How the mobile landscape changed in the smartphone era

It’s a given that the mobile world is transforming before our eyes with the emergence of smartphones and tablets. But sometimes, it’s good to take a second and look at how it’s all evolving.

That’s what mobile advertising company¬†Millennial Media has done with its 50th mobile intelligence report, which highlights some of changes that have occurred since the company began its S.M.A.R.T. and Mobile Mix reports in March 2009. It’s an arbitrary point in time, but it marks an era in which the smartphones have gone from techie tools to almost mainstream devices.

Here’s a look at some of the interesting numbers and figures Millennial has pulled up:

  • 60 percent of the devices that Millennial serves ads to have a touch screen. Only 33 percent of the devices had a touch screen in March 2009.
  • All 20 of the top phones are now smartphones. When Millennial began counting in 2009, smartphones were only 9 of the top 20 phones.
  • The top three manufacturers in 2009 were Samsung (21.6 percent), LG (12.52 percent) and Apple (s aapl) (11.35 percent). Now its Apple (30.76 percent), Samsung (14.94 percent) and RIM (s rimm) (11.76 percent)
  • Mobile ads have evolved: 52 percent of ad campaigns actions lead to visiting a site compared to 15 percent in 2009. Click-to-call actions have gone from 1 percent to 37 percent. And app downloads have gone from 3 percent to 23 percent.
  • Six verticals — finance, retail/restaurants, pharmaceuticals, automotive, entertainment and travel – experienced triple digit growth year over year from Q2 2010 to Q2 2011. Finance grew by 1,095 percent while retail/restaurants grew by 956 percent and pharmaceuticals grew by 426 percent.

The numbers paint a broader picture of how smartphones, led by the iPhone have changed the mobile landscape, pushing aside feature phones. Millennial ads are now more likely to be hitting people on smartphones, particularly touch screen devices. And the ads themselves have changed as the devices and the campaigns have become more sophisticated.

This is just a small snapshot but it shows how the landscape is evolving and what the opportunities are, especially as companies look to increase their spending on mobile advertising.

Millennial also reported that Android (s goog) continues to be the leading smartphone OS by impressions with 53 of impressions in Q2, ahead of iOS at 27 percent. Smartphones make up 67 percent of all impressions on devices while connected devices such as tablets and the iPod Touch make up 17 percent of all impressions.