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Samsung Galaxy S3 drives Android mobile ad impression dominance

The 2012 holiday season helped boost mobile ad impressions and revenue during Q4, with Android devices leading the charge, according to Opera's latest State of Mobile Advertising report.

Based on impressions gathered by the Opera Mediaworks ad platform - which serves more than 50 billion ad impressions per month via 12,000 mobile sites and apps - mobile publishers pulled in $400 million (£253.7m) in 2012.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 - which now makes up 9 per cent of Android traffic - helped Android emerge late in 2012 as the top mobile phone OS in terms of ad impression volume. It topped iOS on that front by about 2 percentage points, but iOS was still king in terms of monetisation and traffic.

Apple's iOS made up 42 per cent of all mobile device traffic on the web browser's systems. Android came in second at 31 per cent, followed by "other" with 14 per cent, Symbian with 9 per cent, and BlackBerry with less than 4 per cent.

The United States continued its lead in mobile ad impressions, topping Indonesia, which held its second-place position, as the UK jumped one spot to number three in the fourth quarter.

The Russian Federation pushed Canada — formerly number three — out of the top five, which India helped to round out. Russia, in fact, was listed by Opera as one of the fastest growing emerging markets, along with the Ukraine.

Regionally, North America continues to drive the majority of ad requests, totalling 64 per cent, though the company admits that the continent's lead is shrinking, compared to the third quarter 2012's 70 per cent lead. Europe and the Asia Pacific region are neck-in-neck, both carrying 14 per cent of total impressions.

Meanwhile, consumption of music and video shifted in the last quarter from desktops to mobile devices — good news for digital publishers, Opera said. Earning the greatest number of mobile impressions (21 per cent), the Music, Video, and Media category, paired with Arts and Entertainment, led in monetisation — each accounting for more than 17 per cent of revenue. Business and Finance continues to produce the most revenue per impression.