Android hits 900k activations per day

June 11, 2012

Apple’s on tap to reveal the details about its next smartphone operating system, but there’s some new buzz about its main competitor.

Google’s Android platform sees 900,000 activations a day, according to a tweet from Android head Andy Rubin. The statistic, of course, doesn’t distinguish between smartphones and tablets, so it’s hard to get a clear picture of the Android ecosystem.

The announcement came from Rubin after rumors surfaced that he may be planning to leave Google. In the message, the Google executive said that he has “no plans” to do so.

Apple and Android have been wooing developers as it’s become increasingly apparent that the company that can command the widest, most useful breadth of mobile applications will have the edge in the smartphone war.

A study released last week by the team at the analytics firm Flurry revealed that developers still prefer Apple’s iOS to Android by a large margin. Of new project starts, 69 percent of developers went with Apple’s system over Google’s, though that was down from 73 percent in the previous quarter.

Fragmentation in Android seems to still be a big problem for Google, with 70 percent of user sessions still on Gingerbread, an older version of the operating system. Google is trying to fix this with the introduction of Ice Cream Sandwich, which better unifies tablets and smartphone, but has had less than a year to get its latest push underway. Samsung is clearly the most popular Android handset maker, with six of the top 10 Android devices, the study showed. Motorola and HTC make up the rest of the list, with one exception: the Kindle Fire from Amazon has 4 percent of Android’s market share.

Another problem that’s popped up for Android has been the simple fact that Apple applications seem to return more money per user. According to the study, Android developers earn just 24 cents for every dollar they get from iOS.

The combined effect of fragmentation and lower revenue, the study said, is likely why developers still like Apple.

“In short, Android delivers less gain and more pain than iOS, which we believe is the key reason 7 out of every 10 apps built in the new economy are for iOS instead of Android,” the study said.

Google’s own developers conference, Google I/O, runs from June 27-29, and Slashgear reports the company is rumored to make a tablet announcement.

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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