Android-based phones are the leading smartphone platform in the U.S. with 52.3 percent of the market share according to comScore (NASDAQ:SCOR). However, Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android is still lacking something that advertisers seem to be getting plenty of from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL): revenue. As Tiernan Ray at Barron’s discovered in a conversation with Mahi de Silva, Opera’s VP of Consumer Mobile, “the average user of an Android smartphone or tablet is less likely to download and use the apps provided by Dow Jones and other premiere publishers that create the ad inventory that advertisers crave.”
Based on Opera’s “State of Mobile Advertising Q4 2012” report, Android emerged late last year as the leading mobile device platform for volume of impressions. However, iOS was still the top mobile device OS in terms of monetization, with 51.02 percent of the $400 million in mobile revenue coming from some type of iOS device. iPhones alone accounted for 37 percent of this revenue. This is despite Apple having only a 22 percent slice of smartphone sales.
For a variety of reasons, Apple devices attract high-value consumers who are more likely to download or otherwise respond to ads that the typical Android user will not. These high-value Apple consumers create a higher return per advertising dollar which in turn fuels a premium content ecosystem for iOS.