Users of the iPhone and the iPod Touch have a curious relationship with WiFi: they adore it. New information from mobile advertising company AdMob indicates that users of handheld Apple devices are using a lot more WiFi since the 3G iPhones were released. In fact, when given the choice between using their cellular service or WiFi to access the Web, the users of iPhones are almost as likely to choose the WiFi as they are to use their cellular Web service.
AdMob, founded by Omar Hamoui in 2006 and headquartered in San Mateo, CA is in the business of making it easier for advertisers to embed ads in Web sites and iPhone apps. They also, of course, maintain statistics about the ads placed and served, including where the ad hits are coming from, which is generally either the cell phone provider’s digital telephone network or some other IP address, which indicates that the request came from a WiFi source. AdMob just released a report which proves that nearly half of their iPhone ad requests come from WiFi.
The report indicates that iPhone users requested 58 percent of their ads from the cellular network and 42 percent from other WiFi sources. More interesting and for comparison, statistics for their entire ad base indicates that overall, only 8 percent of all ad requests are from WiFi. This latter may be because not all cell phones are capable of using WiFi, of course, but they also present numbers for the WiFi enabled HTC G1 Android phone for comparison. Users of the HTC G1 requested only 10 percent of their ads via WiFi.
It is also interesting to note that the combined WiFi requests made by the iPhone and the iPod Touch in November accounted for 79 percent of all AdMob WiFi ad requests. This is at a time when the percentage of iPhone and iPod Touch AdMob ad requests are growing rapidly, up 52% worldwide in November when compared to October. It is also worth noting that requests by iPhone and iPod Touch users amounted to 12 percent of all AdMob ad requests made in the United States.
All of this makes it clear that the Apple share of the overall mobile ad marketplace is growing, which is good news for both Apple and advertisers. It is also very clear that mobile users are beginning to appreciate WiFi capabilities, especially Apple mobile device users. It will be interesting to see if information like that released by AdMob will have any affect on the common cellular provider stranglehold on Web for mobile phones, and specifically if more phones may begin to be WiFi enabled. A lot of users (especially Apple users) are voting for it via their usage patterns.