Apple’s (s AAPL) iPod Touch devices might have been a hot gift over the holidays, according the data released by AdMob, a mobile advertising start-up. Apparently the iPod Touch requests more than tripled worldwide from November to December, with a particularly large spike in requests the week after Christmas. So much so, it is now the second most popular device in the AdMob network, with 4.7 percent share. iPhone is still the most popular device.
The U.S. accounted for 70 percent of iPod Touch requests in December. iPod Touch showed good growth in Canada, the UK, Mexico, Germany and France. Combined, the iPhone and iPod Touch represent 15.5 percent of all worldwide requests. In the U.S., the iPhone OS (if you include the iPod Touch) now accounts for 48 percent of the smartphone market.
The strong sales (as indicated by the sudden spike after Christmas) of iPod Touch would make this device a bit of an x-factor in the smartphone business. Today, Apple may not be able to sell as many smartphones as RIM (s RIMM) or Nokia (s NOK), but it can still offer its app developers a bigger pool of users, thanks to the iPod Touch. In doing so, it keeps the iTunes App Store relevant, which attracts more applications. It was earlier reported that sales of apps jumped right after Christmas.
Source: AdMob Metrics Report, Dec 2008.
The iPod Touch makes a lot of sense for people who don’t want to sign up for an expensive and lengthy two-year plan for the iPhone, who simply can’t stand the patchy nature of the AT&T (s T) network, or who simply want a thinner device with longer battery life. I have been so frustrated by the AT&T network, and like millions of others I often end up using Wi-Fi to surf the web, check the email or simply use Truphone. I can do all that on an iPod Touch. So now I am considering getting rid of the iPhone and switching to a simpler voice-only service from either Sprint (s S) or Verizon (s VZ).
In closing, despite a slight plateau in the web traffic emanating from iPod Touch, it is still up considerably, and over a period of time, the iPod Touch will become an increasingly important booster of the mobile web.