Late on Tuesday Andy Rubin, SVP of Mobile and Android head honcho for Google (NSDQ: GOOG), gave the world the latest figures on how much Android has grown since first getting launched in October 2008. There are now 700,000 device activations per day, he said — a new milestone for the platform, but one that appears to indicate that its rapid growth has somewhat slowed down.
The news appeared to be well-timed, coming as it did swiftly on the heels of a day of bad press around buggy Nexus issues.
Rubin put the 700,000 figure out via his Twitter account.
He did not give any specifics on how different flavors of Android were selling, or how many handsets were activated compared to tablets. But he did further clarifiy the number with a little detail on Google+: the number only counts devices once (and does not include “resold” devices), and it covers those devices that are activated with carriers — possibly meaning that the figure would be higher if Google included WiFi-only devices such as certain tablets, or those that do not get activated on a cellular network.
When Rubin last took to Twitter, back in June, it was to report 500,000 daily Android activations, and to point out that the current growth rate for the platform was 4.4 percent week-on-week. Rubin had no figure to share on the week-on-week growth today, but the 700,000 daily figure is forty percent higher than the 500,000 figure from June.
Analysts have been noting already a general slowdown in smartphone sales, so, in a sense, seeing that reflected in Android activations is no surprise.
In general may well see a slowdown in sales in the year ahead as penetration reaches the 50 percent point in some developed markets, and cheaper smartphones, targeting the next tier of users, still make their way to the market. The market for lower-end devices, indeed, may prove to be a hotly-contested space in that respect.
On a weekly basis, there are at least 4.9 million Android devices going out into the world — potentially more if you add in those WiFi-only and non-activated devices.