Every day carriers activate over 500,000 new Android devices, welcoming new users to the Android experience on tablets and smartphones. This is much higher than the 275,000 iOS device activations per day which Apple reported back in October. Most users may not care how many new Android devices Google is activating per day, but if you love apps you should.
Apps can make or break the smartphone and tablet experience. A lack of apps can leave an otherwise great piece of hardware as a glorified web browser or transforming a slate into a platform which finds uses across industries and niches no one considered when it was introduced. When companies sit down to figure out which platform to debut their new app on the number of users they can reach plays an important role in the decision process. Now that Android is growing faster than iOS we will hopefully see more developers giving Android a higher priority.
It’s unlikely that we will see a wholesale change in attitude, with Android Apps arriving first from every developer, but we may be able to lose the “Coming Soon” tagline that seems to be attached to so many Android apps.
Given the 4.4% week over week growth and the 60% increase in daily activations from December it doesn’t look like this uptick is going to stop anytime soon, even with iOS 5 and a possible iPhone 5 on the way.
Unfortunately, this news isn’t all cookies and milk. The astonishing activation rate is possible due to the large variety of Android devices in different price ranges with different features and specs. This variety makes Android appealing to a wide range of users, but it causes fragmentation which can be a big problem for developers. Rather than designing an app to work on a handful of iOS devices, developers need to test on a wide range of screen sizes, processors and more — which complicates the Android app landscape.
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