If you read the reviews, it becomes obvious that I am part of a small minority of folks who haven’t been blown away by the new Droid, a Google Android OS-based smartphone made by Motorola that Verizon Wireless launched Nov. 5 in the U.S. All the accolades are actually turning into smashing sales for the Droid, according to data collected by Flurry, a San Francisco-based mobile analytics company. How big are the sales? (Find out below the fold.)
We have been following the Droid pretty closely, and once we learned that the device had a solid (if not blockbuster) weekend, we decided to get a better grasp of the Droid-fever that seems to be spreading across the nation. Flurry, which tracks the usage of mobile applications across various platforms, ran a query at our behest to get us a clearer (if not totally accurate) picture of the Droid launch and its market penetration.
Flurry has come up with a stunning number: 250,000 Droids sold in the first week vs. 1.6 million iPhone 3GS devices sold in the first weekend. Apple said it sold over a million devices in the first weekend of the launch of iPhone 3GS, so 1.6 million is pretty close to the mark. There has been talk that nearly 200,000 units of Droid were on the shelves at the time its debut, so it is not far-fetched to peg the total sales for the week at 250,000. (Related post: “iPhone 3GS vs. Droid: How Do They Really Stack Up?”)
Flurry monitors about 10,000 apps across iPhone and Android and claims that it tracks apps on approximately two out of three unique iPhone and Android handsets. To estimate first week sales totals for the myTouch 3G, Droid and iPhone 3GS, Flurry detected new handsets within its system, and then made adjustments to account for varying levels of Flurry application penetration by handset. Flurry additionally cross-checked its estimates against Apple actual sales, released for the iPhone 3GS, which totaled 1 million units sold over the three days of sales, June 19-21. [Flurry statement]
If Flurry results are accurate, then Motorola and Verizon have a winner on their hands. This is the fastest-selling Android device to date. It also helps that Motorola and Verizon have budgeted $100 million to promote it. As the gadget makes it way across the world, one can expect sales of Droid to go higher. Motorola predicts it will sell a million units by the end of 2009. That works to about $100 per customer in acquisition costs for Motorola and Verizon. (Related posts: “What You Need to Know About the Droid” and “What Are the Downsides to Droid?”)
The average Android app session length is about four minutes vs. two minutes for iPhone apps, Flurry found. I believe that is because the Android apps are not as intuitive to use as the iPhone apps, but hey, that’s just me. What do I know — I don’t think Droid is that hot, and it sold a quarter million units in week one.
PS: Check out this great comment from one of our readers, Nicholas. “Currently, we are witnessing the evolution of mobile technologies past the computing paradigm of laptops, desktops and workstations, and Motorola needs a more cohesive idea of what can and will be accomplished in the mobile space,” he writes. Agreed — and that is why I find MotoBlur, the company’s communications-based interface, more interesting than its hardware. It could, with some work, become the new way of consuming large amounts of data.