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Though recent growth in the US smartphone market has sparked increased interest in the mobile-ad market, mobile internet users – and especially iPhone users – are only about half as likely as non-mobile internet users to click on ads, according to a study of 92 million ad impressions by online advertising network Chitika.


The study of the same ads on different media found that non-mobile ads held steady with a 0.83% click-through rate (CTR), while mobile ads as a whole pulled a mere 0.48% – slightly more than half of the average.

Click-Throughs by Mobile Operating System

Of the five major smartphone operating systems – Google’s Android, Apple’s iPhone, Microsoft’s Windows CE, Palm OS, and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry, iPhone ranked the worst for clickthrough rate at 0.30%. The group which clicked on ads the most is the “other” group, comprised mainly of BlackBerry users and a small handful of other phone operating systems (including Symbian, Nokia, and HTC):


Despite the low CTR, the iPhone? accounted for the bulk of internet browsing, at 66%:


The low CTRs for mobile, according to Chitika, suggest that mobile users are not as receptive to advertising, perhaps because of their propensity to be searching for quick answers or directions.

Earlier this month, Gartner predicted that mobile ad spending would grow 74% in 2009.

About the study: The study compared the same ads on different media, and did not compare standard online advertising with mobile-oriented ads. Of the 92 million impressions in the study, approximately 1.3 million (1.5%) came from mobile browsing.

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