Despite the presence of one or two minor Windows Phones, Mobile World Congress 2012 may as well rename itself Android World Congress and if the latest figures are anything to go by, 2012 is shaping up to another big year for Google’s mobile platform.
Google announced last summer that it was registering half a million Android device activations each day, but that figure has now jumped to 850,000 activations a day. Google says this figure doesn’t take into account devices like the Kindle Fire which don’t have access to Google services and only registers device IDs once, and not again when they are reset or sold on.
Google also revealed that there are now around 300 million total Android devices around the globe, including 12 million tablets. This figure for tablet was described by the head of Android at Google, Andy Rubin, as "not insignificant, but less than I'd expect it to be if you really want to win," adding that "2012 is going to be the year that we double down and make sure we're winning in that space."
One of the reasons Android tablets have failed to capture a bigger slice of the market is due to a lack of tablet-specific apps. "Android's unique in that it's a single platform that spans device types. Fundamentally you shouldn't have to have a third-party developer build his app twice," Rubin told The Verge in Barcelona. "There has to be an education process and developers have to do the work" of making their apps tablet-aware on Android. "They're already doing that work for other platforms."
In general terms, there are now 450,000 apps in the Android Market which is triple the 150,000 figure at this time last year. Rubin said he couldn’t force app developers to write a tablet app, but it was up to Google to promote the platform more.
With Windows 8 set to launch later this year, and the iPad 3 due any time now, Google has a tough battle on its hands to dominate the tablet market as it is beginning to dominate the smartphone market.
Source: Google Mobile Blog