Google: Android device activations surpass 500M worldwide

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has activated more than 500 million Android devices worldwide less than four years since launching the mobile operating system.

Android Director of Product Management Hugo Barra confirmed the milestone Tuesday evening via Google+, stating that Google is now activating 1.3 million additional Android devices each day. Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt first noted the daily activation total last week. In mid-June, the company trumpeted 900,000 Android activations each day, up from the 850,000 daily activations Vice President of Mobile Andy Rubin announced in late February.

Shipments of Android smartphones surpassed the 100 million quarterly mark for the first time in the second quarter of 2012, translating to global market share of 68.1 percent, according to recent Canalys data. Android device shipments more than doubled year-over-year, increasing to 107.8 million from 51.2 million in the second quarter of 2011, when the platform controlled 47.6 percent of the international market. Canalys cites China as a major catalyst behind Android's growth spurt, noting the OS now powers 81 percent of smartphones shipped nationwide.

Annual Android smartphone shipments will increase to 451 million worldwide in 2013, up from 357 million this year, according to a new IHS forecast. The firm adds Android smartphone shipments are on pace to reach a cumulative 1 billion next year, topping the 3 billion mark in 2016.

IHS: Worldwide annual unit shipments of Android phones will rise to 451 million in 2013, up from 357 million in 2012.

"We expect the Android operating system to become the first to reach the milestone of 1 billion shipments during its lifetime," said IHS Analyst Daniel Gleeson. "For Google, this accomplishment highlights the success of its growth strategy for Android, which is based on providing the operating system as an open-source platform to third-party smartphone brands free of charge. Google hopes to make significant revenues from mobile advertisements and other services. Such an open-source model means that Google offers handset makers the ability to customize Android easily, and by also eliminating licensing fees, is greatly encouraging adoption among smartphone handset manufacturers."

For more:
- read this Google+ post
- read this release

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