Android activations now total 500,000 a day: Google

Android phones are selling by the bucketload – no surprise to Android watchers.

Android figurines are displayed at Google headquarters in Beijing, China. Today Google announced it was activated a half million Android phones every day.

Way back in December – gazillions of years in Tech Time – Google announced that it was activating 300,000 Android phones a day, a boost from the 200,000 activations it had logged a few months before. Android, in other words, was ascendant. And guess what? Android ain't done climbing.

In a message posted to his Twitter account today, Google's Andy Rubin said a whopping half million Android devices were now being activated every day.

Mull that figure over for a moment: 500,000 Android phones. A half-million Xoom tablets, EVO 4G handsets, or Nexus S phones. Every single day.

Of course, all those activations do not mean that everyone else can go home now. As Sam Oliver points out over at Apple Insider, "while Android has grown in market share, Apple's profit share has eclipsed the rest of the mobile industry. In fact, one recent analysis showed that Apple could buy rivals Nokia, Research in Motion, HTC and Motorola Mobility all at once with its estimated $70 billion in cash," Oliver added.

Still, the latest figure from Google does cement something that we've known for a while now: Android is still the operating system to beat. Horizons readers will remember that back in January, the the British research firm Canalys published data showing that Android had become the most popular mobile operating system in the world, surpassing even Nokia's Symbian OS, long the king of the smart phone heap.

Nokia has since struggled – although the partnership with Microsoft could help, especially if handsets like the Sea Ray and the N9 are any indication – and Apple has focused its energy mostly on the higher end of the market. Which is something else to consider: Part of the reason Google can activate so many Android phones is because Android phones come at a whole lot of price points, while Apple phones stray toward the higher end of the spectrum.

In order to catch up with Android, Apple will probably have to release a lower-priced iPhone – an idea that's already being bandied around the blogosphere. More when we know it.

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