LONDON: Android, the mobile device operating system owned by Google, has registered its first share gain in the in-app ad market for 2012, with a 4% increase that closes the gap on Apple's iOS.

Velti, a mobile marketing firm, has released its "State of Mobile Advertising" report which indicates that Android is edging nearer to the iOS in terms of ad impressions.

"Although Android's 4% surge appears modest, we should bear in mind figures from [market intelligence firm] IDC indicating 68% of smartphones shipped in 2012 have been Android models," said Krishna Subramanian, CMO of Velti.

Currently, Apple products generate 58% of ad impressions overall. However, iPhone volumes have fallen to 27% from 31% and on the iPod Touch the decline has been from 22% to 19%.

Though iPads maintain a clear dominance in mobile in-app advertising, where impressions rose from 9% to 12%, Android tablets are beginning to make an impact in the market, according to Velti's research.

Samsung remains the leading Android tablet maker with Amazon's Kindle Fire a strong second with 38% of the market.

"Despite the success of the iPad, Apple shouldn't rest on its laurels," said Subramanian. "The status quo is likely to be disrupted by the launch of the Kindle Fire 2 and Google Nexus 7."

He further noted that if the tablet market follows the pattern established with smartphones, it may put pressure on publishers to consider reducing the time lag between iOS and Android app releases.

Data sourced from Business Wire; additional content by Warc staff