (SMA) report from Opera Mediaworks offers an interesting new perspective on how the two leaders traded dominance in Q4.

Robot Delivers Scale
Android’s share of overall impressions has steadily increased over the past three years, growing from just 26 percent in 2011, to nearly 63 percent in 2014. Per the report:

“As 2014 drew to a close, more than 6 in 10 ad impressions were served on Android phones, with almost 3 in 10 served on iPhones.”

sma_q4_2014_4_traffic and rev

The conclusion? Android’s massive install base has made it the mobile operating system of choice when it comes to advertisers that want scale

Apple Delivers Revenue
But what iOS lacks in volume, the operating system most definitely recoups in revenue. In Q4, iOS retained a firm hold on nearly 52 percent of all mobile ad revenue generated across Opera’s network, a contrast to Android’s sizable, but still notably smaller 41 percent share.

sma_q4_2014_16_Mobile ad revenueThe conclusion here? On average, iOS apps are running fewer ads, while still generating more ad revenue.

The SMA Report
The SMA report digs into the nuances and reasons why each operating system leads its respective category, and also dives into one of our favorite topics: best practices in user acquisition. You can find out more and download it here at the Opera Mediaworks blog.

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