The iPhone is holding its lead over Android devices, but the sheer number of new Android phones available could start to change that, according to a monthly report -- potentially the last of its kind -- from AdMob.
AdMob, which was recently purchased by Google, on Wednesday released its monthly report about smartphone and operating-system market share, based on usage of its ad network. It's the first report issued since the close of the acquisition by Google, and in a blog post the company said it could be its last.
"We plan to continue sharing data that will help everyone in the industry, but will take a break from issuing the Mobile Metrics Report while we consider how to re-invent the report to make it more useful and relevant," wrote a representative identified as "Mark F" in the official AdMob blog post.
In addition to the effect a change in ownership could have on the policy of releasing monthly data, AdMob may soon be unable to collect data about iPhones. Apple recently changed its developer terms of service to prevent companies that are not independent and whose primary business isn't serving mobile ads from collecting iPhone user data. That change will likely prevent iPhone developers from using AdMob ads in their applications.
But for now, AdMob released data on usage of its network for May. It found that the ratio of iPhones to Android devices in the U.S. was 2 to 1, and worldwide it was 3.5 to 1. That's the same as the previous month.
Both operating systems gained users in May. Worldwide, 12.7 million Android devices accessed AdMob's network and 29.3 million iPhones used the network. That compares to 11.6 million Android devices and 27.4 iPhones in April.
But users have many more Android phones to choose from now compared to last year. In May, 14 phones generated 92 percent of Android traffic, compared to just one a year ago, AdMob found. At the recent launch of the Droid X phone, Google revealed that 160,000 Android-powered devices are sold each day.
Among Android phones, Motorola's Droid is the most popular, AdMob found.
The report also reflected differences in smartphone preference regionally around the world. Nokia still dominates in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe while Apple is tops in North America and Western Europe.
Users of Android devices and iPhones are far more apt to use applications and the Web than users of other phones, AdMob reported. While Apple had 15 percent market share, according to Gartner statistics, its users generated 40 percent of app and Web usage worldwide, AdMob said. Android had 10 percent market share, according to Gartner, but its users generated 26 percent of app and Web usage, AdMob reported. Symbian makes up the biggest share of users worldwide, with 44 percent of the smartphone market, but its users generated only 24 percent of Web and app use, AdMob said.