In Larry Page’s note moments ago about Andy Rubin stepping down as head of Android to be replaced by Sundar Pichai, he also provided an update on Android device activations: there are now 750 million of them, across smartphones and tablets from 60 hardware makers. This an update on the 500 million figure noted in September 2012.
From Page’s note:
Fast forward to today. The pace of innovation has never been greater, and Android is the most used mobile operating system in the world: we have a global partnership of over 60 manufacturers; more than 750 million devices have been activated globally; and 25 billion apps have now been downloaded from Google Play. Pretty extraordinary progress for a decade’s work.
And here’s a visualization of how Android has grown, courtesy of Benedict Evans.
By many estimates from analysts, Google’s Android is currently the world’s biggest smartphone platform. The most recent figures from Gartner, for example, put it at 70% of the market in terms of recent devices sold. Activations are a slightly more nebulous stat, however, because, as Evans points out, they don’t include, for example, Android devices sold in countries where Google services might get used, such as China. And they don’t count secondary-owners of devices, as you may sometimes get in developing markets.
750 million Android activations implies an active base of somewhere around 675 million, Evans says. “Plus China, of course.” As a point of comparison, iOS is at about 400 million.
Analyst Horace Dediu, based on today’s 750-million figure and historical growth, predicts that Android will reach 1 billion activations by mid-August 2013.
Last week, Google provided an update on how ebooks and music have been progressing on the platform: there are now over 5 million ebooks and 18 million songs available on Google Play, one year on after it got rebranded from its previous name of Android Market.