updated 10:50 pm EDT, Wed August 4, 2010
Android sales double to 200K in 3 months
Google chief Eric Schmidt at the Techonomy conference revealed that his company is now activating 200,000 Android phones a day. The tally is 25 percent higher than the 160,000 per day in late June and is double the 100,000 phones that were being switched on just three months ago. The rapid growth rate is backed by word that Android may have overtaken BlackBerry and iPhone US market share in the spring.
The rate is "incredibly phenomenal," according to Schmidt, who wasn't sure how long it would continue. He wasn't concerned that the free licensing inherent to most Android phones was hurting revenue as many Android owners run Google searches that pop up ads and generate revenue from impressions and click-throughs. iPhone owners also make money for Google that way, he said.
At the current pace, Google is moving over 18 million Android devices, or roughly twice as many devices as Apple, which shipped 8.4 million iPhones, and several million above RIM's 11.2 million BlackBerries. Google is mostly helped by its non-exclusivity in the US, as Verizon is its single largest customer for the mobile OS. It further enjoys a plurality of manufacturers where Apple and RIM design both their operating systems and hardware.
The figure doesn't perfectly mirror smartphone share as a small portion of Android devices are tablets and other non-phone devices; Apple segregates its iPad and iPod touch shipments.
Schmidt didn't have as high hopes for Chrome OS. He thought the web app-oriented OS could reach a "large market" but also acknowledged that it was "proper to be skeptical" of the platform where Android had asserted itself. Critics of Google's OS strategy have said that Android and Chrome have significant overlap, as both can be used on tablets and netbooks but only Android can run truly native apps.