iOS Edges Up On Millennial Network Ahead Of iPhone 5 Launch

Android-SmartphoneWith Apple set to roll out a new iPhone on Wednesday, one question is whether the move will help the company's iOS gain back ground on Android. Last year, the Google mobile operating system surpassed iOS as the top smartphone platform globally and in the U.S. If nothing else, the iPhone 5 could help Apple steal back the spotlight from the hot-selling Samsung Galaxy S III, the latest Android flagship phone.

The new monthly metrics report from Millennial Media released today shows that iOS gained back a bit of market share in August, with its share of ad impressions on the mobile network increasing to 34% from 33% in the first quarter. Android, meanwhile, slipped to 46% from 49%. Struggling BlackBerry, like iOS, picked up a point to reach 15%.

Among individual smartphones, the iPhone easily remains the No. 1 device, with almost 16% share. The BlackBerry Curve is a distant second, with about 5%, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S (3.5%), the BlackBerry Torch (3%) and the BlackBerry Bold (3%). Still, 14 of the top 20 smartphones on the Millennial ad network were Android devices, which collectively help give the platform its hefty market share.

On the strength of the iPhone and iPad, Apple was also the top device manufacturer on the network, accounting for nearly a third (31.3%) of impressions. Samsung was second with 22% share, up from 18% in the first quarter, trailed by Research in Motion (13.5%), HTC (8.8%) and Motorola (7%). Google-owned Motorola, which slipped from 10.6% share in Q1, is hoping to rebound with last week's launch of the Droid Razr M.

Another big gadget-related announcement last week was Amazon's unveiling of new Kindle Fire devices, including a larger, 8.9-inch model, as well as the new Paperwhite e-reader with an illuminated screen. As of Q2, the Kindle Fire was the No. 3 tablet on Millennial's network behind the Galaxy Tab and the iPad. While male users outnumber female users on the iPad and Android tablets on the network, the Kindle Fire users skew toward women (57% versus 43% men).

Non-smartphone devices overall account for 19% of impressions compared to 17% a year ago. Feature phones have dropped from 17% to just 7% of impressions, while smartphones have risen from 66% to 74%. Smartphone penetration in the U.S. is estimated at about 50% on the whole.

Games were again the most popular type of mobile application on Millennial's network, followed by music and entertainment, science and technology, social media and communications. The company suggested students prepping for year-end exams helped push science/tech apps into the top three categories.

In a mobile advertising report released last week, eMarketer ranked Millennial as the fourth-largest mobile ad company, with estimated revenue of $84.1 million this year. Google was No. 1, with projected 2012 revenue of $1.42 billion, followed by Pandora ($226.4 million) and Twitter ($130 million).

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