Is Android’s growth a myth?

Android hardware outsells iOS hardware. That’s not debatable, it’s a fact. At Google I/O 2013, the all knowing all seeing search engine revealed that they’ve activated 900 million Android devices, but it’s one thing to activate a device and another thing altogether for that device to be in use.

According to the chart above from Flurry Analytics, the number of Android devices in people’s hands exceeded the number of iOS devices late last year, but then look what happened to the growth rate. That steep curve hit a brick wall and it’s been limping along ever since.

Never heard of Flurry Analytics? They claim to have “the world’s largest data set on app usage”, and I believe them. Not all developers use Flurry’s tracking service, which is a given, but enough do that their data can’t be ignored. And they say 564 million Android devices were picked up by their servers as of April of this year. That’s far less impressive than 900 million, isn’t it?

When Apple reported their fiscal Q1 2013 (calendar Q4 2012) financial results, they said that they’ve sold over 500 million iOS devices. Similar to what I just said for Android, not all of those are currently in use, at least I hope not. Can’t imagine what life would be like if I had to use a 2007 iPhone in 2013.

Anyway, my point is that it took Android a while to catch up with iOS, and now that it has it appears to be growing at roughly the same rate as iOS, despite all the crazy hyperbole you read about Android owning 70% or more of the smartphone market. That number obviously doesn’t include tablets, which Apple ships more of in a quarter than ASUS or Acer or Samsung ship in any given year.

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Categories: Android

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  • Fábio Duarte

    Dude, that was PATHETIC!

  • BoatBoy

    This chart is missing a lot of other devices on Android. It always looks bad when you do not include data.

    • md6597

      People need to learn how to read graphs. The blue line represents the total off android devices (even ones not listed) as a percentage of iOS devices. So where the blue line crosses 100% is when there are more Android devices than iOS devices. The various devices listed reflect the percentage of of the entire market that the said device made up at the time. So in October of 2011 S2′s were about 45% of android devices and by July 2012 the s3 held that percentage. The graph is showing much more than just those devices.

      • Dr. Llyons

        The article is bias. In basic English they teach you not to trust biased articles. Gather information from other sites and report back here. Who made that graph? How’d they get the information? Is it accurate? Those are all questions you should be asking yourself before stating something without knowing how credible any of the sources are.Also, considering this is an iPhone blog, you can expect some exaggerating or puffery in the articles.

  • Htc ONE

    LOL terrible blog ;) HTC ONE IS ON FIRE!!! :D

    • Pacomacman

      I bought an HTC One too, great phone. However I will be buying an iPhone once the new model is released. I hope HTC are doing well with this phone because they have been struggling for a few years, it’s a great device, but sadly no iPhone killer.

  • That Guy

    What people fail to realize is that there are tons of devices that run Android OS( Galaxy 1,2,3,4,HTC One, One X, Kindle, Kindle Fire, ect.) but only two(iPhone, iPad) that run on iOS. So of course it looks like Android outsell iOS, people have more devices to choose from.

    • bcsc

      Bad math. You say only 2 that run iOS? why would you count Galaxy S 1,2,3,4 and then only claim one iPhone? You should be saying iPhone 2g,3g,3gs,4,4s,5. And if you include iPads, you have 11 devices running iOS. Your numbers dont look so steller anymore huh?

      • md6597

        LOL… Ok so you named all the iOS devices. I couldn’t even begin to imagine name all the android devices there are literally thousands.

        I know tons of people who have cheap prepaid phones on cricket or Verizon that are what I would consider a feature phone, but technically it runs froyo or some other lower version of android and it counts toward the android army’s numbers. Last Christmas retailers sold thousands of $99 android tablets running honeycomb or gingerbread that were so horrible you would only buy one for your worst enemy and yet they count as well to androids numbers. That’s the point he was trying to make.

        There are a ton of cheap manufactures who will put $20 in parts along with the lowest version of android they can find in a box sell it for $75 – $100 and people buy it and activate it and regret it. That still counts as an android activation.

        • flip

          The point he was making is a possible lie about android growth based on activation. You just proved they make cheap phones and people buy and regret. That’s still an activation, and that’s still another user with an android phone. Then he tried to make an excuse about getting activated and not used. Guy is just mad because Android is growing faster than IOS now. So with incomplete charts and some crappy article he thought he could trick people ;) nope. Android grows faster than IOS accept it.

          • ASDF

            8 IOS devices and 4 android devices. PATHETIC.

          • md6597

            Android is an operating system. There are good android phones and there are horrible awful android phones. The number of Android activations is like the number of Windows activations. It means nothing if they are activating Windows 95 or Windows 3.1. Tell me how many activations of Jelly Bean on decent devices then maybe I will care. iOS may also be an operating system but remember everything running iOS was made by apple and is running decent software. The Android argument is stupid because android is too fragmented to matter. Give me Jelly Bean and ICS activations and we will talk (maybe).

          • bcsc

            Yes, an operation system dedicated to a device making it an ANDROID DEVICE. Meaning if it gets activated it is considered an Android activation. Just because it’s software doesn’t mean it’s not an android device… because it is. You have no clue what you’re talking about. They aren’t activation windows phones, they activate android phones. Windows phones are running WINDOWS…. You’re obviously an idiot. Jelly bean? Well if you want Jelly bean activation, it would be Jelly bean vs IOS 6.1.3 … not IOS 1 2 3 4 5 and 6. That would be unfair; obviously. LOL You can’t even come up with a good argument. It’s just sad, how you try to defend yourself. Point blank is ANDROID activates more than IOS as expected; they out sell IOS so shouldn’t they have more activations? OBVIOUSLY! Stop arguing, you’re wrong.

          • md6597

            You obviously don’t know how to read. Did I say windows phones? No I did not. I was comparing Android to the desktop operating system of Windows. There are a lot of versions of windows from 3.1 through 95, 98, ME, XP, Vista, 7 and 8. I don’t care how many computers running windows 95 there are. They are not relevant. The same as android phones running Froyo they are not relevant. I am sure the laptops running Android baked OS count as android devices as well. If doesn’t mean I care. BTW I’m sure if you compared iOS 6 to Jelly Bean iOS 6 would have an advantage. Because most iOS devices can be and are updated. Android is fragmented. Of course I bet your half wit self will read this and infer something I didn’t say and reply to that anyway. Go ahead moron. It’s your turn to confound me with your wits.

          • YouLost

            Let me make this simple for you. PHONE WISE! Android outsells iPhone’s. That’s a FACT. So in theory, wouldn’t ANDROID HAVE MORE ACTIVATIONS? Yes. Regardless, android sells more devices, so it’s quite obvious they will activate more. Now matter how you put it android by far out sells iPhone’s. This is a FACT! I think you’re mad because my HTC One is FAR superior to your iPhone 5? I remember when I was an Apple Fanboy with my iPhone 5. Yeah, I came to reality and upgraded. You should do the same. I can’t believe someone is dumb enough to try to compare Apple activations to Android as if there is any competition. Let’s see you come back from this CLEAR defeat. :)

          • md6597

            That’s my point exactly! Thank you. You are comparing an OS to a phone! You cannot do that. Of course android has way more activations than iOS because there are thousands of phones some great with excellent hardware and features like the S4 or HTC one and some barely work like the cheap $15 android phones that run Android 2.3. Its better to compare a single model of a single phone to a single model of a single phone. Or a single version of an OS to a single version of an OS. If you read everything I type I readily admit android has more activations. No doubt. If you just go to any carrier and ask them for every android phone they sell how many of them are Top tier smartphones like an iphone, glaxay, nexus, HTC one, etc. Its probably 2/3 of them or less. A large portion of the android phones they sell are sub $200 and are crap for the most part. If you look at prepaid carrier Cricket Wireless they sell 12 android devices. 3 use android 2.3 seven use 4.0 and they have 2 jellybean devices 1 at both 4.1 and 4.2 If you look at the phones Verizon sells of the 20 devices they have they have 4 really cheap ones that run Android 2.3 and they have 5 running Ice Cream Sandwich. the other 11 run jellybean.
            How many iphones are selling right now running iOS 4? How many running iOS 5? ZERO that’s how many.

          • bcsc

            Yes but how many jailbroken devices are running iOS 6? My Moms iphone is at 5.1.1 and that is only because I forced her to update beyond iOS 4 a year ago. There are many people still running older versions of iOS. While there are many devices still running Gingerbread, They can be updated to 4.2.2. If you dont know what I mean, look into CM10.1. On another note, these 100 dollar android devices that you can buy have specs comparable to a 4s, and when combined with CM, you have a highly usable phone.i can buy one of these “$15 Androids”, flash a ROM onto it and wind up with a marginal more functional phone than you. I find it quite comical the way Apple users use the term fragmented, in place of the word choice. Find your way to the XDA site and then try to claim that there is a problem with updates and support? I’m assuming that is what you mean by fragmented anyway. And can you really comment on fragmentation when certain features of iOS are blocked on older phones due to the lack of quality hardware in them. iOS lovers claim “We dont need big RAM and fast CPU’s because iPhone hardware and software work so well together.” Explain that to iphone 4 users with no Siri, panoramas, face time, turn by turn nav or 3D flyovers. Taking features from an iPhone that is still for sale is the same as shipping an Android with Froyo. Throw JB on the original HTC nexus, and magically everything works. Unlike a fragmented iOS.

          • Pacomacman

            As someone that owns an iPhone 5 and more recently an HTC One I wouldn’t say the HTC One was a better phone. It’s a very well built phone with a good set of speakers and a bigger screen, which is why I purchased it. But after spending 6 weeks with the HTC I can honestly say Android is its letdown, not the hardware which is why I’ll be moving back to iOS!

          • Floyd

            Everyone is entitled to their own opinion – Floyd Mayweather

        • bcsc

          Can you get me a number as to how many iPod Touchs were activated worldwide? There is the 12th iOS device and handsdown the most popular device Apple has created. Every 12 year old kid has one and so does one of his parents. Imagine Apple’s numbers without the iPod> I wasnt disputing that there is a ton of selection and choice in Android devices. I just find it humerous when people claim that Apples sales all come from one phone and one iPad. Did you know you can sill buy an iPhone 4? Those count in sales figures too.

  • falconsoftmobile

    I am typing this on a 10 in tablet I bought for $195 android 4.1 4gb. 7inch versions r available for $89 here in Brazil. wakeup iOS, android will rollover iOS it is unstoppable (not better). billions of users in fast growth developing countries are buying android solely because of price.