Google Apple Mobile Competition Heats Up

Google-acquired AdMob has seen iPhone drop-off countered by Android rise

By Jackson West
|  Friday, May 14, 2010  |  Updated 4:15 PM PDT
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Good Night, Minus the iPad or Laptop

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Google had better hope Android phones like the HTC Nexus One sell well enough to keep subsidiary AdMob's mobile advertising market share growing.

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When Google purchased mobile advertising company AdMob for $750 million, it was after Apple had already kicked the tires, and is rumored to have made Apple CEO Steve Jobs rather angry.

Or angrier, as after partnering with Google on many other fronts, the latter company turned around and started competing first with the iPhone operating system with Android, and then the iPhone hardware, with HTC's Nexus One.

Apple countered by buying Quattro Wireless, which is assumed to have been the base upon which its new iAd advertising platform for the iPhone will be built.

So how is the mobile advertising battle faring? Well, AdMob has released data showing that shortly after the Google acquisition, the percentage of advertising it served to iPhones has shrunk, while the number served to phones running Android has risen.

However, Apple could hobble AdMob by exclusively allowing certain data only to advertisers using its iAd platform, making the ads AdMob serves to iPhones much less valuable.

In order to make up for that loss, Google has to hope that projections of all phones running Android outnumbering the iPhone will prove true as AdMob's iPhone market share slides.

As for Google's attempts to change the way mobile phones are sold? Well, its online store for the Nexus One is being shuttered.

Might be time to break out the beanbags and primary color paint and open a "Google Store."

Jackson West figures this is the Apple versus Microsoft battle 2.0.

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