Android activation pace hits a plateau below Apple's iOS

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Android mobile activation numbers have leveled off dramatically after two years of rapid increases, signaling a maturing of the platform's growth phase as an alternative to Apple's iOS, which continues to claim a lead.



At the company's Android OS 2.3 Gingerbread release event today, Google noted that the current pace of Android's weekly device activations was at 1.5 million, or just over 214,000 per day. That compares with 270,000 iOS devices per day, as reported by Apple back in October.



Android's activation growth is less than 8 percent higher than the number Google cited in August, indicating a plateau in the growth of new Android activations after a summer of impressive growth figures that once swelled by 60 percent within just a month.



Observers closely watched iPhone sales looking for signs of change in demand, interpreting cyclical changes related to new model introductions as predictors of whether Apple could meet its initial goals or rival entrenched competitors including Microsoft's Windows Mobile, RIM's BlackBerry and Nokia's Symbian platform.



In the Android world however, the variety of hardware makers capable of shipping Android-based phones makes it more difficult to immediately count how many phones are being sold collectively. Google has instead preferred to publish activation numbers.



Throughout 2009, the pace of Android's activations nearly doubled from 30,000 per day in the spring ramping up to 60,000 new mobiles per day in February 2010. Rapid growth continued in 2010, enabling Android to hit 100,000 activations in May and 160,000 in June. By early August, Google was claiming 200,000 Android activations per day.







iOS vs Android activations



Speaking at Apple's iPod event in early September, Steve Jobs took issue with Google's activation numbers. Recapping iOS device sales at the event, Jobs told the audience, "People are throwing around a lot of numbers as to how many of their operating systems they're activating per day. We are activating a little over 230,000 iOS devices per day. And that's new activations."



Taking a shot at Google, Jobs added, "we think that some of our friends are counting upgrades in their numbers. If we counted upgrades in our numbers, they'd be way higher than 230,000. But we think the most appropriate way to count them is just new activations."



Google responded by saying that its reported 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."



Google's latest December number of around 214,000 daily activations is not only below Apple's figures from September, but also only slightly better than it had claimed back in August, despite a new flurry of Android smartphones and new tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab.



Update: Jobs updated Apple's activation figures in mid October during the company's quarterly earnings conference call, reporting that the company was activating 270,000 iOS devices per day on average, hitting occasional daily peaks of 300,000.



A tough nut to crack for everyone else



During September's Nokia World event, Nokia vice president Niklas Savander claimed his company had sold 260,000 phones per day during the summer, saying this figure was greater than Apple and Google's platforms combined. Electronista said the "claim was dubious."



However, the rapidly slowing pace of Android's activations, together with the slightly higher numbers reported by Apple and the rather low ceiling claimed by Nokia indicate that platform growth among the leading mobile device platforms is reaching an equilibrium, particularly in the market for smartphones.



This suggests new growth will have to come from either predatory growth that comes out of the hide of existing players, or from new categories of devices ranging from iPod touch-like mobile media players to iPad-like tablet devices.



This also provides a bleak outlook for new platforms hoping to enter the saturated mobile platform market, particularly Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7, HP's emerging Palm webOS 2.0, Samsung's Bada, and RIM's new QNX kernel paired with Adobe AIR, used in the forthcoming PlayBook.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 82
    enohpienohpi Posts: 103member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Speaking at Apple's iPod event in early September, Steve Jobs took issue with Google's activation numbers. Recapping iOS device sales at the event, Jobs told the audience, "People are throwing around a lot of numbers as to how many of their operating systems they're activating per day. We are activating a little over 230,000 iOS devices per day. And that's new activations."



    Taking a shot at Google, Jobs added, "we think that some of our friends are counting upgrades in their numbers. If we counted upgrades in our numbers, they'd be way higher than 230,000. But we think the most appropriate way to count them is just new activations."








    Given this information, it is hard to trust anything Google announces.
  • Reply 2 of 82
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,933member
    Not surprising, when the iPhone is strongly rumored to appear on Verizon as soon as next month. Watch iOS take off and Android dip when it happens. Why would anyone in their right mind choose Android on Verizon right now?
  • Reply 3 of 82
    Got a brand new Droid X. 3 weeks later. Hating it.



    A million complaints... and yet... it's free to me because of my employer, so where does that leave me? Having a droid.. and hating it... and not being able to do a damn thing about it. Google, please remove my # from your activations. I'd like to instead send my 'vote-by-activation' to Apple, who deserves it.



    My iPad and iPod touch are 10x the device my supposedly top of the line phone is...



    I'd be posting this from my droid.. except the battery is dead.. and the keyboard detection is crap.
  • Reply 4 of 82
    zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    I almost feel bad for android when IOS hits Verizon wireless.
  • Reply 5 of 82
    bstringbstring Posts: 104member
    IOS market percentage has leveled off. No argument there, but the rest sounds like a lot of extrapolation. Last I heard Android was still growing fast in terms of percentage of new smartphone sales.

    http://mashable.com/2010/11/02/iphone-android-nielsen/



    If the overall smartphone market growth is leveling off, the Android numbers would make sense, but then IOS would show a steeper decline.
  • Reply 6 of 82
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,490member
    While early numbers for Windows Phone 7 haven't broken any records, I'd think that all the people that bought those phones, would've just defaulted to the Android platform if the choice was not there. Now that WP7 is available, I bet Android will begin to level off and possibly dip in market share.
  • Reply 7 of 82
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,227member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bstring View Post


    IOS market percentage has leveled off. No argument there, but the rest sounds like a lot of extrapolation. Last I heard Android was still growing fast in terms of percentage of new smartphone sales.

    http://mashable.com/2010/11/02/iphone-android-nielsen/



    If the overall smartphone market growth is leveling off, the Android numbers would make sense, but then IOS would show a steeper decline.



    Exactly,i dont trust a chart that shows ios has 1 dot. Where is the ios data?
  • Reply 8 of 82
    junkiejunkie Posts: 122member
    I really hope Apple opens up and offers the iPhone to all carriers worldwide. if they are going to compete for market-share they should address every audience and not make arbitrary restrictions to growth.



    I also think to better compete with Android Apple should be will to offer a larger form factor - bigger screen. Maybe it is not Job's preference but the larger screen do seem attractive.
  • Reply 9 of 82
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bstring View Post


    IOS market percentage has leveled off. No argument there, but the rest sounds like a lot of extrapolation. Last I heard Android was still growing fast in terms of percentage of new smartphone sales.

    http://mashable.com/2010/11/02/iphone-android-nielsen/



    If the overall smartphone market growth is leveling off, the Android numbers would make sense, but then IOS would show a steeper decline.



    This is Daniel we are taking about, Mr. "I'm always dead on with my predictions", claiming Natal would be a still born vaporware to it would flop to uh oh, empirical evidence of sales of 2.5 million in 25 days, not shipped, sold.
  • Reply 10 of 82
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member


    deleted

  • Reply 11 of 82
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bstring View Post


    IOS market percentage has leveled off. No argument there, but the rest sounds like a lot of extrapolation. Last I heard Android was still growing fast in terms of percentage of new smartphone sales.

    http://mashable.com/2010/11/02/iphone-android-nielsen/



    If the overall smartphone market growth is leveling off, the Android numbers would make sense, but then IOS would show a steeper decline.



    You are arguing apples and oranges. Try reading the article and then arguing against what the article argues instead of just shifting the ground to a whole new topic.



    Also, either you started with a typo or your totally trolling. (iOS market percentage is levelling off)
  • Reply 12 of 82
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


    While early numbers for Windows Phone 7 haven't broken any records, I'd think that all the people that bought those phones, would've just defaulted to the Android platform if the choice was not there. Now that WP7 is available, I bet Android will begin to level off and possibly dip in market share.



    I think it has broken a record.... an all time low
  • Reply 13 of 82
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by junkie View Post


    I really hope Apple opens up and offers the iPhone to all carriers worldwide. if they are going to compete for market-share they should address every audience and not make arbitrary restrictions to growth.



    I also think to better compete with Android Apple should be will to offer a larger form factor - bigger screen. Maybe it is not Job's preference but the larger screen do seem attractive.



    It's a problem in traditionally closed telecom markets like the US and Japan.



    In areas where telecom companies compete with each other fiercely like Hong Kong, all 3G network providers offer the iPhone.
  • Reply 14 of 82
    junkiejunkie Posts: 122member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by haruhiko View Post


    It's a problem in traditionally closed telecom markets like the US and Japan.



    In areas where telecom companies compete with each other fiercely like Hong Kong, all 3G network providers offer the iPhone.



    US carriers are certainly competing with each other. The problem is that devices cannot be moved from one network to another - that is less efficient than it would be if that were not the case - but carriers do compete. It has an impact on competition but in most cases people are agreeing to a 2 year term, collecting a subsidy and then using the phone on the carrier for 2 years - so they contractually could not move anyway.



    Apple could have supported CDMA a long time ago if they had wanted to but they set an exclusive deal with ATT and sought the benefits of that over market-share.



    The result was a market opportunity for Android where they could address the other ~70% of the market with devices. This was just a mistake by Apple. They were blindsided by Google, their partner up till that point, going on the attack. They were somewhat arrogant not to recognize that not all US smartphone customers would or could move to ATT - so all of those customers were left out in the cold.



    Hopefully they can recover a lot of lost ground when the VZ iPhone hits. Clearly though, Android has traction in the market and with developers now that it would not have were iPhone on Verizon sooner. Then again, the competition got Apple to loosen its crazy policies toward developers which would have harmed the platform if not altered.
  • Reply 15 of 82
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bstring View Post


    IOS market percentage has leveled off. No argument there, but the rest sounds like a lot of extrapolation. Last I heard Android was still growing fast in terms of percentage of new smartphone sales.

    http://mashable.com/2010/11/02/iphone-android-nielsen/



    If the overall smartphone market growth is leveling off, the Android numbers would make sense, but then IOS would show a steeper decline.



    iOS is not leveling off - that may be the temporary state in the US but you need to look at the international market where Apple is not even fully launched yet with iPhone4 and has a long way to go with the international rollout of the iPad.
  • Reply 16 of 82
    rainrain Posts: 538member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by junkie View Post


    Hopefully they can recover a lot of lost ground when the VZ iPhone hits. Clearly though, Android has traction in the market and with developers now that it would not have were iPhone on Verizon sooner. Then again, the competition got Apple to loosen its crazy policies toward developers which would have harmed the platform if not altered.



    That is the leading school of thought.

    However

    There is no way that Apple could have kept up with production if they had released an 'open' phone.

    They wouldn't have been able to service a global market and probably only North America. If you are limited to a certain number of inventory, then why not make the most out of it and give ATT exclusivity until a market has been established and production streamlined.



    I would argue that it was more important to establish a global market share then total domination in only 1 country. ie, don't put all your eggs in one basket.
  • Reply 17 of 82
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by junkie View Post


    I really hope Apple opens up and offers the iPhone to all carriers worldwide. if they are going to compete for market-share they should address every audience and not make arbitrary restrictions to growth.



    I also think to better compete with Android Apple should be will to offer a larger form factor - bigger screen. Maybe it is not Job's preference but the larger screen do seem attractive.



    Fortunately you're not running Apple. Apple's rollouts are strategic and in the best interest of the company. They couldn't possibly meet demand to expand their penetration more rapidly so they take a very intelligent and strategic approach to their rollouts and partnerships while maintaining high demand for those that do carry the iPhone, and a high level of anticipation for the customers of the carriers that don't.



    Although heavily criticized for their AT&T exclusive deal, people seem to forget, or not realize, that by doing what they did with AT&T they wrestled control from the carrier for the device - they broke the mold that now allows all the others to jump into the market. However, Android is an exception to this as the carriers are doing all they can to make their iterations of Android unique and different which is not necessarily in the best interest of the consumer. Nor is their ability to control the timing of OS upgrades / improvements in this heavily fragmented OS.



    Apple - keep doing what you're doing!
  • Reply 18 of 82
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,637member
    As is the custom every poster here interprets the data to suit their own personal bias. Pick your analyst, pick your survey, pick your data, spin it so it fits your preconception. We all do it. They all do it. Everybody does it. Makes it all sort of useless and stupid doesn't it.
  • Reply 19 of 82
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by junkie View Post


    US carriers are certainly competing with each other. The problem is that devices cannot be moved from one network to another - that is less efficient than it would be if that were not the case - but carriers do compete. It has an impact on competition but in most cases people are agreeing to a 2 year term, collecting a subsidy and then using the phone on the carrier for 2 years - so they contractually could not move anyway.



    Apple could have supported CDMA a long time ago if they had wanted to but they set an exclusive deal with ATT and sought the benefits of that over market-share.



    The result was a market opportunity for Android where they could address the other ~70% of the market with devices. This was just a mistake by Apple. They were blindsided by Google, their partner up till that point, going on the attack. They were somewhat arrogant not to recognize that not all US smartphone customers would or could move to ATT - so all of those customers were left out in the cold.



    Hopefully they can recover a lot of lost ground when the VZ iPhone hits. Clearly though, Android has traction in the market and with developers now that it would not have were iPhone on Verizon sooner. Then again, the competition got Apple to loosen its crazy policies toward developers which would have harmed the platform if not altered.



    What nonsense - you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. See my post above. Apple did exactly the right thing at the right time to change the market forever. And crazy policies? Please. Again, you have no clue. Just look at the market and see which developers are really being successful on what platform.
  • Reply 20 of 82
    bstringbstring Posts: 104member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    You are arguing apples and oranges. Try reading the article and then arguing against what the article argues instead of just shifting the ground to a whole new topic.



    Also, either you started with a typo or your totally trolling. (iOS market percentage is levelling off)



    You're right, the point of this post is that Android activations have grown by only 8% since August. He is comparing current Android activations with old IOS stats from September. The most current numbers I have found for IOS, the Neilsen link, show IOS in decline while Android shows strong growth. So, this post leaves the unwitting reader with the impression that IOS is growing faster and this is simply not the case based on the last study. Without a new study, it's hard to conclude anything based on the number provided by google at a press conference.
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