Where are the Android users?

“Google occasionally reports data regarding Android. Very occasionally. The last time we had some data was in September 2012 when we learned that activations were running at 1.3 million per day and that a total of 500 million total activations had taken place,” Horace Dediu reports for Asymco. “But we have to live with what we get and, in the absence of an update, the pattern of growth in Android, if sustained… implies that 800 million Android activations have taken place to date and the rate is about 2 million per day. One billion activations could thus happen by June.”

“There is however another set of data regarding Android which is updated more frequently. The comScore mobiLens survey covers the US and provides updates on a monthly basis. That data shows that Android users in the US reached about 68 million as of the end of January,” Dediu reports. “Combining the comScore data with Google’s activations gives the following picture of US as a percent of global Android.”

Dediu reports, “The data implies about 9% of Android usage is in the US. The more startling thing is the difference in growth: it implies that with a US growth rate of only about 13.3k/day, global growth is 150 times faster than US growth. In other words, that 0.6% of new users are in the US and that 99.4% of Android growth is outside the US… The iPhone is growing considerably faster in the US than Android… about 20% of iPhone growth is in the US and 80% is outside the US.”

Much more, including the usual excellent graphs, in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last November:

Android can have the Hee Haw demographic. Apple doesn’t want it or need it; it’s far more trouble than it’s worth.

For further explanation, read more here.

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Study: iPhone users vastly outspent Android users on apps, respond much better to ads – August 20, 2012
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33 Comments

    1. Says an Okie, a state with it’s own special gas station beer.

      A state dominated by fundamentalist Christians. A state where you get more jail time for pot than rape or pedophilia.

      I was stationed in Oklahoma for a time, there is very little “intelligence” there near as I could tell. One of the happiest days of my life was leaving that place, knowing I would never return. Couldn’t pay me enough to go back. Sad place Oklahoma…

      1. Those nasty old fundamentalist Christians. And who is doing the name calling?

        Facts:
        OK avg prison sentence for rape: 22.9 years
        OK avg prison sentence for drug possession: 7.4 years
        Couldn’t find verifiable pedophilia statistics

        Just hicks here, like Kevin Durant.

        1. Don’t worry about “Truth” who obviously is a troll! I agree fully with your sentiments above. I am of the “hee-haw demographic but at the same time functionally multi-lingual and with post college grad degree, and with kids that are also multi-lingual and with post grad degrees. (Living overseas for years helps.) Still, Proud of my “hee-haw” heritage.

  1. So iPhones are selling faster than Android? That means Apple’s stock price should decline a couple of percentage points & Google’s should increase.

  2. It could be that Google’s domestic share is dramatically shrinking as compared to their international share for some bizarre and not fully explained reason.

    Or the other option is that Google has simply been lying about their activations, or otherwise overstating them by the way they (fail to) define what an ‘activation’ actually means.

  3. So, what do you think happened in September 2012? 5 months of no data. Didn’t the iPhone 5 come out when these Android lovers stopped talking about Android activations? Could there be any correlation of people holding off for the NEW and improved iPhone?

  4. Reading the comments after the article an interesting detail is relayed: A former Google engineer reported that during his time with the company “activations” had nothing to do with “devices” but with users, which is probably entirely consistent with Google’s business model of delivering users to advertisers. And so wouldn’t it be interesting to know what percentage of 800M “activated users” are actually the same person creating a new Google identity to create a break in Google’s tracking of them? I’m geeky enough to have done that before on purpose and my two oldest children have as well, but we’re sort of a geek family in that regard. Or, in Google-land, is there a benefit to using the same identity when switching to a new phone or is there a benefit to creating a new identity? I have no experience there, and am just asking.

    1. I am not following how Google would confuse android device activations with Google identities (gmail, google docs, youtube, etc).

      As the device activations are reported in financial discloures, they would be committing securities fraud if what they call device activations were not actually tied to Android devices. “Device activations” is also materially different from “shipment” mumbers that you sometimes see from the likes of Samsung. That would imply shipment into the channel instead activated when bought by a customer.

      1. critic2 said:
        “I am not following how Google would confuse android device activations with Google identities (gmail, google docs, youtube, etc).”

        Why, the same way they seem to confuse what belongs to them and what belongs to others. They are self professed and unrepentant liars cheaters and thieves.
        And we should believe the nebulous and unsubstantiated “activation” (whatever it means) figures, because?

      2. @critic2: “As the device activations are reported in financial discloures…”

        I do not believe that is true. For one thing, whatever “activations” are, they have no financial significance.

  5. For Google, an Android “user” is the commodity that is “sold” to its REAL customers (advertisers). Looks like Google’s “harvest” is richer in overseas markets.

    (In contrast, Apple’s users are really Apple’s customers.)

  6. Activations to people who do not use Google services is also a problem for Google. Data are indicating that most of these users are treating the phone as a feature phone, if that, only.

  7. In countries that have lot of poor people and the Apple ecosystem is not that usefull or even in place yet, the Android phones are replacing everything on the market.

    1. In the UK at an O2 shop my wife just got free on a minimum £11 contract a galaxy ace. Nothing apple makes comes close in cost effectiveness. This is why android does so better outside the USA.

      1. I am a huge Apple fan, but I hear what you are saying. They could do a lot on price, especially internationally. From what I can see, in the US there is no good reason not to have an iPhone. But internationally they can be expensive and the value proposition is not as clear when there is not an Apple store just down the road.

        1. They can be expensive outside the US but that may or may not be Apple’s. Even after currency conversion the phone could simple be marked up to a higher price by the seller or there could be ridiculous taxes, VAT etc on Apple products. In some places both come in to play.
          Also an iphone can and will last longer than an android phone. iPhones can upgrade software year and year where androids usually stuck the initial software they were purchased with and that software if often a year or told already.

        1. And when apple come out with a cheap plastic phone this year or next, I hope you’ll recall this comment.
          FWIW here in the UK and EU many folk just don’t have a lot of money to spare, iphones are expensive both the phone and the plan, so they are being taken to the cleaners.
          I cannot imagine apple are blind to this, so I hope they do something about it before its too late.

          1. The telcos will still want their pound of flesh and even if Apple was to become a charity and give away free phones, you still couldn’t afford the cell phone bill. Apple is in the business to make great devices that people will love and they need to make profit to continue to do that. There is no free lunch.

            1. Not to mention that Apple isn’t really in any market for the purpose of winning that market or owning that market. They’ve always pursued a premium product at a premium price and let everyone else get hot and bothered by marketshare numbers.

  8. You know the ad-supported software model? Like you make a nifty little app or website and people kind of dig it, so you throw an ad or two on it and now you got some cash?
    It’s a simplification, but that is really what Facebook and Google are. Especially Facebook, since Google has spread its tentacles further.
    They have been thrashing and posturing trying to evade this reality. But at their essence, that is what they are. Nifty apps with ads.

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