Android Phones Pass 700,000 Activations Per Day, Approaching 250 Million Total

Android just keeps ramping up higher and higher. Andy Rubin tweeted yesterday that there are now more than 700,000 Android phones activated every single day, which is up from 500,000 activations per day last June. You can see how steep the ramp has been over the past three years by looking at the chart up top, which comes from Horace Dediu at Asymco.

Dediu estimates that the total cumulative number of Android devices activated so far is between 224 million and 253 million. To put this in perspective, last October, Apple announced a cumulative total of 250 million iOS devices sold. But that number includes iPods and iPads.

If you look at only iPhones, Apple was selling only about 190,000 a day, based on the 17 million iPhones sold last quarter. That number did not include sales of the iPhone 4S, which sold at a rate of 1.3 million a day its first three days on sale. We won’t find out until Apple’s next earnings report how many iPhones it is currently selling, but it is likely less than 700,000 a day.

Apple and Android constantly play a game of leapfrog when it comes to announcing numbers. Apple likes to emphasize the bigger iOS number (which includes iPods and iPads), which arguably is more relevant since they also run iOS apps. This numbers game is targeted at developers. The bigger the number, the bigger the potential market. Of course, there are other factors to consider, such as OS fragmentation and which platform is easier to actually make money on.