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Only 5% of daily Android activations are tablets, smartphones still dominate

Eric Schmidt admitted that Google is selling very few tablets compared to smartphones. In fact, just 5% of all Android activations are from tablets. So, what can Google do to stimulate the growth of the sluggish Android tablet ecosytem?
September 11, 2012

Eric Schmidt, Google’s Executive Chairman, has told the audience at Motorola’s “On Display” event that there are 1.3 million Android devices activated every day. This is a phenomenal number and shows the dominance of Android. In comparison, Apple sells about 500,000 iOS devices per day.

Google is seeing massive growth in Android take up. During Google I/O at the end of June, the search giant revealed that the number of daily activations was just over 1 million. The jump to 1.3 million is a growth of 30% in a little over two months. If the growth continues at this rate then, by the end of the year, there could be well over 1.6 million Android devices activated each and every day.

However, Schmidt did also note that out of that 1.3 million, only 70,000 devices are tablets. That is just 5%. To put that in perspective, Apple sold 17 million iPads and 28 million iPhones during the three months ending on June 30th. That means that tablets make up more than one third of Apple’s iOS device sales. Google 5% – Apple 37%, that is a big difference. Schmidt himself admitted that Google was late to embrace the tablet market.

Another factor in looking at these numbers is to understand the difference in the business models used by Google and Apple. Every Android device activated does not equate to actual hard cash for Google. The devices are made by Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG and so on, not by Google themselves. But with Apple, every device sold is money directly in its pockets and Apple has famously high margins on its sales.

Of course this is changing slightly with Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility; every Motorola device sold is now banked money for Google. The same is also true for the Nexus 7 tablet. However Google’s money comes from mobile based advertising and sales of apps and content from the Google Play store. Apple also makes money with its in-app iAd advertising solution and of course from content sold via iTunes.

The big question is how can Google help its partners boost the number of tablet sales. The Nexus 7 is sure to help as is the new Kindle Fire HD range. What else can they do? Are you planning to buy a tablet soon? If so, which one. Let me know by leaving a comment below.