Google accused of inflating Android activation numbers

Posted by Mark Raby

There was all sorts of buzz yesterday over Google's claim that it is activating new Android devices at a pace of 300,000 per day. But someone's calling shenanigans on that.

That someone is Frost & Sullivan analyst Michael Jude. Even though Google VP Andy Rubin said 300,000 "activations" were happening every day, Jude said that number "may represent the number of phones being shipped from manufacturers, many of which end up in warehouses rather than in people's pockets."

I guess the word "activation" could simply mean that a device is packed together and ready for use, meaning it has left the assembly line. But most people would think of it as actually reaching the end user and getting connected for service.

Jude has no solid proof to rebuke Rubin's claim, but he is skeptical given that just a couple months ago, Google was only "activating" around 200,000 Android devices, much less than it claims to be doing now.

Of course, Android now powers much more than smartphones. It's used in Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reader, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Sony's Internet TV, Logitech's Revue set-top box, and a whole bunch of stuff.

Regardless, Android is doing well. No one can deny that.