Google’s Android: 160,000 Devices a Day
By Spencer Ante
One of the most surprising bits of news to emerge from the Motorola Droid X launch was the announcement that 160,000 new devices running on Google’s Android software are going into service every day.
- The Droid X
That figure, revealed by Google executive Andy Rubin, is up from the 100,000 activations a day Google claimed in mid-May and well beyond the 97,222 iPhones Apple sold on average every day in the first quarter.
In a post on the Google blog, Mr. Rubin wrote that there are currently 60 Android devices available today delivered by 21 manufacturers and 59 wireless carriers across 49 countries.
“The volume and variety of Android devices continues to exceed even our most optimistic expectations,” Mr. Rubin wrote.
In an interview, Mr. Rubin said sales of Android devices are still heavily weighted to the U.S. In the last two months, the U.S. market has seen the launch of two successful Android phones: the HTC Droid Incredible on Verizon Wireless and the HTC Evo on Sprint Nextel.
Mr. Rubin said Google is making a big push overseas to spur more Android adoption, especially in Asia. On June 22, Google said it launched a version of Google Search by Voice that supports the Korean language. Google Search by Voice is also available in French, German, Italian, and Spanish. On April 27, Samsung Electronics launched the Galaxy A, its first Android phone for the Korean market.
“Asia is doing well,” said Mr. Rubin. “There is a lot of opportunity in the low end of the smart phone market in China.”
At the Motorola launch, Google also announced that the new version of its Android 2.2 operating system, called Froyo, has been released in an open source version for manufacturers.
Mr. Rubin said future major releases of the Android OS will be dictated by the need to keep up with the pace of innovation in wireless devices and networks — say fourth-generation LTE networks or motion-sensing gyroscopes.
Despite the fast growth of Android devices, some security experts believe Google’s Android Market for wireless applications is more vulnerable than other app stores to security risks, since Google doesn’t examine all apps before they are available for users to download. Instead, it relies on users to alert it to questionable apps.
Mr. Rubin said Google still doesn’t see a reason to vet apps before they are posted for sale. “It would ruin the organic nature of the market,” Mr. Rubin said. “It will slow down the rate of innovation.”