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Android Mobile Ad Fraud Rates Up to 200% Higher Than iOS

Our Q1 2017 ad fraud benchmark insights yesterday revealed that ad fraud rates can vary greatly between tablets and smartphones, both in-app and on the web.

Today’s insight uncovers that this is true across all major operating system, including Android, iOS, and Windows.

Additionally, we’ll share which operating systems are more susceptible to ad fraud.

Android inventory is up to 3x more likely to be fraudulent compared to Apple’s iOS inventory


Our study also reveals that discrepancies between ad fraud rates across the various mobile operating systems.

  • Android’s smartphone ad fraud rate of 38% is 1.8x higher than Apple’s rate of 21%
  • Android’s tablet ad fraud rate of 19% is over 3x higher than Apple’s rate of 6%

Android mobile advertising inventory is typically more susceptible to ad fraud when compared to Apple’s iOS because Android is an open source platform, whereas Apple is a closed system. In many ways, Android is the Wild Wild West, while Apple has stronger evaluation and monitoring criteria.

  • Most non-U.S. Android users are accustomed to downloading Android apps from third-party app stores, which have little to no quality checks
  • Once an app grows in popularity, the app is quickly reskinned and uploaded to same app store or other third-party app stores for maximum coverage
  • Bad apps usually have a short lifespan and try to gain access to maximum permissions on the users' device for rogue purposes
  • Smartphone devices in developing countries sometimes come with malware pre-installed that are from info-stealers and rough ad networks or mobile ransomware rings

Smartphone ad inventory is at least 2x more likely to be fraudulent across all major operating systems


Across all operating systems — Android, iOS, and Windows — smartphone ad inventory (across web and apps) was at least 2x more likely to be fraudulent compared to tablet inventory.

  • Android: Smartphone ad inventory is 2x more likely to be fraudulent than tablet inventory
  • iOS: Smartphone ad inventory is 3.7x more likely to be fraudulent than tablets
  • Windows: Smartphone ad inventory is 10x more likely to be fraudulent than tablets

Download the list of mobile platforms with the best inventory quality in March.

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This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting Pixalate's Quarterly Global Ad Fraud Benchmarks for Q1 2017. Sign up for our blog to learn more.

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