Android has had a very good year. It had already surpassed the iPhone and RIM in terms of US smartphone shipments in November 2010, and according to a recent Comscore report, it also beat Apple in terms of total US smartphone subscribers that month.
With RIM’s growth being negative, and Android having the highest growth among other platforms, we should see Android leading the US smartphone market by the end of Q1 2011. Today, Millenial Media, the third largest mobile ad network after Admob and iAd, released mobile ad impression stats for December 2010.
According to its report, Android now has the highest share of mobile ad impressions on its network. 46% of all mobile ads on Millennial’s network are served on Android devices. 32% of the total ads are served on iPhones while RIM accounts for 16% of the impressions.
Google gives away Android for free, in the hope that more users will use smartphones, connect to the mobile web and click on ads served by Google. Most developers on the Android platform have realized that the best way to monetize Android apps is by releasing them for free and then plastering them with ads. The paid app model just doesn’t work on Android the way it does on the iOS. Google acquired AdMob in 2009 and is now the leading mobile ad network. If the stats by Millennial are any indication, Android is likely the biggest platform for mobile advertising already.