Android Devices Growing at This Crazy Pace

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Senior VP of Mobile Andy Rubin tweeted this morning (apparently the future of financial news releases) that the company’s Android OS phones and tablets are growing at a stunning pace. Rubin said, “There are now over 500,000 Android devices activated every day, and it’s growing at 4.4% w/w.” If those numbers are true, and the executive couldn’t suppress the need to contain his excitement by broadcasting the information through social media streams, then the news is extraordinary for Google shareholders, but frightening for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) prospects in the smart phone market.

Business Insider’s Henry Blodget reports that Android’s pace is growing at more than double the rate of Apple iOS products, while sold 19 million units last quarter with an activation rate of 210,000 daily. Blodget continues to call this significant because of the “platform game” that mobile devices are competing in, “Now that developers are building applications that run on top of mobile devices–applications that make those devices more valuable to their users–market share is critical. If Android grabs a dominant share of the market, as Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows did in the 1990s, Apple will get increasingly marginalized, and eventually iOS’s value as a platform will plummet.”

Platforming has become especially important because app developers may be reluctant to waste valuable resources creating programs for platforms that don’t have enough market share to bring profitable returns, a dilemma Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) smart phones and tablets are currently facing. While Apple is still well-insulated from having to face that issue, the looming threat from Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is real, and at the current growth rate from Android OS phones, the company has cause for concern. Although yesterday’s report that Apple plans to release two new smart phones, one at a lower price than Android phones, may be a shot right across Google’s bow.

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