Every day more than 700,000 people sign up for a new Android device, Google’s Android chief, Andy Rubin, said late Tuesday via Twitter and Google+. That works out to nearly 5 million new Android users every week, which is about the equivalent of an iPhone 4S opening weekend every seven days. Rubin also clarified that Google’s 700,000 activations per day includes new devices only and not resold ones. “We count each device only once,” Rubin said in a follow-up post on Google+. “Activations means you go into a store, buy a device, [and] put it on the network by subscribing to a wireless service.”
Rubin’s clarification may have been in response to past criticisms lobbed against Android by Apple’s late cofounder Steve Jobs. “We think some of our friends are counting upgrades in their numbers,” Jobs said, referring to Android in September 2010. Rubin on Tuesday did not specifically address the issue of counting upgrades, but did say that Google counts each device only once.
Earlier in December, Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, said there were about 550,000 Android phones being activated every day, according to CNET. But it appears Schmidt was specifically taking about phones, while Rubin only mentioned “devices” suggesting he may be counting phones as well as 3G-enabled tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab or the recently launched Droid Xyboard devices.