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Google rebuffs Apple's claims of exaggerated Android numbers

updated 05:50 pm EDT, Thu September 2, 2010

Google responds to Apple's activations disbeliefs

In response to Steve Jobs' disbelief that Google is seeing 200,000 Android device activations daily, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in a response today that Android numbers do not include upgrades. He clarified further to Fortune, saying only devices that have Google services are counted. Only web-connected devices such as smartphones are accounted for where embedded and other basic devices aren't registered.

The statement reduces the impact of Apple chief Steve Jobs' claims that iOS activations are "ahead of everyone," and cast doubt on his remarks that competitors are "counting upgrades in their numbers." Also, the nature of the business currently works in Apple's favor, as its 230,000 activations per day are based on iPads, iPhones and iPod touch media players. Partly due to the lack of optimization for media and larger screens, Android has been largely absent from anything other than smartphones, although the existence of devices like the Samsung Galaxy Tab are beginning to diversify the platform.

Jobs took some less direct digs at Google during his music event keynote, mentioning that the new Apple TV will bring only high-profile TV shows and Hollywood blockbuster movies to users, and not "amateur hour" content; the statement was a jab at hobbyist boxes that often rely on independent content, such as the Popbox, but also the emphasis on web video for Google TV. The new Apple TV will, however, play YouTube content, which can be classified as hosting amateur content.

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Who really cares about Android activations?

    They don't actually represent anything of value. One iOS activation represents at least one sold piece of hardware and that revenue goes directly to Apple. One Android activation means that exactly zero revenue goes to Google. Multiply that times 200,000 and it still equals zero revenue for Google.

    Anyway, it won't be the first time one company tries to belittle a rival company using dubious numbers.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Is this Apple's

    New marketing strategy? Pump out BS numbers in an attempt to embarrass or belittle another company. Since when does Apple care about insignificant data like that? I thought they had more class than that?

    Besides, Nokia trumps everyone with 300,000 symbian activations A DAY.

    Suck on that Stevie-Boy.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Don't even try to face off with Google with your pitiful Apple TV offerings. What a sorry piece of crippled kit that is. Didn't Apple itself claim this was a 'Hobby' for them? What an asinine thing to say.

    When Google unleashes their GoogleTV, it will be lights out Apple TV. Lights out "amateur Apple hobbyists". Buh bye!

  1. rbodgers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    All you had to do was read ONE SENTENCE...

    ... and you got it wrong.

    Eric Schmidt didn't say anything. A spokesperson for Google contacted Fortune about the article Fortune published online. I'm sure Eric Schmidt would whole-heartedly agree with this spokesperson. But get it right. Or, barring that, take the word "News" out of your title. I'm fine either way.

    Oh, also, Steve Jobs is the one who has trouble believing Google's numbers, not Apple. Apple, Inc. I'm sure has no opinion on the subject. A CEO can, and often does, speak with for his or her company. But saying that the company Apple doesn't believe these numbers profoundly misses the point.

    And learn how to write clearly. There are sentences in this blog post... ack, sorry... news article that you should be ashamed of.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The numbers favor Google for Smartphones

    Steve Jobs was successful, to mislead in order to create a debate around the obvious: that Android has suprassed iPhone (by far) in smart phone sales.

    Now we'll be debating for a short while, until Android is twice the iOS rate, and then finally that debate will die down.

    Apple's numbers include non-phones - Google's largely do not, although you could argue the Dell Streak is a tablet. But the Dell Streak isn't a big part of Google's #'s.

    Secondly, 200,000 a day has already gone up, to likely over 240,000 a day. But lets look at Apple's, 240,000, how many are smartphones? probably not even 200,000 of those.

    In terms of App marketplace, I don't mind adding in non-smartphones. But that also isn't a direct comparison.

    The Android tablets are starting to be released - even android based music players are coming out in some countries. So Android is likely to compete across the spectrum - plus some Android tablets have phone functionality - the lines between product lines will be blurred.

    Steve Jobs may want you to believe he is still turning the tide with iOS, but - the numbers don't show that. He doesn't have the momentum with iPhone 4 - great selling phone, not selling as fast as the entire Android market though. So what will he do? iPhone 5?

    Other than fudding the numbers, what's the plan Steve?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: The numbers favor Google for Smartphones

    Jobs wasn't misleading. An iOS user is an iOS user just as an Android user is an Android user - from a developer's perspective.

    That the device is able to make a phone call is less relevant.

    Jobs was misleading though. He basically came out and said "Oh, other companies just throw out numbers" and then literally just threw out his own number without really saying what it meant.

    What is an activation? Some new user or an existing user who got a new device? Does Steve differentiate on those? ATT said 70+% of the initial iPhone4 owners were existing iPhone owners. Is Steve still counting those? Do they count an activation of a device that is sold to someone else who then activates it on ATT under another account?

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