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IPad mini continues Apple?s dominance of mobile ad impressions

The iPad mini is proving to be another powerful weapon in Apple?s arsenal of mobile devices helping it to grab mobile advertising market share, according to a new report from Velti.

By the end of November, the iPad mini ? which officially went on sale at the beginning of the month ? saw more impressions than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 did in the entire year. Overall, Android's share of mobile ad impressions dropped from 53 percent in 2011 to 37 percent this year while Apple's grew from 47 percent to 63 percent.

"The iPad mini is a success with marketers," said Krishna Subramanian, chief marketing officer at Velti. "While Apple is keeping total sales figures close to the chest, it?s not exactly a secret that the iPad Mini has been selling like hotcakes.

"Furthermore, the iPad Mini has killed its closest competitors, the Kindle Fire and Samsung Galaxy Tab, in mobile ad impressions," he said. "In November alone the iPad Mini produced 20x more impressions than the Galaxy Tab had seen in the entire year!"

Broad influence
The factors contributing to Apple?s ability to regain market dominance after falling behind Android in 2011 include the popularity of the iPad mini and iPhone 5 as well as the increasing affordability of the iPod Touch and iPhone 4S.

The report shows that although the Samsung Galaxy S3 was released at the end of May 2012, the iPhone 5, released in mid-September 2012, has already caught up to the Samsung Galaxy S3 in impression share. The iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3 each held 50 percent of impression share by the end of November.

The popularity of Apple devices is being felt worldwide, with China Mobile ? which has the largest mobile carrier share in China ? having a much smaller share of impressions than China Unicom, most likely because China Mobile does not carry the iPhone.

International growth
While the United States and Western Europe have been leaders in mobile advertising for some time, Velti?s figures show that the landscape is changing, with growth in key international markets taking off, giving marketers a way to reach consumers around the world.

For example, Spain saw a 1,020.7 percent growth in mobile impressions in 2012, Russia a 726.7 percent increase and Italy 671.3 percent.

Additionally, Brazil now leads in click through rates with an average CTR of 2.57 percent. China is close behind at 2.40 percent, followed by Italy at 2.18 percent and Russia at 1.88 percent.

In comparison, smartphone users in developed mobile markets were less likely to click on ads, with Britain posting a 1.67 percent CTR, Australia having a 1.62 percent CTR, the U.S. 1.56 percent, Japan 1.46 percent and Canada 1.43 percent.

Other key findings from the report include that photo-sharing apps are becoming increasingly important, with the number of impressions served on photography apps growing 289.7 percent between January and the end of November.

Additionally, AT&T holds 45 percent of impression shares in the U.S. compared to 25 percent for Verizon and 10 percent for T-Mobile.

"Heading into 2013 marketers should know that Apple had an absolute monster year in 2012 and will serve more ad impressions in 2013 than all other platforms combined," Mr. Subramanian said. "That being said, any marketer who does not take a well-rounded approach to marketing across the various platforms is handcuffing themselves and missing millions of potential customers every day."

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York