Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones have long been the go-to device for developers to create apps. That's because iPhone users spend more money on their devices than Android users.
But as Android's market share has grown around the world, the gap between Android's ad revenue and Apple's ad revenue has begun to close.
According a report released last week by Opera MediaWorks, in Q1 2015, the Android platform brought in 45.77% of total mobile advertising revenue, compared to Apple's 45.44%.
Android has long outpaced iOS in traffic, but Opera noted that this is the first time the platform has outpaced Apple's ad revenue overall.
And as Re/code recently pointed out, advertising revenue isn't the only area where Android is overtaking iOS. New research from Digi-Capital shows that when app sales from Android stores in China are factored in, Apple's App Store now falls behind Android in total app sales as well.
Where Apple's still winning
Despite Android pulling ahead of iOS in total revenue, Apple still has two advantages over Android and the devices running it.
The first is that Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are selling very well in China right now. In Q4 2014, Apple was the top smartphone vendor in the country by units shipped and in the most recently ended quarter, Apple sold more iPhones in China than in the U.S. So while Chinese app stores helped push Android ahead of Apple recently, the iPhone maker's recent success in China could give it an edge over Android app sales this year.
Secondly, in terms of revenue per ad impression, the best way to spend an ad dollar is still on an iOS device. Opera said in its report that iOS still leads in revenue per impressions, and that the iPad "generates the highest revenue per impression of any device/platform combination."
The bottom line
While Android is clearly making some gains on Apple's mobile OS, there's still not much for Apple to be concerned about.
Apple's growing command of the Chinese market and vast app ecosystem is more than enough to ensure that developers create apps for the company's devices at the same time as (or before) they develop for Android. As for advertising, Apple's higher revenue per ad impression for both its tablets and phones is an easy sell for advertisers looking to get the highest return for their ad dollars.
This should reassure investors that Apple's products continue to be some of the most sought-after in the mobile market, and that its lead in the space won't go away any time soon.
Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Google (A shares), and Google (C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google (A shares), and Google (C shares). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.