AdMob Report: One Third Of Android Phones Account For 96 Percent Of Traffic, Motorola Droid Takes The Lead

Mobile Ad Network AdMob has released its monthly mobile metrics report for March, which takes a close look at Android OS traffic. In March 2010, there were 34 Android devices from 12 manufacturers available to consumers. In AdMob’s network in March 2010, 11 devices accounted for 96 percent of Android traffic, up from two devices in September 2009. The three primary versions of the Android OS all drove significant traffic in March 2010 – Android 1.5 (38 percent), Android 2.0/2.1 (35 percent) and Android 1.6 (26 percent). Motorola and HTC were the leading Android device manufacturers with 44 percent and 43 percent of respective traffic.

According to AdMob, Motorola Droid was the leading Android handset in March 2010 generating 32 percent of Android traffic, while the Google Nexus One drove only two percent of Android traffic. It’s surprising that Google’s Nexus one generates so little traffic, considering Google’s claims of profitability and success from the device.

At least 54 percent of Android traffic came from devices with a QWERTY keyboard, says the report. Of course, only three devices – the iPhone 3GS (39 percent), second generation iPod touch (25 percent) and iPhone 3G (20 percent) – generated 84 percent of total iPhone OS traffic. iPhone 3GS traffic share has increased from 30 percent in September 2009 to 39 percent in March 2010. The 1st Generation iPhone only generated 2 percent of iPhone OS requests in March 2010. Total worldwide traffic in AdMob’s network increased 18 percent month-over-month.

The report of course highlights that diversity of devices in the Android ecosystem, with manufactures each creating and launching devices with diffferent form factors, capabilities, and OS versions over the past seven months. In contrast, the iPhone OS runs on devices from a single manufacturer, a single form factor (until the launch of the iPad in April), and all devices have the ability to upgrade OS versions.

The Android ecosystem is steadily growing, with the App market now counting 38,000 plus apps, up 8000 apps from a month ago. Of course this pales in comparison to Apple’s booming App Store.

The small share of traffic from Google Nexus One phones isn’t surprising, when you take into account this report from Flurry, which reported low Nexus One sales. In fact, there’s been a lot of talk about how the Nexus One’s initial roll-out has been a flop. But only weeks ago, Google claimed profitability for the device and painted a rosy picture for the Nexus One’s growth and future.

AdMob and Google may be in a bit of a pickle. The FTC is reportedly gearing up to challenge the Google-AdMob deal, due to anti-trust regulations The search giant acquired the popular mobile advertising network for $750 million last Fall. Reports emerged a few weeks ago that the FTC’s lawyers will recommend that the Commission block the deal. We’re not surprised, considering that we heard that Google was taking the unprecedented step of reaching out to AdMob competitors to rally their support around their acquisition of the company, in response to rumors that the FTC could block the deal. Consumer groups have also lobbied to block the deal.