Google activated 250 million Androids so far, may have topped 1 million/day in the second half of Q4

Google has just announced its results for the fourth quarter of 2011. The most important number concerning Android is 250 million – that’s the amount of devices Google has activated so far. It’s a staggering number, and one that was in sight for Google even in June.

The growth in total Android activations is interesting. Google finished the third quarter of 2011 with 190 million devices activated. However, on November 15, Google announced that it had activated 200 million devices.

So from October 1 to December 31, Google added 60 million Android devices. From November 15 to December 31 though, Google added 50 million devices. That leaves 10 million devices activated from October 1 to November 15, at an average rate of 217,000 devices activated per day.

Google obviously didn’t publicize this number. In fact, on October 18 it said that there were still 550,000 devices activated per day (the same amount first reported in July). Perhaps at that point there were, only for the number to absolutely plunge between then and November 15. We’ll never know. It does however seem that Google’s numbers shouldn’t be taken 100% seriously all the time (at least those pertaining to daily activations).

So then everything changed for the better in the second half of Q4, understandably because of the holiday shopping season and the many phone and tablet launches that catered to it. The average number of Android devices activated from November 16 to December 31 is a whopping 1,08 million per day. And that’s average. Which means that some days it was much higher. In fact we already know that during the holiday weekend, 3.7 million Android devices were activated. Subtracting those from the total still gives us an average of 1,05 million devices activated per day from November 15 to December 31.

Now after the holidays passed, it’s clear that this daily activation number went down. Otherwise, Google would have triumphantly announced today that it’s activating more than a million devices per day, way ahead of our projection of that happening (for sustained periods of time) by the end of the second quarter of this year. Still, for much of the second half of Q4 2011, Android activations were above 1 million per day. That’s just incredible.

You do have to keep something in mind though. Google never reports the exact number of activated devices. It’s always “over x”. So for example, Google has now told us that more than 250 million devices have been activated by the end of Q4. So that could be 257 million, but Google used the nicely-sounding round number. Similarly, 190 million could have been 193 million, and 200 million could have actually been 208 million. These differences seem minor, but they change all the above calculations – a lot. So when you read the estimates above, understand that they are just that – estimations made without the actual 100% accurate numbers. The purpose of this exercise wasn’t to give you an entirely accurate number of Android activations over the fourth quarter (since that’s impossible without Google’s help), but to give you a rough impression of Android’s continued success.

Now on to the other big number of the day. Google has also let us know that there have been more than 11 billion app downloads from the Android Market so far. That number is up by 1 billion since the beginning of December and shows us that the Market is progressing just fine. Naturally, as more people buy or get Android devices (or find out they’re actually good for more than just calling and texting), the Market gets used more.

Author: Vlad Bobleanta

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