One of the biggest announcements in Google’s 2013 I/O conference came from the head of the Chrome and Android division, Sundar Pichai, who mentioned an “extraordinary achievement”: Activation and use of Android devices, which were introduced to the public for the first time four years ago, has hit the 900 million mark.
The immense rate at which Android usage is growing is in many ways awe-inspiring. The number of total activations, which was 100 million in May, 2011, soared to a staggering 400 million in 2012, a near 300% increase. With the additional 500 million activations in 2013, Android-powered devices are now effectively being used by approximately one seventh of the world’s total population (7.084 billion). Google’s ultimate goal, as suggested by the keynote speakers, is to extend its reach to the next “several billion” people who might not be able to properly access or afford a mobile device. The devices that are expected to help the internet giant attain this goal include the white-box Android phones and tablets –which are proving to be extremely popular in emerging markets like India and China—and the “Android-powered” PCs that Intel and Google are believed to be working on.
Naturally, with growing Android device usage comes increased app downloads and software development. Google’s Hugo Bara has revealed the number of Google Play store downloads to be 48.5 billion as of May 2013, a respectable improvement compared to the 20 billion total from a year ago. Apple, whose iOS platform is neck-and-neck with Android in terms of popularity, announced two days ago that its online store had just seen its 50 billionth download.
A few more impressive statistical figures mentioned during I/O 2013 include:
- The increasing Android revenues earned per user (150%);
- The integration of Google Maps in more than a million websites;
- The rising popularity of Google Chrome (750 million users to date);
- The growth in the use of Google Cloud Messaging (used by more than 50% of the most popular apps in Google Play store, with over 17 billion messages being delivered per day).