iOS Winning More Mobile Ad Share In 2013, AT&T Losing Its iPhone Edge, Velti Reports

Apple’s iOS mobile operating system is winning even more ground in mobile advertising market share, according to mobile ad firm Velti. The firm saw Apple’s share grow from 59 percent overall to 64 percent between May 2012 and May 2013, with the iPhone 5 grabbing a lot of those new impressions. The iPhone 5’s share grew by 7.4 percentage points between May last year and May of 2013, and the iPad added 3.7 percentage points, too, though the iPod touch saw big losses.

The iPhone grew 15 percent overall however, thanks to older models, resulting in a net gain for iOS in general. Apple is more than making up for sluggish sales of the iPod touch, and is also adding share thanks to the iPad mini. Samsung is also growing its own share, however, but it isn’t climbing at anywhere near the rate of its Apple competitor. There’s some volatility to come in the next few months, Velti predicts, as consumers hold off in anticipation of the new iPhone which will likely arrive in September. This has become basically an age-old tale at this point, and factors indicate it won’t affect Apple’s long-term dominance of mobile ads all that much.

There’s also been a considerably shift in which carriers are serving the bulk of ads to iPhones. Once dominant AT&T is giving ground to Verizon,┬áspecifically, and that’s big news for the carrier landscape. Sprint has also shed share since May 2012, Velti says, and T-Mobile is still barely scratching the surface, though the report only covers until May, so that may change as more people take their business to the new UnCarrier.

For those who’d rather not see much of the advertising that powers a lot of mobile apps these days, there’s also bad news: increasingly, advertisers are switching to larger display units and ditching the smaller ones, Velti finds. Full screen interstitial, as well as 300 x 250 and 728 x 90 ads are all showing positive growth, while 320 x 50 ads on the iPhone specifically have seen a decline in usage. Bigger is better for mobile display ads, or at least that’s the way advertisers are increasingly leaning.

Winning the mobile ad race is a key victory for Apple, which continues to excel in metrics around mobile app engagement and monetization, both of which are extremely important to developers. It’s part of a cycle that helps make iPhone desirable to consumers, too, so Apple is likely pleased to see it extend its lead.