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Android Activations Have Caught Up To iOS…So What?!

Android Activations Have Caught Up To iOS…So What?!

Among the many tricks that fandroids (Android fanboys) use to argue against users of iOS devices is market share – Android is just installed on more devices than iOS. Of course, ignoring the fact that they’re comparing thousands of phones and tablets to just a few, they are technically (meaninglessly) right.

The Concern

Current research on mobile device trends is now finding that daily iOS activations have finally been eclipsed by Android activations, meaning that iOS, and the 10 devices (4 iPod Touches, 2 iPads, and 4 versions of the iPhone) that run it, are seeing fewer day-to-day activations than devices running Android.

Again, though, this is a bit flawed, in that it’s comparing thousands of mobile devices to just a small handful. Also worth noting is that Android, in addition to running on smart phones and tablets, also runs on a fair few “dumb” phones, and even a good number shoddy and under-powered notebooks.

The Confirmation

Today, one of Google’s illustrious leaders even confirmed the news – Google’s VP of Engineering, Andy Rubin, confirmed these stats, and made it clear that Android is now officially eclipsing iOS devices. According to Rubin, Android is growing considerably faster than iOS, which, in my opinion, remains to be seen – the hold of a platform isn’t just in how many people use it, but how their using it, whether or not it’s truly fitting into their lives.

The Trick

Another factor to consider is that many people are putting off purchasing iOS devices at the moment. iPad 2 aside, consumers are looking forward to September – a month when Apple traditionally releases iPod updates (possibility of a new iPod Touch), and a month in which Apple may very well release the iPhone 5 this year.

So, considering that Android is, by raw activation numbers, spanking iOS, should Apple be worried? No, they shouldn’t. Despite the raw numbers, Apple is still more successful than ever with sales of iOS devices, making records every time they release a new product, and making an increasingly large profit from iOS devices year to year.

The sole reason behind Android’s success is the fact that they have thousands of devices from all manufacturers to choose from, versus the total past-to-present lineup of a whopping total of 10 iOS devices. Also in their favor is the fact that most people would rather pay $300 for a low-quality piece of junk than fork out $500 for a much more premium product.

The Future?

If the tables were turned, and Google only had one set of devices to market Android with, do you really think Andy Rubin would be so cheerful? I think not. Without the ability to install Android on a gazillion cheap no-brand crap-tastic asian cellphones, smart phones, and tablets, Android would currently be a forgotten term living alone on the Island of Misfit Toys.

In the end, I would argue that Apple is still coming out the winner in all this – it’s already been shown time and time again that iOS users download more apps (and have so many more to choose from), are more likely to actually use their device’s web browser, and are, on the whole, seemingly much more satisfied with their devices (based on actual usage patterns). Isn’t that where the real victory lies? I’d like to think so.

Your thoughts? Sound off in the comments!

  1. Mehr says:

    Your inner fanboy just let loose on this article, didn’t it? Ha.

    1. Hah – yes, it’s true.  Has to happen sometimes!

  2. lol, apple may not be worried but you apparently sure are. Man i love to see fanboys tremble.

    BTW, my last android phone purchase was a $560 Nexus One. And i just bought a $400 Asus Transformer. So yeah were not cheap.

    1. Zac Caslin says:

      So you over paid for a cheap phone and tablet. Good for you.

      1. Nitebreed says:

        over payment is buying an iphone. $600-$700 for a phone that’s outdated with no current features. Wow! Apple is laughing all the way to the bank

    2. You’re the exception.  The majority of Android-powered handsets running today are budget-level devices.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Actually the majority of devices running Android are actually SMARTPHONES….. not lame feature phones like CrApple’s junk. The majority of high end phones sold today are Android #1 and smarter than any iOS product with better Cameras, chips, features and screens than anything from CrApple!!! Just admit it…… lol…. CrApple has no future in a World run by Androids!!! hahaha…..

      2. Nitebreed says:

        you mean like the $49 iphone 3gs?

  3. Mack E. says:

    Hmmm, I understand that you’re probably pro Apple so the bias in this article is natural and expected. But come on, most of your assumptions were pretty ignorant, no offense. 

    You completely disregarded the 12+ million and counting Galaxy S devices were sold, is that a low end device? How about the astronomical number the Droid Franchise has sold? Are those cheap-plastic-asian toys? And the countless HTC juggernauts that have sold millions like the Evo, Thunderbolt and even the G1/myTouch series just to name a few. 

    You’re right that there are a plethora of low end Android devices, but that’s exactly what makes Android a preferable choice for many. Because Android also targets the non power users. And FYI, low end Android devices are actually VERY good for the price. Look at the LG Optimus line for example, why should a non power user spend hundreds more on an iPhone or a high end Android device if all they’re going to do is some web surfing and occasional Facebook post? That’s where Android steps in and does the job great. 

    It’s okay to like iOS better, but don’t be ignorant and make naive assumptions. 

    1. I did not say that all Android devices are cheap plastic toys – it’s just that the vast majority of Android devices in use are budget-level devices.

  4. @FroYoDroid says:

    Hahaha this is funny, the apple fanboy is strong with this one. The raw numbers don’t tell a true story? Oh and raw numbers don’t mean anything its the way they use it? Lmfao… Keep drinking the koolaid fruit fone lover.

    1. Usage share is a much more significant factor than strict market share.  This is a pretty common viewpoint.  I’ve used Windows, and I’ve used a loved a Nexus S Android phone.  It’s not about drinking the Kool-aid – it’s about seeing where the potential lies and making a call.

  5. GearsofReach says:

    apple fanboy and proud of it…but u can’t ignore the fact that there are hundreds od androids to the 10 iOS devices. 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    Apple and Google only want one thing – your money. Since Google don’t earn their cash on hardware, they couldn’t care less if you own a cheap or an expensive phone, as long as you use Android. Google’s strategy is to get Android on as many devices sold, so they can get an even larger search market. Apple on the other hand doesn’t want to sell their OS at a cheap price to other handset makers, and thereby competing with themselves. One of the many reasons they only have one phone is simple – they can by components at a huge scale – getting the hardware costs of the device at a minimum – then sell the phone at a quite avoidable price – getting huge profit margins. 

    As long as Apple gets their cash they are happy – they don’t need the huge market share. But if their sales are dropping, they have the option to open up the OS and let other handset makers make their phones. But what can Google do if the same happens..?


    1. Nitebreed says:

      Apple won’t open up. They do the same thing every time. Repeating their history with the Mac. They will suck as much money from their users as possible before they fall. They a decade from now they will come up with something else and do the same thing

  7. Lee Turley says:

    I have an Android phone & a 3rd Gen iPod Touch, i much prefer the iOS over Android, because iOS is a total touchscreen O/S (no hard buttons) and I would say that for none power users iOS is a much simpler and easier to understand O/S.
    Apple have always been about the numbers, it was only a matter of time for Android to surpass Apple due to the number of different Android phones available.  The one thing missing though is the profits. I remember seeing an infographic of the Phone Market for Companies in Profit margins and Apple wiped the floor with the rest of the manufacturers.  Apple don’t need to sell high volume it’s not there game, they sell end to end solutions.If you look at Apple’s profits these days 60% (or there abouts) of there profits is purely from iPhone & iPad sales, and I saw a article the other day that said that Apple have enough cash in the bank now, to buy all of the mobile manufacturers !

    1. Nitebreed says:

      “I have an Android phone & a 3rd Gen iPod Touch, i much prefer the iOS over Android, because iOS is a total touchscreen O/S (no hard buttons)” um…what does this have to do with Android. no hard buttons? that has to do with the phone manufacturer, and not the OS. ” I would say that for none power users iOS is a much simpler and easier to understand O/S.” my 6 year old uses my EVO 3D and downloads games and apps. So that means that you rather us ios because you’re incapable of doing what a 6 year old can do? that’s sad. “I saw a article the other day that said that Apple have enough cash in the bank now, to buy all of the mobile manufacturers !” you read that article wrong. Go re read it. They said the top 3 mobile manufacturers.

  8. Anonymous says:

    How about your cheap asian iphone? Not to mention your cheap excuse for a tablet PC clone of Samsung high end Q1 Origami Tablet. If you counted all tablet PC’s sold since 2006, you’d find out the reason for CrApple’s Giant iPod iPad (PMP) isn’t a Smart Pad or a Smartphone even and the numbers should be lumped in with iPod. It too, is just a CHEAP Asian piece of junk about as good as an 8″ picture frame I bought three yrs ago.

    They aren’t fooling anybody trying to talk around the 500,000 a day activations, because that’s as good as saying Android is going to be selling (with calculated growth rate) 1 Million a day in 6 months. If that happens, You’ll be seeing 365 Million new Android sales in just a year!So like your CrApple iCon above standing next to Android, your lame arguments are as toothless as a 90yr old on his death bed!!!  Android for the WIN….. always!!! 😉

  9. Allan says:

    However, as Joseph Stalin once said: “Quantity has a quality all its own”. Right now, iOS is for all practical purposes tied with Android, but what if it drops down to single digit market share like the MacOS did 10 years ago?

  10. Skean Dhu says:

    Apple rulz… always!!!

    …no just kidding.

    But seriously, I agree with the article above. Android may see more activations, but consider how many devices there are that run android vs how many there are that run iOS. Of course you’re going to see a higher activation number for android devices.

    “Isn’t that where the real victory lies? I’d like to thonk so.” In my opinion, yes. It is.

  11. Toledo8904 says:

    I would like to agree with you on a few points, such as the quantity of android phones making their market share easier to achieve, but the level of fanboyism is just too high for me to associate myself with.

    I also take exception to the claim that the majority of Android phones are what certain tech sites like to call “crapgadgets”. The Droid line has been pretty good, with even the offerings from Motorola standing up pretty well. And how about the Evo and Nexus lines? While there may be more phones out there with poor quality, a TON of people use these phones. They aren’t the exception, they are the leading edge of Android, with the rest of the devices simply riding their coattails.

    1. Brommer says:

      At the end it is all about what you wqnt amd what you like the most. Nothig else mathers. Each their own opinion. Competition is never bad! Keeps innovation up for companies.
      So go android and go apple wish you both good luck!
      There is always a way to improve!

  12. Nitebreed says:

    lol. You really are mad at android aren’t you? As far as the app downloads that’s only in america and how many apps does each person actually have on their phone? 425,000? I think not, which is why the iphone does poorly in the rest of the world. Only America really cares about having 425,000 apps. Apps are the only thing running the iphone sales. You’re talking about a device that is light years behind the rest of the world with america already being behind the rest of the world in tech. The whole Android outpacing ios is a comparison that iphans started when android came out because Android’s ios was clunky and far behind at that time. Now that Android has passed ios iphans are saying it’s not fare because android is on a million devices and Apple only has 4. Don’t yell at android. Yell at the iphone users that started that war years ago. The iphone is a nice device but for myself…it’s too far behind in tech and too slow. I know a couple of people with iphones and it fits the type of person that buys it. Not for me though

  13. Martyhoedjes says:

    This should not about the phone, but about the operating system. Android manages to work great on both low and high end devices. iOS only works great on its own proprietary high-end devices. (And, if you look at equivalent Android devices — you might make the case that they are overpriced. But you also pay for Apple software development, marketing, etc.) 

    The advantage of the iPhone is that you don’t overwhelm users with choice. 
    The disadvantage is that people that have specific needs and budgets that don’t match the iPhone go out and buy an Android phone.

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