Droid X launch bits pt1: Android riding a hockey stick. Leaves iPhone in the dust, may top Symbian soon

Now, that Verizon Droid X launch event is over, and everyone’s off for a hands-on with the new superphone, it’s a good time to sit back and look at what we have learned from the announcement.

And I’m not talking about Droid X screen size, 1GHz CPU and other specs. We knew all of that already. The device is ultra fast, display is big and gorgeous, video streaming and playback are amazing. There. You have it.

But there were two other things that caught my attention.

Android now is officially in a hyper growth mode

The first really interesting bit, was Andi Rubin’s statement that Google is now activating 160 000 Android devices a day. As my colleague Florin noticed, that’s a 57 million device a year run rate.  Pretty impressive.

But what’s even more impressive, is that during their I/O event on May 12th, Google told us they were  activating “only” 100 000 Android smartphones a day. That is 60% growth in just six weeks!

Google gives us a few reference points to measure the growth of Android. Let’s start with point 1, October 16th, 2008, when first HTC G1/Dream Android handset shipped, and then go to Google I/O 2009, MWC 2010, and Google I/O 2010.

Date Week. No No. of devices Growth %
Oct. 16th, 2008 1 0 n/a
May 20, 2009 31 30 000 n/a
Feb. 15, 2010 69 60 000 100%
May. 12, 2010 81 100 000 60%
June 23, 2010 87 160 000 60%

It took Android 30 weeks to grow to 30K units, then 38 weeks to grow 100%, from 30K activations to 60K. It grew another  60% in just 12 weeks. Another 60% growth spurt took only 6 weeks. Figures speak for themselves – Android now is officially in a hypergrowth mode. When Andi Rubin recently said that they are entering into a hockey stick growth, he wasn’t joking.

And how likely is Google to repeat this performance? Let’s see.

Current Android growth was achieved on the backs off just a few “champion” devices – Motorola Droid, HTC Desire, Incredible, and EVO 4G. The rest – HTC Hero, Legend, Nexus One, Samsung Galaxy, Spica, Sony Ericsson Xperia, Acer Liquid, etc; helped some, but probably no more then the original Droid. Well, maybe Droid + Desire combined.

That will give us 5-6 big devices (I grouped the rest into 1-2 big devices), to account for current growth. 3 of them,  are still early in their sales cycle, and will continue to sell well.

Another “champion” device – Samsung Galaxy S, is just starting to ship worldwide, on tons of carriers. Subsidized. Droid X is just around the corner. Then, there’s Droid 2, and, most likely, some other “superphones” from HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, etc;  There’s also a whole bunch of affordable mass market Android 2.1/2.2 handsets, that will sell like hotcakes, coming out.  HTC Wildfire, Samsung Corby Smartphone, SE Xperia Mini/Midi, and quite a few, we haven’t heard about yet.

IMHO, Android growth is just accelerating.

At today’s growth rates, if Android can keep the growth it showed us this week – well, it’s already leaving Apple’s iPhone in the dust, and may get ahead of  Symbian by the end of this year.

Wow!

P.S. My math is a bit sketchy, so corrections are welcome. And, if anyone can help me with the graph on those figures in the table above, would be very grateful. Link to your site or Twitter profile, or smth., guarrantied :)

Here’s part 2 of Droid X launch bits,  where I talk about why MotoBlur (as we knew it), is  dead. With custom OS UI’s on the road to extinction .

Sorry, but had to postpone part 2 of  Google kicks Nokia&Microsoft butts story. It’s coming updated after today’s developments.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • kpn

    I am becoming so overwhelmed. I just ordered the Droid Incredible last night. Should I cancel the order and wait for this Droid X – – I am tired of my $120 per month plan – but I want a new phone. I am moving up from a dinosaur Razr. Your help is appreciated.

  • kpn

    Oh – I am a school teacher – I do not keep up with technology (as you can tell b/c I still have a Razr) ! I wanted the Iphone but didn't want to give up my Verizon coverage for the hit or miss ATT in my area. UGH!!!