Android Overtake Apple as the Leading OS on Mobile Ad Network

The Mobile Phone war continues into 2011 with Android showing the most progress.

Mobile advertising network Millenial Media announced today that the Android OS has surpassed Apple’s iOS as the leading smartphone OS on its network.

The news lends further support for a prediction Gartner Research made in September: that the open-source Android OS would be the leading smartphone OS by 2014.

Android phones outsold iPhones for the first time in early 2010, and a report from Nielsen recently revealed that Android (Android) increased its share of new smartphone buyers between January and November while Apple’s share remained about steady and BlackBerry’s decreased.

Part of Android’s advantage is that it runs on devices from multiple manufacturers, while Apple’s and RIM’s operating systems run only on their devices. Apple is still Millenial network’s leading manufacturer with about 21% market share.

At least on Millenial’s network, however, Android is getting a lot of attention from advertisers. Android ad requests grew 141% from Q3 to Q4 of 2010 while Apple requests grew 12% and RIM requests grew 60%. Android apps also dominated, accounting for 55% of revenue from application platforms.

These stats only apply to Millenial’s network, which the company says reaches about 80% of the mobile phone-carrying U.S. population. But given recent trends, we wouldn’t be surprised to find out that other networks are seeing similar shifts in smartphone market share. It will be interesting to see if next month’s release of the iPhone for Verizon can pull iOS back into the lead.