"Today is a big day for Android ... 500 million devices activated globally, and over 1.3 million added every single day."
Those are the words of Google's Hugo Barra, who made the announcement through Google+ on Tuesday evening. Android crossed the 500 million mark less than a week after Google Chairman Eric Schmidt reported the total number of activations was at about 480 million. Well done, Google.
Google's 500 million Android devices isn't limited to smartphones. That number includes tablets, media devices, smart watches, and other random bits of gear with an OS buried inside. (Apple will probably provide an update on the total number of iOS devices shipped later today, when it announces the iPhone 5.)
Samsung is the largest contributor to the total number of Android devices sold. It recently announced sales of more than 20 million Galaxy S III smartphones and sales of more than 10 million Galaxy Note phablets. Add the 50 million combined sales of the original Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy II, and four devices account for more than 80 million of that 500 million total.
Samsung sells nearly two dozen other "Galaxy" branded smartphones and tablets. Taking them into consideration, and it's not unreasonable to assume that Samsung is responsible for 20%--if not significantly more--of the 500 million Android devices out there. Samsung is already the worldwide leader not just in smartphones, but in all phones.
HTC, Motorola, LG, Sony, ZTE, Huawei, Pantech, Coolpad, Kyocera, and others are divvying up the rest with limited success.
The 1.3 million daily activations is a number that cannot be ignored. There are 111 days left in 2012 (as of this writing). That means Google is on track to sell about 145 million more Android devices by the end of the year, which it will close out with 645 million total devices.
At activations of 1.3 million devices daily, Google is on track to add 475 million new Android devices to its total during the 2013 calendar year. That will amount to 1.1 billion activations come December 31, 2013. The one-billion-activations threshold itself will probably fall on or close to September 29 or 30, 2013.
Surely, Google will keeps us informed of its progress toward that milestone.