Carriers are now activating more than 500,000 new Android devices every day, according to Google Vice President of Engineering Andy Rubin.
Rubin, who had previously been the CEO of Android before Google acquired it in 2005, posted an update on his Twitter account this morning saying that more than half a million Android-based devices were being activated every day. He also said that Google is seeing 4.4% growth in Android activations week-over-week.
Rubin's latest update on Android device activation numbers comes just over six months after Google announced that it was activating 300,000 Android devices per day last December. That particular milestone was notable because it was the first time Android had exceeded the 270,000 iPhones that Apple claimed it activated every day. The rise in Android's popularity has been rapid over the past two years, as Google claimed at the end of the first quarter of 2010 that Android activations were averaging a mere 65,000 per day. By the middle of the year, that number had jumped to 200,000, Google claimed.
Android is currently the most popular smartphone operating system in the United States, with a market share of just under 50%, according to IDC. Since its debut in the fall of 2007, Android has appeared on numerous popular smartphones for several carriers including Verizon's Motorola Droid and Sprint's HTC Evo 4G. As an open-source operating system that is free for device manufacturers to use, Android has been adopted by a wide range of handset makers including HTC, Motorola, LG, Samsung and Sony-Ericsson. Earlier this year Google unveiled Android 3.0 (a.k.a., "Honeycomb"), which was the first version of the Android platform specifically tailored for the tablet form factor.
Research released earlier this year by ABI projected that Android would be on nearly half of all smartphones in 2016, while just 19% of all smartphones would run on Apple's iOS. Research firm Canalys reported earlier this year that Android had become the best-selling smartphone OS in the world, as Android smartphone shipments reached almost 33 million worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2010.