2022 on-device mobile advertising overview and 2023 trends

With new app sectors, device models, and marketing techniques shaping 2022, it’s crucial to stay up to date on the next big opportunities in on-device advertising. As 2023 begins, let’s explore what worked this past year and what will continue to be important.

The smartphone industry in numbers

Let’s first look at the state of the mobile ecosystem in 2022.

  • Worldwide smartphone shipments in 2022 were around 1.2 billion (1)
  • Samsung held 22% of the market share in 2022, maintaining the No. 1 position (1)
  • Total shipments of 5G-enabled smartphones were expected to reach 650 million units by the end of 2022 (2) 
  • Android maintained its position as the leading mobile operating system worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2022 with a close to 71.8% share (3)
Trends in the market 

The amount of devices sold and the technology they’re equipped with has a huge impact on what is possible with on-device advertising.

Incorporating CTV into your on-device advertising strategy 

CTV, connected TV advertising, is expected to receive huge advertising investments in 2023, growing at a rate of 27% according to MarketingDive, making it a great time to consider how you can incorporate CTV advertising into your on-device advertising strategy.  

First, with a seemingly unlimited number of streaming services available today, it’s becoming harder for users to keep up with paid subscriptions. To create a more sustainable revenue stream, many platforms are working on offering less expensive plans with an ad-supported option. 

Second, as it stands, 95% of TV ad spend comes from Fortune 500 companies focused on branding, but these companies only represent 33% of US business revenue. With TV bigger than any other social network, the channel needs to be accessible to all kinds of advertisers. CTV advertising, a performance marketing channel (WiFi has a static IP, which allows advertisers to link every device in a household), makes that possible all while delivering 900K impressions per second in the US alone.

On top of that, CTV can work in conjunction with your existing on-device advertising strategy, when the app is already on the phone, to increase engagement and retention. For example, CTV advertising can be used as a form of push notifications to encourage users to open your app for the first time or recommend a new way to engage with the app’s features. As the technology continues to evolve, more opportunities will unfold, such as opening the app directly from the CTV ad to start interacting immediately. With CTV advertising, your on-device advertising efforts could have an even greater impact. 

Listen to our podcast with Vibe, an all-in-one TV ad platform.

Using AI to create more efficient on-device advertising experiences

In the current macroeconomic climate, it’s even more critical to find ways to stand out on channels you’re already using, like on-device advertising. How? Utilizing innovative technology such as AI to make your efficient channels more efficient. 

AI will create better advertisements by writing headlines and creating ads - you can use generative AI to create text and images for your on-device advertising notifications and full-screen offer campaigns. AI can also enable predictive analytics - discovering insights, making predictions, and unifying your data - when it comes to on-device advertising, these tools can help you determine which audiences you should be reaching and how that audience is engaging on their devices. 

Most interestingly, however, is the opportunity to improve interactivity with users through creatives. For instance, a full screen on-device ad for an eCommerce app could allow users to try on various items to see which looks best. A full screen ad for a food delivery app could allow you to take a virtual tour from a nearby restaurant to your home to get a feel for how fast delivery can be. 

Today, AI is well equipped to help you drive productivity and creativity across your media mix.

Growing smartphone brands 


As of January 2023, Samsung has a market cap of $335.28 billion according to Companies Market Cap. On top of that, Samsung’s brand value was evaluated at $87.7 billion in 2022, which represents 17% growth compared to $74.6 billion in 2021, ranking the company in 5th for three years in a row on Interbrand's Best Global Brands of 2022. 

Samsung’s Galaxy Z series, where their foldable phones live, are the market leaders in the foldable space. In fact, from January to October 2022, the number of foldable smartphones Samsung contracted to enterprise customers increased by 105% compared to the same period in 2021 according to Samsung. At CES 2023, Samsung announced a new technology for foldable phones, Flex Hybrid. 

Samsung also recently unveiled the Galaxy S23 series. The main upgrade on these devices is the 200-megapixel main camera, along with the use of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, which will allow for better AI performance and power efficiency.

On top of that, while many large chip manufacturers have begun scaling back their chip production due to external concerns, Samsung will increase chip production in 2023, especially at its largest semiconductor plant in Pyeongtaek. This prepares them to take a big portion of market share as demand for chips returns to normal levels. 

Learn more about Samsung in 2023.


With the release of Google’s revolutionary Pixel 6, housing Google’s first Tensor chip, at the latter end of 2021, Google saw massive sales growth in the first half of 2022. According to Canalys, Google sales in North America were up 380% in Q1 2022 year over year and 280% in Q2 2022 year over year. For reference, leaders in market share only saw 1-4% annual growth. 

In 2022, Google iterated on the Pixel 6 with the Pixel 7, which is powered by the next-generation Google Tensor G2 processor. First of all, Pixel 7 is “sleek, sophisticated and durable” and the regular size is more compact than Pixel 6. The Pixel 7 is also being shipped with Android 13, the best Android experience yet. 

So, what’s expected in 2023? According to rumors, it might be the best year for Pixels yet, marked by the company carving its own way rather than following others. One new innovation in 2023 includes the Pixel fold, otherwise known as the Pixel notepad. With the release of this device, Google will have beaten Apple to the foldable space. Google also plans to release the Pixel Tablet, which means they’re beginning to challenge the Apple dominant tablet market. 

Along with new innovations that push the envelope, Google will also improve on their already high-performing devices. We can expect Google to release the Pixel 7a, Pixel 8, and 8 Pro throughout 2023. These are phones that will continue to appeal to the masses and keep Google in the spotlight.

Top 5 app categories using on-device advertising in 2023

It’s also important to have an idea of which app categories are on the rise, so you can learn how and why advertisers are finding success through this channel.

1. Brands with apps are investing in on-device advertising

As marketing teams face budget cuts, brands are rethinking their spend and focusing on channels where consumers are most active - mobile. 

In fact, according to Oberlo, mobile advertising spend in the US in 2023 is expected to reach $355.1 billion, surpassing $300 billion for the first time. Ultimately, now that mobile has a larger audience, higher usage levels, and is more reputable, big brands are beginning to look beyond traditional channels, to on-device advertising, to get in front of new, quality users through their phone screens. 

McDonald’s Spain achieves 64% app launch rate and drives over 34K installs with Aura

2. Food and rapid delivery apps are continuing to grow

COVID-19 accelerated the shift to ordering in from delivery apps rather than eating out. Since then, many other factors have continued to drive the food delivery app industry forward - convenience, increased demand, safety, etc. In fact, the entire food delivery app industry is expected to reach $320 billion market size by 2029 according to Business of Apps. Ultimately, with more delivery riders and route optimizations technologies, delivery is faster and cheaper than ever, driving incremental growth despite diminishing COVID-19 protocols. 

Glovo increased Aura installs by 5x and decreased CAC by 60%

Rapid delivery apps, or apps that deliver groceries within 10-30 minutes of app order, are also attracting millions of users and big name investors. Rapid delivery apps are largely operating out of major cities across the UK, US, and Europe, with a few first movers leading the market in these areas - Getir, Flink, Gorillas, Gopuff, Weezy, Dija, Jiffy, Fancy and Snappy are all notable names.

Read more about rapid delivery apps

3. Classified apps are allowing users to buy and sell wherever they are

As the economy faces uncertainty, people are spending time sifting through their belongings and making decisions about what to keep and sell. Now classified platforms, especially on mobile, represent a major opportunity for growth. 

eBay Kleinanzeigen (Classifieds) boosts installs with Aura

Subito looked to Aura to boost engagement 4x, grow scale, and diversify their user acquisition strategy

Milanuncios reduces cost per lead 47% with Aura

4. News apps are users go-to to stay updated on current events

The share of US consumers reading online news on a smartphone more than doubled between 2013 and 2022 according to Statista. “News on the go” through mobile devices has become the norm. This means that news apps are no longer an add-on to people’s typical news source, but the main character - encouraging news apps to focus on their app discovery and user acquisition strategies. We’ve seen a similar trend in Europe as well over the last year.

SmartNews drives 35 million installs and meets retention goals with Aura

How Le Figaro reduced costs 70% and reached retention goals in 3 months with Aura

5. eCommerce apps are making it easier to shop from your phone

Similarly to news apps, eCommerce apps have also seen immense growth, creating a more competitive environment - more than half of all internet traffic comes from a mobile device. This is most likely due to the effects of COVID-19, which turned people away from brick and mortar. In 2023, smartphone retail eCommerce sales are expected to pass $432 billion, up from $148 billion in 2018 according to Statista

OTTO sees over 100% MoM growth and significantly increased ROI for their ironSource Aura volume

AliExpress Russia drives over 400K installs and exceeds their KPI goals with ironSource Aura

Ozon drives over 900K installs and exceeds KPI goals with ironSource Aura

Overall, the state of the smartphone industry, key trends in the Android market, and the growing app categories, all have had an impact on the success of ironSource Aura. With on-device advertising becoming more prevalent, Aura saw a record year in 2022.

The growth of Aura 

In 2022, the team at ironSource Aura focused on expanding the on-device channel’s available touchpoints so advertisers like you can continue to drive value and meet valuable users at scale. New placements - such as the Discovery Widget that offers new apps to users directly from their device’s +1 screen on a daily basis - use contextual information to reach users in the right ways and at the best times for maximum, long-term engagement. 

ironSource Aura also expanded to new carrier and telco partners in 2022 beyond our current partnerships with Samsung, Vodafone, Orange, and Boost - announcing our Samsung partnership in MENA

It’s been an incredibly successful year thanks to both our advertiser and telco partners. Looking forward to continued success in 2023!

Full list of Aura’s on-device advertising content from 2022

Case Studies



Inspired Square

Dish Retail Wireless engages its 8M customers with Aura


Launching a new report "5G: The consumer perspective"

4 ways advertisers can optimize their 5G on-device advertising strategy

The mobile advertising ecosystem in Spain

How agencies can drive incremental growth through mobile on-device campaigns

How to leverage on-device advertising to create a frictionless install experience

7 questions to ask yourself when evaluating a new user acquisition channel 

The first 30 days of an on-device campaign

Looking to boost your game’s LTV? Try an on-device advertising campaign

No guts, no glory: MAD//Fest 2022 with ironSource Aura

The 3 most important KPIs running an on-device acquisition campaign

An inside look at the Japanese mobile economy

The what, why and how of web-to-app acquisition campaigns


Hospitality Tech | Four Ways Hospitality Marketers Can Innovate in the Post-Pandemic Future via a Mobile App

RCR Wireless News | The new device experience: How mobile carriers successfully ‘get in’ on the app economy

TotalRetail | How to Leverage Your App to Get More Customers


Adam Hadi, Current | How to deeply integrate influencer marketing into your product

Jean-François Grang, Purchasely | How to succeed with a subscription monetization model for your app

Dave Edwards, Audiomack | Bridging the knowledge gap between music creators and the app economy

Andre Kempe, Admiral Media | Back to the basics: How will performance marketing survive?

Tobias Boerner, Fastic | The real people behind your app: community-based apps and the growth loop

Peter Fodor, AppAgent | Storytelling and mobile apps: a tale as old as time

Karan Bhavnani, Tripledot | Growth trends: team structure and experimentation in a high growth environment

Greg Turtle, What3Words | Gaining a growth edge with media for equity deals

Adrienne Rice & Sarah Chafer, M&C Saatchi Performance | What consumers want from brands this holiday season

Thomas Petit | How to optimize your subscription app today to grow tomorrow


Back to school shopping trends for your app or brand in 2022

Travel is back in-style: 6 trends advertisers should keep in mind in 2022

8 key findings to help you master your holiday advertising strategy


Building your 3 pronged holiday UA strategy: Creatives, offerwall, and on-device advertising


5G: The Consumer Perspective

On-device advertising 101: A report by Singular and ironSource Aura

The 2022 modern mobile consumer: app discovery and monetization

The mobile marketers’ guide to mastering the holiday season


  1. Canalys 
  2. Qualcomm
  3. Statista
Let's put these tips to good use

Promote your app directly on devices with Aura