Google is approaching a quarter million Android activations/day

October 4, 2010: 4:56 PM ET

...and Honeycomb and Gingerbread are two different Android OS forks, one for tablets and one for smartphones.

Andy Rubin in 2007 via NYTimes.com

In an excellent story on the Android Invasion, Newsweek's Dan Lyons get's some new activation numbers from Android Chief, Andy Rubin. Rubin says that Google has recently passed the 250,000 activations/day mark, though only once, yet the numbers continue to rise overall.

That rate is 1 million every four days, just under 8 million a month and close to 100 million activations/year.  Will Google have sold 100 million more Android handsets by this time next year?  It seems pretty likely.

Google (GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt announced that they were activating 200,000 devices/day just two months ago at the Techonomy conference in Aspen.  That's up from 100,000/day in May at Google I/O and 160,000/day announced at Google's June earnings conference.

Wow.

The numbers have even baffled rival CEOs like Apple's (AAPL) Steve Jobs.  Jobs said there must be something wrong with the numbers at a recent Apple event, "we think our friends are counting upgrades".  At the same time, he announced Apple was activating 230,000 iOS devices/day.  Google retorted saying, "The Android activation numbers do not include upgrades and are, in fact, only a portion of the Android devices in the market since we only include devices that have Google services."

Anther interesting tidbit from the story:Google is forking Android for Tablets and Smartphones just like there is a version of Apple's iOS for iPhone and another version of iOS for iPads.

Right now Rubin's engineers are putting the finishing touches on the next version of Android, code-named Gingerbread, which is scheduled to ship before the end of this year. They're also developing a version of Android called Honeycomb, which is designed to run on tablet computers and will follow on the heels of Gingerbread.

Google's Hugo Barra recently stated that the current Froyo version of Android, the one that will come with Samsung's highly anticipated Galaxy Tabs, isn't meant to run on Tablet.  I spoke to Samsung CSO Omar Khan on whether these Galaxy Tabs would be upgradable to Gingerbread (Honeycomb wasn't publicly known at the time).  He coyly said that Samsung would follow Google's upgrade path but could not comment specifically.

In related news, LG has put off its tablet plans until Honeycomb is released early next year,  rather than use Froyo like Samsung.

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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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