Steve Jobs confirms: Android outselling iPhone

July 16, 2010: 3:22 PM ET

A little math shows that Android has surpassed iPhone in raw numbers.

Jobs announces iPhone 4 numbers at a conference today

Steve Jobs said today that Apple has sold 3 million iPhone 4's in just 22 days.   That's pretty impressive, but Google announced yesterday – and at the Droid X announcement last month – that it is activating 160,000 Android devices per day.  Multiply that out by 22 days and you get over 3.5 million devices sold.

So, is it official then?

To be fair: we don't know how many previous-generation iPhone 3GS models (which are still being sold) Apple is currently selling, so the total number of iPhones sold per day is unclear. Apple also currently only sells the iPhone 4 in its largest five national markets. It will launch iPhone 4 in smaller markets over the next few months.

Something that could possibly be more troubling for Apple is that there was some pent up demand if Apple sold 1.7 million in the first few days in the US and only 1.3 million more in the following 19 days, including the launches in UK, France, Germany and Japan.

That means that since the quater started for Apple 19 days ago, Apple has only sold around 70,000 iPhone 4s a day, less than half of the current Android activation rate.

One reason for this is that supplies of iPhone 4's appear to be constrained.  While the iPhone 3GS is available everywhere, the iPhone 4 has a three week lead time –and there is no white model to be found until the end of the month.

Apple has a full year until they release another iPhone (unless they release an antenna-fixed iPhone 4.1) if they stick to their yearly summer launch schedule.

If you want to get a larger picture of the mobile OS landscape, other factors have to be considered. Apple's iOS is running on Apple's popular iPods and iPads as well as the iPhone.  Android hasn't yet made inroads into those markets, so iOS is probaby still out in front of Android overall.  Android does count in its activation tallies devices which access the Internet through cellular service, including eReaders like the Nook.  But those numbers are rounding errors compared to mobile phone sales.

However, in phones, Google seems to have a winner on its hands.  It will be hard for Apple to catch Android's numbers if the company can't even surpass their competitor's running weekly total at its yearly iPhone launch.

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About This Author
Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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