Android device activations unofficially surpass 1 billion mark

By , Jul 20, 2013

android_devices

A few months ago, Google announced at its Google I/O developer conference that lifetime Android device activations had reached the 900 million mark. At the time, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt also confirmed that those activations were occurring at a rate of 1.5 million devices per day, a number that Google CEO Larry Page echoed during the search company’s second quarter earnings call on Thursday.

At that rate, there have been approximately 100,500,000 Android devices activated since the Google I/O keynote on May 15th, meaning that total activations should have exceeded the 1 billion plateau as of this weekend. An important caveat to remember, however, is that Android activations presumably fluctuate each day, meaning that these numbers are just approximate measures. There has been no official word yet from Google, but this is big news…

Google showed the above video at its Google I/O keynote on May 15th

This is an important milestone for Google to have achieved. Considering that Android devices only totalled 400 million as of Google I/O 2012, it has been a remarkable 14 months for the Mountain View-based company. Under the new leadership of Sundar Pichai, the Android division has experienced incredible growth, and is becoming increasingly competitive with the iPhone and other competing platforms.

The first half of this year has been witness to the release of two flagship Android smartphones in the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, alongside Google Editions of those devices running stock Android Jelly Bean. Those handsets, along with a myriad of other Android smartphones and tablets available on the market, have contributed immensely to the surging adoption rate of the Android platform.

To put the 1 billion activations number into perspective, it means that 1 in every 7 people worldwide have an Android device of some sort. Comparatively, there have been just over 600 million iOS devices sold to date — a number that should get higher when Apple announces its own second quarter earnings results next Tuesday. Windows Phone and BlackBerry remain paltry in comparison.

As the percentage of smartphone sales compared to feature phones continues to rise, offset by consumers becoming less excited about the latest and greatest devices, the next few years will be particularly interesting for both Google and the broader mobile space. I am curious to see what efforts Apple, Google, Samsung and other tech companies — perhaps Motorola — will take to remain competitive in the market.

Will the next 1 billion be more challenging than the first?

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  • William Melendez

    Two of those I returned back . Went back to my iphone !

    • Yunsar

      I think I already know the answer but just asking why?

      • William Melendez

        I gave Samsung GS4 a chance. Phenomenal phone I must admit. Android isn’t that bad but I feel like IOS is more stable. The main reason I had to go to back was managing my music on my mac with iTunes. I have a huge library and it was a headache managing my music with android. I like to have my music organize with music art covers and it was just a pain with Android. I had to do multiple steps just to sync my tunes , a simple task.

      • erod434

        What multiple steps did you have to do on your gs4 for music? All it is is drag and drop like a flash drive.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        He said he likes to keep things organised which is difficult to do without some sort of management software (e.g. iTunes). Then again It’s possible to use iTunes to organise music and then simply drag and drop them on to the device so yeah if you’re point was it’s not difficult to manage music on an Android device you’re probably right…

      • jilex

        but on android theres an app to transfer music with iTunes (really) and also there are some players that let you put artwork, like player pro, from inside the app

      • Phil Randle

        I have to agree with this, a lot of people say the reason that hate iphone’s is iTunes, but that is one of the reasons I like it so much.

        I have 11TB of Data in my iTunes and I have over 50 Smart Folders set up so I can easily sync certain songs over to my device according to what type of music I want. (eg: Running, Parties etc) sure you cant drag and drop, but that kind of defeats the purpose, iTunes helps me keep all the music I have built up over the years organised, all with cover art and lyrics.

        and one of the BIGGEST features that goes understated is iTunes in the cloud, because a lot of my music is purchased even if they aren’t hard synced to my device I still have access to it if I want to stream it.

      • Kurt

        Why not just put all 11TB on your iPhone…thats what I would do ;)

      • Phil Randle

        haha you must have access to some seriously special iPhone that we all don’t have to fit that much stuff on it.

      • Mike0001

        Amazon Cloud player. Heard of that? Plus the tracks are cheaper from Az than from iTunes.

      • @siz

        you don’t like android because you are too busy with your iPhone. ;)

    • CrAppleJinxer

      Your point being what? lol… that somehow Apple never has iphones deactivated and socked away in drawers all over the World. Yeah…. right, because they do and the hard cold reality is that for every iPhone sold one gets tossed in a drawer. Because…. right now it’s only estimated that there are only around 250 Million iPhones in active use on carriers all over the World!

      When Android has activated that many in less than 6 months alone. The really stark and dark reality for Apple is only iDiots like YOU continue to fall for their One Style Chairman Mao Suit for everybody Apple iPhones. Just like in it’s Garden Walled Prison Suited iOS where only the color of the icons and lines of them change to copy what Android and Windows phones have been doing for ages!

      What’s really hilarious is that Apple succeeds only by stealing iideas from from it’s competitors. Samsung makes larger screens popular and uses polycarbonate plastics and Apple is finally learning what the Astronauts who landed on the Moon found out ages ago. That with an expanded view of the World through the larger visionary eyes of ultra durable polycarbonate plastic, not only were thier eyes better protected, but these plastic covers could be removed or easily replaced and provided far greater access and durability than any hardened glass ever createed! ……and now even the Buggati Veyron (most expensive car in the World) is using Polycarbonate in their super expensive removable plastic roof.

      Now just to add insult to injury….. nothing made with the cheap recycled beer can die cast aluminum in new iScratchGate and iBendOverEasy iPhone or iPad Minis will ever take a bullet for you like Polycarbonate Plastic can!!!! ;-P

  • mehrab

    At wwdc they said 600 ios devices have been sold or maybe they said 800 i cant remember considering the fact that there are only 16 ios devices and all of them are “not cheaply priced at all” they pit up agaisnt androids cheap-medium-high priced devices from hundereds of manucfacters really well (in terms of sales)

    • Mike0001

      Like those iPhone 5S phones that cost about $200 to manufacture, you mean, but sell for up to $1,000?

      • mehrab

        The price of an iphone 5s off contract is 649 usd in my home country it is over 800 or 900 some times the reasons to that are PURELY BCOS of TAX,STORE CREDIT,DEMAND lets not forget shipping charges. Android is a very cheap os buying it will cost very less then buying iOS the same goes for windows as well so android manucfactures get android feom google on their phone FOR FREE and just layer a crappy skin on it add some features spec it up and sell it what at the same price or 50 dollrs cheaper lol?
        Ios is pricey bcos you cant get it no where else
        It stands the test of time
        You get updates everywhere
        It is the most popular high end os
        Its the smoothest easiest most inutuive with the best app store.
        Btw india now sells iphone 5s”s under contract for 2 years with unlimited talk time sms and 3g internet FOR THE PRICE OF A FREE 5s APPLE MADE THAT HAPPEN COS THEY WANTED INDIAN MARKET
        Most countries like egypt the govterment there dont allow PHONE CONTRACTS.

  • Boss

    97.8% of them Android phones are cheap and garbage

    • mehrab

      Yeah maybe 85 percent 97.5 seems a bit much

    • Yunsar

      Yeah most of them are some cheap companies running gingerbread

    • Dan

      while we’re pulling random statistics out of our @sses, I believe that there is a 99% chance you’re mistaken

      • iosPixel

        A 30% your sphincter will never function properly again with all this fact pulling.

    • Mike0001

      Like the iPhone 5S which costs about $200 to manufacture, but sells for up to $1,000? Now THAT is cheap garbage!

  • pauleebe

    I’m more interested in the % of devices sold that can use the most recent firmware.

    Or the % of devices sold that aren’t sitting at a bottom of a trash bin right now.

    • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

      There’s always CFW. Official GS2 is still on gingerbread, but there’s been CFW options to go to jellybean.

  • Ernie Marin

    this growth isn’t because of Sundar, it’s because ios has become boring, and this is coming from an iphone owner, if anything the apps are the only thing keeping ios active, but now days one game could take almost 10% of the space for any 16gb iphone 5, leaving us with little space for things like movies and music unless you have 1 game at a time.

    • Raul Henriquez

      Then you must not know how to use an iPhone

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Precisely. For starters if he had ever used iTunes on his PC or Mac at any moment in time he’d probably be aware of iTunes Match which allows for hundreds and thousands of music to be stored in the cloud and be streamed on demand eliminating the need for music to be stored on the device itself…

      • Raul Henriquez

        Exactly and with
        iOS 7 you can even stream movies you’ve purchased.

      • Dan

        Not everyone lives in the states and has access to unlimited data. This wouldn’t be an option for me.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Sounds like the only option you’d have then would be to buy a device with more memory (which is stupidly expensive for some unknown reason) or compress your music / files so that it is no longer hearable / useable…

      • Dan

        I opted for a phone that supports microsd :)

    • Dan

      I agree, I didn’t dislike IOS (still have an iPad since I agree the apps are better), but I got bored. My phone is now android.

      • Rowan09

        I own both and I would like to know what’s so exciting about Android? Both OS are basically the same the only thing to separate them is the App Store, which IOS by far owns.

      • Dan

        well I enjoy having access to system files, being able to customize the look (themes), I enjoy widgets, there are tons of things you can adjust to your liking (such as default apps for mail/pictures/gallery/browser, I can expand memory with microsd, I can buy a more powerful battery for long trips, I can even download torrents… that’s in a nutshell. Also I was fed up with always having to jailbreak.

      • Kurt

        Larger screen! MicroSD, extra battery, thermometer (should be in Note 3 since it’s in GS4), split screen are some of the reasons I’m excited about switching to Android. Plus here in Korea, I get DMB on the Note, my old feature phone from years ago had DMB to watch local TV and Radio is quite nice

  • seyss

    someone made an android app that is in a loop telling google a device is being activated every second

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Proof or it didn’t happen…

    • Kash Gummaraju

      or you can stop being a hater

  • Ernie Marin

    “I am curious to see what efforts Apple, Google, Samsung and other tech companies — perhaps Motorola — will take to remain competitive in the market.”
    does he know that google,samsung and motorola are practically the same thing right, samsung makes the devices that run androind that use google, so does motorola with the droid. Also there are so many android phones out there it’s almost stupid, they have like 1 different models of the same phone, the S4 alone already has like 5 differents models, also most of those activations have probably been on the free with new contract phones most companies like T-Mobile give so there really isn’t that much of a gain.

    • http://www.iDownloadBlog.com Sebastien

      The point Joe is making is what will these companies do to remain competitive? It doesn’t matter that Samsung sells mostly Android devices. What will Samsung do to keep selling phones? Same questions apply to Apple.

    • Kash Gummaraju

      if you walk into stores nowadays you won’t see free new contract phones for like the majority of the store, even though you go all the way back there might be at max ten cheap crappy phones. Everywhere else is filled with flagship phones and old flagships

  • Liam Mulcahy

    The only reason for that is too many people buy their cheap ass phones

    • Joseph

      Because the economy sucks. Stop wasting your money on a highly priced phone and donate to a hobo or something.

      • Rowan09

        1 billion activations does not mean sold. Most Android phones are free giveaways so this number is a big mixture of free and sold. Congrats to Google nevertheless.

  • Kenny Woodard

    Does anyone else want the simplicity and reliability of an iPhone 5 / 5s with stock android 4.3? I would love that.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Android != simplicity & reliability

    • Kash Gummaraju

      4.3 isn’t out yet, what you’re hearing and seeing is a leaked build, so go ahead compare a leaked unstable build to a build that has been virtually unchanged for many years, and the beta isn’t out yet so we can’t count it in comparisions

      • Joseph

        No confirmation of it being unstable, it’s presumably pretty much the final release.

      • Kash Gummaraju

        it’s been leaked, of course it’s unstable

      • Joseph

        It’s been leaked from a replacement Nexus 4. Just because it’s in testing doesn’t mean IR’s unstable, given that it’s likely to be announced this week at the Google event.

      • Rowan09

        Why are you hear on an i blog? Obviously your a Droid owner. I own both but you take the crown for being a fan. Android did not change must since its inception so this nonsense talk like the Droid OS changed so much is far from true. Widgets been around forever on Droids other than that the OS looks basically the same but who cares as long as it work that’s the point.

      • Joseph

        I own both iOS and Android devices. I personally respect Apple and their devices, but given that I’ve had nothing but good experiences with Android as well, I feel inclined to defend it from mindless iSheeps that feel the need to be the first people to start a flame war that didn’t need to start.

      • Mike0001

        Yes it is out. Also 4.4 is out. 4.3 is very stable, unlike iOS7, ioS7.0.1, iOS7.0.2, iOS7.0.3, …

    • Mike0001

      I am sure there must be an Android Launcher that dumbs it down to iOS, unless Apple have banned it.

  • abdullah575

    This is iDownloadblog !! you should talk about iOS not android !!!

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      “…While the main focus is Apple, iDB sometimes covers major
      industry-related events and companies that play in the same space as
      Apple’s, including, Google, Microsoft, etc…”

      idownloadblog(DOT)com/about

    • Dan

      Some people like to be informed about both sides. Phandroid, a site dedicated to android often hosts information about Apple ;)

      • Joseph

        Understandable, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying when both sides automatically jump behind their sandbags and start firing insults at each other.

      • Dan

        Of course, I agree. I have both android/IOS devices and agree that both have their strengths.

    • Joseph

      This. This news is relevant, but not to Apple. I posted something like this on their Twitter but got no response.

  • iamnotfan

    Great news
    Wrong blog