Facebook ad profit a staggering 1,790% more on Apple iPhone than Android

“A 200-billion ad study on Facebook advertising says that mobile ads on iPhone generate 1790 percent more return on investment than ads on Android,” John Koetsier reports for VentureBeat. “Even worse [for those not named Apple], advertising on Android actually costs more than it returns.”

“The study is by Nanigans, one of the biggest buyers of Facebook ads, and it focuses on retailers, saying that in the past year on Facebook’s desktop ads clickthroughs are up 375 percent and overall return on investment is 152 percent,” Koetsier reports. “But it’s when the report focuses on mobile advertising that the really surprising numbers pop up.”

Koetsier reports, “‘Retailers are realizing significantly greater return from audiences on iOS than audiences on Android,’ the report says. ‘For the first three quarters of 2013, RPC (revenue per click) on iOS averaged 6.1 times higher than Android and ROI (return on investment) on iOS averaged 17.9 times higher than Android.'”

Nanigans: Retail Facebook Mobile ROI by OS
Source: Nanigans
Nanigans: Retail Facebook Mobile ROI by OS
Source: Nanigans

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we explained last year:

It’s the marketing, stupid.

Android is pushed to users who are, in general:

a) confused about why they should be choosing an iPhone over an inferior knockoff and therefore might be less prone to understand/explore their devices’ capabilities or trust their devices with credit card info for shopping; and/or
b) enticed with “Buy One Get One Free,” “Buy One, Get Two or More Free,” or similar offers.

Neither type of customer is the cream of the crop when it comes to successful engagement or coveted demographics; closer to the bottom of the barrel than the top, in fact. Android can be widespread and still demographically inferior precisely because of the way in which and to whom Android devices are marketed. Unending BOGO promos attract a seemingly unending stream of cheapskate freetards just as inane, pointless TV commercials about robots or blasting holes in concrete walls attract meatheads and dullards, not exactly the best demographics unless you’re peddling muscle building powders or grease monkey overalls.

Google made a crucial mistake: They gave away Android to “partners” who pushed and continue to push the product into the hands of the exact opposite type of user that Google needs for Android to truly thrive. Hence, Android is a backwater of second-rate, or worse, app versions that are only downloaded when free or ad-supported – but the Android user is notoriously cheap, so the ads don’t sell for much because they don’t work very well. You’d have guessed that Google would have understood this, but you’d have guessed wrong.

Google built a platform that depends heavily on advertising support, but sold it to the very type of customer who’s the least likely to patronize ads.

iOS users are the ones who buy apps, so developers focus on iOS users. iOS users buy products, so accessory makers focus on iOS users. iOS users have money and the proven will to spend it, so vehicle makers focus on iOS users. Etcetera. Android can have the “Hee Haw” demographic. Apple doesn’t want it or need it; it’s far more trouble than it’s worth.

Related articles:
Apple flagship iPhone 5s dominates sales at big 4 U.S. carriers, iPhone 5c close behind – October 4, 2013
iOS dominates Android: 75 cents of every dollar spent on mobile advertising is spent on Apple iOS devices – April 19, 2013
Android owners aren’t real smartphone owners – March 12, 2013
iPhone users watch twice as much online video as those with Android phones – March 12, 2013
Where are the Android users? – March 11, 2013
With 78% share, Apple’s iOS tightening its grip on the enterprise and taking share from Android – March 8, 2013
Apple rules the skies with 84% in-flight share vs. Android’s 16% – March 7, 2013
Apple iPad continues domination with over 80% usage share in U.S. and Canada – March 7, 2013
comScore: Google’s Android, Samsung continue to lose U.S. share to Apple’s iOS, iPhone – March 6, 2013
Apple iOS dominates mobile video viewing with 60% share vs. Android’s 32% – February 13, 2013
Android’s Web share down 13% since November; Apple’s iOS now over 60% – February 1, 2013
Android’s unit share growth has not hurt Apple’s profit share – February 26, 2013
Apple iOS dominates mobile video viewing with 60% share vs. Android’s 32% – February 13, 2013
Android’s Web share down 13% since November; Apple’s iOS now over 60% – February 1, 2013
IDC: Apple dominates worldwide tablet market with 43.6% unit share – January 31, 2013
The Android engagement paradox – November 26, 2012
People buy more Android phone units and do less with them vs. Apple’s revolutionary iPhone – November 14, 2012
Study: iPhone users vastly outspent Android users on apps, respond much better to ads – August 20, 2012


  1. It’s cold hard statistics like these that block the stampede of developers to Android with its dominant market share, as Eric Schmidt had predicted. Guess his understanding of the situation is flawed.

    1. Android does NOT have dominant marketshare of the Smartphone market, at the very best they have a very very tiny edge over iOS in the total number of smartphone users. What they do have is a dominant position in the glorified feature phone market. Real smartphone users pick iPhones by name and as far as usage goes there’s no comparison.

      1. To hear Eric tell it, it was dominant. But I see you have picked apart the market and revealed his fallacy—he’s grouping everything that looks like a chicken into the coop and hopes developers will buy it and the press will fall for it. He’s a confidence man, a swindler.

        Why his spiel fails is that dollars drive the whole process, and his pronouncements are weak conjuring tricks that just aren’t convincing anyone that is actively trying to make a living.

    1. It just so happens that FB is the source for this data. The statistical significance would most likely be repeated on any ad platform. Bottom line: it doesn’t pay to advertise to Android owners.

      1. Go to the cult of android forum and note their explanation: iOS users are stupid and click on ads because they look like are part of the normal screen. It’s all grandmothers doing this.

        Yea stupid people get paid high wages and have greater disposable income because their stupid.

  2. You know, you are being kind of cruel to the Hee-Haw demographic. You don’t KNOW they are the ones buying Android phones. You shouldn’t call names without hard data. It is just hurtful.

    1. Agreed. The “Hee Haw” people are the salt of the Earth with strong family values and moral character. I do not believe that they would get involved with a oversea rip off of American IP. Try a different group. Maybe one that is concerned only with themselves, like free stuff paid for by other people. Yes, the Obama-Phone people may be the perfect group to use.

  3. People who buy and use iPhones understand their phones and, use their apps to perform many different functions. Their iPhones are a part of their lives.

    I don’t know about Android purchasers other than by observation in crowds. What I see is people using a plastic slab to make phone calls and occasionally take and send pictures, and to text.

    For many, an Android phone is a phone that does a few other things. For iPhone users, their iPhones are actually mini-internet portals and hand held computing devices that also make phone calls.

  4. I do not wish to see ads on my phone. In fact, I would gladly pay more to be ad free.

    The fact that iOS is a bigger honeypot for advertisers to plaster their crap on is not an advantage.

      1. The hypnotised are oblivious to irony. Marketing is hypnosis. The game is all about extracting dollars, not appealing to rationality or common sense. The Enlightened are obviously free to go elsewhere. They should not, however, expect success at the dubious project of liberating the sheep—rudely breaking down the enclosing fence, and expecting them to escape! They’ll remain, grazing placidly and ignoring the shouting of their supposed liberators, whose Enlightenment is wholly theoretical, and stubbornly unproven. There is no irony in economics, only in literature.

        1. I would suggest that the MDN take is economic irony writ large. It is posts like this that keep me hungry for more. The mirth provided brightens my day more than my feeble vocabulary will allow me to express.

  5. The returns for Google might even be worse as the biggest growth area of Android are in places like China where Google search is on less than 5% of the Android phones as most run Bidu etc.

  6. There are iPhones and there are Iphonies. Many People that buy the shameless knockoffs only buy things on discount or bogo sales. Not really the consumer you want to target…. Unless you are trying to move crap that just won’t sell otherwise.

  7. “Some customers aren’t worth having.” I was told very early in my career—I would have thought that someone at Google would have known that.
    I think a stratified demographic study would show APPL having nearly 100% of the buying smartphone users at all income levels.
    If you’re an iPhone owner, you’re a high value customer—the only customers worth having.

    1. I’ve been wondering for some time why Google seems so dense about this matter. Could it be that their hires were all in computer science and related fields? One would have expected a firm that survives on ad revenue to have a sociologist on hand, or a statistician trained in the social sciences. Do they even do market research? They don’t seem to salivate over anything except uncritically maximising eyeballs. There’s a screw loose.

        1. Oh, I’m certain they can weather any storm. Their execution seems cloudy in some areas, though overall there is low pressure to refine their instruments, since they sell our data to advertisers with barely a glance at the content

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