Android: 900,000 activations daily -- what that means

Head Android Andy Rubin responded to a rumor he is leaving Google, and couldn't resist throwing out the latest impressive figure of Android activations.

The Android juggernaut continues to chug unstoppably, based on a statement by Andy Rubin over the weekend. Rubin stated that 900,000 Android phones are activated every day, a staggering number. What does he mean by activation? He defined it late last year on Google +:

That makes the new daily figure even more impressive, as it means there is wireless service activated for each phone counted. Rubin's statement rules out updates to the OS counting as a new activation. Android is getting close to the magic million a day mark.

Rubin's statement came in response to a published rumor that he is about to leave Google for a new startup. He quickly dashed the rumor on Google + and couldn't resist adding about the new activation level for Android.

While there is a never-ending debate in the mobile space about whether a company's reported numbers represent sales or shipments, Google's unique use of activations is a clear indicator of platform growth. The previous figure given by Rubin was 850,000 activations/day back in February of this year.

Activating an Android phone means someone got a new phone, and entered into an agreement with a carrier of some type to get service. Rubin has previously stated that the number includes tablets, which may not count Wi-Fi only models given a lack of service provider. Given the relatively low sales of Android tablets, that may not be a factor.

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