Android biggest activator on Earth? Maybe, maybe not

Dec 9, 2010
Finance

Android leader/VP of engineering Andy Rubin tweeted big news for the operating system and its Google (GOOG) masters over night. Rubin said: “There are over 300,000 Android phones activated each day.” It was only Rubin’s second tweet. He took a shot in geek speak back in October at Apple (AAPL) founder Steve Jobs. Dan Morrill, Android […]

Android leader/VP of engineering Andy Rubin tweeted big news for the operating system and its Google (GOOG) masters over night.

Rubin said: “There are over 300,000 Android phones activated each day.” It was only Rubin’s second tweet. He took a shot in geek speak back in October at Apple (AAPL) founder Steve Jobs.

Dan Morrill, Android Open Source & Compatibility Tech Lead had Rubin’s back. He retweeted, “It’s true, I look at the data daily. It’s inspirational.”

This makes Android OS not only popular, but hugely popular.

It had looked as though Android was stuck in a rut since it reported 200,000 daily activations on average back in August and 250,000 daily activations on a day in October. But the new news shows Android is gaining momentum.

Seth Weintraub at Fortune said the new activation rate for Android passes those for Apple’s iPhone and Research In Motion’s (RIMM) BlackBerry. He said Google is reaching 10 million new Android phones activated a month, suggesting Google may now be the biggest smartphone vendor on Earth.

He noted that Apple just had its biggest smartphone quarter to date, selling 14.1 million iPhones.

But Daniel  Eran Dilger at AppleInsider threw a little perspective and cold water on the situation. He said Google is “unlikely to have passed Apple’s current activation rate for iOS devices, and Google is making no direct revenues from the widespread distribution of its software.”

He noted that Apple earns billions of dollars from activations each quarter as “it inhales” hardware profits, while Google gives away its software to gain market share in hopes of selling advertising.

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He said Android may catch and surpass Apple’s iOS activations next year, “unless the iPhone’s debut on Verizon Wireless (VZ) results in a rapid burst of new sales at Android’s expense. Verizon has been activating a large number of Android phones in ‘buy one, get one free’ deals intended to push its subscribers toward more lucrative data contracts.”

Meanwhile, another report shows that Android is a big-time data muncher.

The network tech firm Arieso found that Android usage ranked second only to Nokia’s (NOK) Symbian in data traffic. Arieso said Android users create more data traffic because their phones have high quality cameras and video recorders plus software for editing.

This raises revenue for providers, but at the same time poses threats to their networks.

Reuters said: “Users of Google’s Android phones, such as Samsung’s (005930.KS) Galaxy S, use more data services than those with other smartphones, threatening to choke wireless network capacity.”

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