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A Manic Start to a Very Mobile Week

This is shaping up to be a big week for mobile. Across several areas--advertising, location-based services, devices--there's a lot going on in the manic mobile market right now. Here's a round-up:

On Tuesday, Millennial Media, an AdMob competitor, acquired TapMetrics, a key player in mobile analytics. The deal will allow the company to move into real-time marketing, something major advertisers are drooling over--in part a motive behind moves like Yahoo's deal with Twitter. The company claims to reach 80% of the mobile market, so watch out AdMob and Quattro Wireless, which were bought, respectively, by Google and Apple last year for a total of around $1 billion combined. (For its part, AdMob claims to have served 161 billion ads, but all of this is apples and oranges, and buying a metrics firm so that they're on your side isn't going to help this discrepancy all that much.)

If you'd like your mobile ads audible, TargetSpot an online radio advertising network, launched a mobile platform on Monday, announcing at the same time a deal with Slacker Radio. TargetSpot already boasts online deals with MySpace and AOL Music.

It wasn't such a good week for Palm, however. I know: Who? Last year, analysts were expecting the mobile device and software maker to have some sort of rebound. Its stock price fell 7.2 percent on Tuesday as it announced a decline in sales.

Many more mobile deals were announced--there is probably one new announcement every 30 minutes, but that's just a guess--as were predictions on the size of the market. Juniper Research said that location-based mobile services will reach $12.7 billion in revenue by 2014. Gartner and eMarketer have parsed out the mobile ad market at a more conservative $1.56 billion by 2013.

Most fascinating in the area of data are charts published by Ars Technica on worldwide mobile phone market share and smartphone OS share. Not what you'd expect: iPhone what? (See the other chart, on OS share, here.)

Globally, Apple phone sales are so small they appear as Other.
The reality is that smartphones are still a smaller portion of the overall mobile device market. Within that context, Apple grew its overall share to 2.1% from 1.2% in 2008, according to Gartner, which also supplied the chart data above. A small slice of the market, for sure, but with smartphone unit sales growing 23.8% last year while the overall mobile sales market dropped, Apple has good reason to insist it is a mobile company: COO Tom Cook, at this week's Goldman Sachs tech conference in San Francisco, said, "Yes, you should definitely look at Apple as a mobile-device company," following up on Jobs' iPad launch comment: "Apple is the largest mobile devices company in the world now." With talk like that, it is going to be one mad mobile year.

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