Another hour goes by and there’s another significant Android milestone to write about. Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt said today that about 200,000 Android smartphones are sold every day. That follows recent analyst reports that estimate that the OS has outsold both Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry in U.S. for recent periods. But the big test is when Android will reach global scale, and it has yet to surpass the leader, Symbian. After today’s figures were announced, it’s clear it is getting close.
Symbian said today that it was shipping phones at a rate of 300,000 devices a day, and based on a few quick calculations, that means Android could catch up in a matter of months.
That can’t be good news for Nokia (NYSE: NOK). As the largest handset maker in the world, Symbian has been its smartphone operating system of choice. Only recently, has it branched out to say it will also make high-end phones on an OS, called MeeGo, which it is developing in conjunction with Intel.
How long will it take for Android to catch up to Symbian? It’s hard to know for sure, but it’s likely soon.
It’s seen such explosive growth in the past six months with activations up 233 percent since February when Google (NSDQ: GOOG) first reported how many phones it was activating a day (60,000). If Google maintains that rate, within six months it will be shipping 460,000 devices a day to easily surpass Symbian. If Google maintains a growth rate of 25 percent month-over-month, like it did since June 30, it will roughly catch-up to Nokia in two months.
Of course, Symbian would have to stay constant in order for this to be true. Earlier this week, Canalys released its global smartphone figures, saying that Symbian grew 41 percent in Q2, compared to the year-ago period. But in the same analysis, it clocked Android’s growth rate at 885.9 percent.