NEW YORK: Smartphones now deliver almost half of all mobile advertising impressions in the US, largely thanks to the increasing popularity of devices such as the iPhone.

According to Millennial Media, the specialist ad network, some 72 million people in the US accessed the internet via a wireless device in March 2010, up from 56.7 million people in the same period in 2009.

The company, which reaches 83% of this audience, reported that portals and directories was the top advertiser category in the third month of this year, followed by entertainment, telecoms and travel.

Overall, smartphones generated 45% of all advertising requests in March, compared with the score of 34% registered by less technologically advanced, but more common, feature phones.

Connected devices, or other mobile gadgets that offer access to the web, such as the iPod Touch, Sony PSP and Nintendo DS, posted a figure of 21%.

The iPad, which also falls into this category, saw its total number of impressions rise by 713% over the course of the first full week it was one sale.

Apple's overall strength in this area was further demonstrated by the fact that its operating system produced 70% of ad requests in March, followed by Research in Motion's BlackBerry on 14%.

Google's Android was in third on 6%, and could see further growth in the future as a greater number of people buy handsets based on this system.

As previously reported, Nielsen, the research firm, has argued that smartphones were rapidly reaching a "groundswell" in the US, largely due to their impressive functionality and the explosive uptake of applications.

Looking forward, it predicted that smartphones would take a 50% share of the market by the penultimate quarter of 2011.


Data sourced from Millennial Media/eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff