Posted October 3, 2011 5:25 pm by with 3 comments

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The iPhone 5 is just around the corner.

Sprint is betting the farm on the new device.

Some are reporting that Sprint may have an exclusive on the new smartphone for a while (rumor alert).

All that said, the chart below from Business Insider (data supplied by Michael DeGusta) says that by October 20 there could be 1 million new Android activations each and every day.

So whose got whom by the “you know whats”? It’s a tight race that only promises to get more intense as the social mobile movement continues to evolve. I honestly don’t see a clear victor. The camps are set and there seems to be plenty of users to fill both sides with fan boys.

So what’s your choice? iOS or Android for smartphone. As for tablets that’s another discussion completely, wouldn’t you agree?

  • Ben

    The graph looks like an extrapolation from figures taken before the announcement of the October 4th iPhone launch. Give the figures posted on numerous web sites citing the large proportion of Android users who would switch to iOS it will be intersting to see the direction the graph actually takes over the next few months.

  • Tapakegovagnaps

    Here’s one that’ll set Android fanatics’ hair on fire: as the iPhone 5 arrives, the latest data shows that only sixteen percent of mobile traffic comes from Android devices even as Apple’s combined iPhone-iPad lineup accounts for slightly more than half of all mobile traffic. So much for the claims that Android devices have forty-eight percent of the mobile market. The study conducted by Net Applications is the latest statistical broadside fired into claims on the part of Google that Android device “activations” are an adequate substitute for actual device sales numbers, and casts further skepticism as to whether the meteoric rise of the Android platform is in fact real.

    Android smartphones have sold well and are easy enough to spot in multitudes in public. But it’s been difficult from the start to get a handle on the true popularity of the devices for two reasons. One is that among tech journalists and publications, who account for the bulk of Android platform reporting, the majority of them are the kind of geeks who greatly prefer Android and its open-source Linux underpinnings on a personal level. The reporting coming from these outlets regarding Android OS has long been skewed overly favorable. For reference, these are the same outlets claiming that the new Google+ has already overtaken Facebook in overall popularity, even as hard data shows Facebook still has greater than ten times as many users. But the skewed reporting has only been half the battle, as “activation numbers” have ruled the day in place of actual marketshare. So what does this have to do with the impending iPhone 5 launch? We’ll get to that…

    Google is perhaps justified in reporting its Android OS progress in terms of device activations rather than device sales, as Google is only responsible for the Android OS and for the most part is hands-off in terms of device sales (although that’s soon to change in the aftermath of Google’s acquisition of Droid manufacturer Motorola Mobility). But the activation numbers reported have always seemed pie in the sky in comparison to a simple glance-around and headcount in public (so long as you’re not a geek tech conference). Apple and others have accused Google of counting multiple activations per user; each time an Android user installs an OS update, it’s technically another activation, and other factors such as prepaid disposable Android phones could be further skewing the activations numbers. But perhaps consciously or unconsciously, Android-leaning tech reporters and publications have largely allowed Google to skate by with nary an editorial challenge to these activation claims. As such, the public has largely swallowed the editorial claims that “Android is taking over” despite that notion being based on nothing more than Google’s sketchy activation claims and the tech media’s willingness to not only blindly trust those numbers but turn around and misrepresent them as if they were marketshare numbers instead.

    Today’s web usage study would seem to throw down the gauntlet. If Android activation numbers are indeed an accurate representation of actual Android devices in use, then it means that iPhone users do three times as much web surfing as their Android counterparts. How’s that possible? The short answer is that it’s not…

    There could be some degree of mitigating explanation which would explain away a portion of the discrepancy. For instance, while most iPhone users have an iPhone because they wanted one, most Android users (tech geeks aside) are on Android because their carrier didn’t have the iPhone at the time. Here’s the part where the iPhone 5 launch plays directly into this: other studies have shown that anywhere from 27% to 42% of current Android users plan to switch to the iPhone 5 once it arrives. That alone is evidence that most Android buyers are either disappointed in their purchase or have never had any allegiance to the device to begin with, viewing it as a placeholder until the iPhone arrived on their carrier. As such, disgruntled and disinterested Android users could in fact be surfing the web less because they’ve either given up on the device or they’ve struggled with its geek-leaning interface from the start and don’t find mobile web surfing worth the frustration.

    But even as such, that’s not enough to explain why Android users would only be reaching for their devices one-third as often as iPhone users. The more logical answer is that Android internet usage is only a fraction of what Android activation numbers would suggest because those activation numbers are simply, in a word, bullshit. Just don’t expect Android-leaning tech publications to admit to as much as they report on this latest study (in fact two major publications have attempted to use the iPod touch to explain away the difference, despite the wifi-only touch seeing far less internet usage per device than a smartphone would). It won’t be the first time they’ve overlooked glaring evidence that Android activation numbers have no correlation to actual Android usage, nor the last. But for those who can do the math, it’s more clear than ever that Android sales are only a fraction of what Android cheerleaders would have you believe.

  • I have an andrioid, I’m much happier with it over the old iphone I had. it just feels much more user friendly. My only complaint is battery life