Imagine, if you will, that every man, woman, and child in Europe owned an Android device. That still wouldn't account for every device that's been made, sold, and activated, according to the latest blog post from Google CEO Larry Page. In the same message that revealed Andy Rubin would be leaving his position as the head of Android development, Page mentioned almost in passing that Android had surpassed 750 million activated devices, including smartphones, tablets, and various other gadgets.
The pace of innovation has never been greater, and Android is the most used mobile operating system in the world: we have a global partnership of over 60 manufacturers; more than 750 million devices have been activated globally; and 25 billion apps have now been downloaded from Google Play. Pretty extraordinary progress for a decade’s work.
For a quick reminder of Android's continued rapid pace, we direct your attention to Eric Schmidt's update in September of last year, when he said that 480 million devices had been activated. Keep in mind that Google's measurements for "activated" were given as the number of devices that have been registered for use with a mobile carrier, use Google services, and have not been activated before.
That being said, the number of actual Android devices that have been sold and used is probably higher, since plenty of Android devices (notably those in China, hardware from OEMs like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and non-phone gadgets like the OUYA) don't use Google's services or the Google Play Store. Tugging in the opposite direction is the fact that plenty of those activated devices are now out of service; with nearly five years of backlog, there are more than a few phones and tablets gathering dust in landfills or desk drawers.
But any way you slice it, there's a hell of a lot of Android hardware out there, and it's growing more quickly than anyone might have guessed way back in 2008. Here's to the little green robot that could.