NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google's (GOOG) mobile operating system Android already accounts for three-quarters of all smartphones sold in the world and dominates the ecosystem for app downloads.
Recent reports released by two research firms indicate that Google's Android could also become a substantial source of revenue for the company. According to a report by Opera Mediaworks, Android has surpassed Apple's (AAPL) iOS, a mobile operating system, in terms of revenue generated from mobile advertising.
Android accounted for nearly 45.8% of the total mobile advertising market, as compared to iOS, which was responsible for approximately 45.3% of the market, according to Opera Mediaworks.
"Android overtook iOS in total monetization but still lags Apple's iOS in revenue per impression, as per our latest report," says Mahi De Silva, CEO of Opera Mediaworks. "The trend line suggests that Android will achieve parity with iOS over time."
If this happens, Google's mobile operating system could become a substantial revenue earner for the company. For comparison, Google's arch rival Apple generated sales of nearly half a billion dollars from its App Store in the form of apps and in-app purchases over New Year's Day 2015. In addition, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company paid out $10 billion to developers last year.
Another recent report, this time by research firm Digi-Capital, states that Android generated more revenue than iOS in 2014. According to the report, the Chinese app store market, which consists of multiple versions of Android, tilted the scales in favor of Google's operating system.
Tim Merel, managing director at Digi-Capital, says the competition in China puts both Apple's App Store and Google's Google Play in the minority of app downloads globally. This is because China's Android app store is fragmented between four major players -Baidu, Qihoo 360, Tencent, and Wandoujia.