Whatever the merits of the anti-competitive moves and lawsuits against Google (in addition to investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the French government this week announced a similar investigation into anti-competitive practices), it’s hard to declare, with a straight face, that behind none of the investigations is discomfort and angst from Google’s competitors over how fast the search giant is growing.
Andy Rubin, Google’s Senior VP of Mobile, this week revealed that there are a half million new Android phone activations EVERY DAY. Consider that two months ago, the figure was at 400,000 each day, which means at this growth rate (roughly 4.4 percent week over week), Google will see one million Android phone activations each day by October of this year.
Steve Jobs (News - Alert), who once nitpicked over how Google was measuring Android adoption numbers, couldn’t even throw cold water on those figures. It’s official: Android has been outpacing Apple (News - Alert) iOS devices by far. (There are approximately 210,000 iPhones activated each day, and a total of 325,000 iOS devices, including iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices). Android now owns 36.4 percent of the smartphone market in the U.S., according to ComScore, leading the iPhone’s 26 percent, Research in Motion’s 25.7 percent and Microsoft’s Windows Phone (News - Alert) 7’s 6.7 percent.
So why the huge surge? InformationWeek’s Eric Zeman attributes a couple of factors to the mind-blowing growth of Android.
“There’s a lot behind Android’s amazing adoption rate,” Zeman wrote today. “Handset makers have stepped up, delivering an unending stream of low-, mid-, and high-end Android smartphones that cover almost every conceivable market segment and need. Wireless network operators are doing their part, too, supporting the platform with massive marketing campaigns (look no further than Verizon’s ‘Droid’ advertisements).”
It also doesn’t hurt that Nokia (News - Alert), a company whose handsets were once hands-down the most popular in the world outside of North America, is fumbling and stumbling badly, seemingly unable to make a coherent decision to move forward with a smartphone or tablet strategy. As a result, many mobile users in Europe, Asia and Africa are turning to Android devices, replacing Nokia models.
Going forward, research group Gartner (News - Alert) has forecast that in 2012, about 315 million Android smartphones will be sold, which will represent half the market, writes Zeman. And Apple? Mr. Jobs et al will own only 18.9 percent of the market.
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Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell