How many Android tablets have been sold? Could just be a million

Summary:While no one questions if there are a lot of Android phones in users' hands, it is not quite as clear how many Android tablets are out there. A look at Google's numbers may indicate not very many.

Google has activated 130 million Android devices, a staggering number for such a short platform life. That's because there are a whopping 550,000 Android devices activated every day, according to the latest figures from Google. While no one questions if there are a lot of Android phones in users' hands, it is not quite as clear how many Android tablets are out there. John Gruber of Daring Fireball took Google's own numbers and reckons there are just over a million Honeycomb tablets being used.

Google tracks Android usage by screen size, and defines a tablet screen (7 inches and larger) as Xlarge. That makes it possible to determine how many devices are accessing the Android Market by screen size, and thus how many accesses are done from a tablet. By Google's numbers as pointed out by Gruber, only 0.9 percent of recent accesses to the Market are by an Xlarge device. Based on Google's number of 130 million Android devices in use (and not 135 million as Gruber mistakenly used), that would indicate only 1.17 million tablets are in the mix.

The Google number only represents devices that accessed the Android Market over a 7-day period, so there is a lot of wiggle room using this number. But even if you take all of that wiggle room into Google's favor, there are a heck of lot less Android tablets in the wild than the 28 million iPads that have been sold through June 2011.

I would have guessed that a lot more Android tablets have been sold than just a million, but these numbers do indicate probably not much more than that; that is significant given the number of Android tablets now on the market. I must admit I don't ever see anyone using one in the real world.


Topics: Hardware, Google, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets


James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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