Ad-Wary iPhone Users?

We read some interesting research out this week from Chitika in Massachusetts, claiming that iPhone users are the least likely of all mobile users to click on an ad on their device. This contrasts starkly with their tandem finding that iPhone users account for 66% of mobile web browsing.

The survey was conducted over 92 million ad impressions and showed that in overall terms, mobile users are roughly half as likely to click on an ad than non-mobile users. The average click-through rate for iPhone users followed in the survey was a rather poor 0.30%, compared to an average of 0.8% for non-mobile users. Palm users demonstrated at CTR of almost 1%.

The view from Chitika (and it’s one we share) is that mobile users are generally unreceptive to ads as they are usually looking for quick answers to a question, looking for directions or a phone number, rather than being in a ‘browse’ mode. Perhaps there’s also something to be said of the intrusiveness of ads in the iPhone’s otherwise pure and controlled interface?

Whatever the case, it makes for an intriguing outlook, especially given the enthusiasm with which mobile advertising is being pushed by ad networks, agencies and advertisers large and small.