Android operating system, which was launched in 2007, has crossed the 500 million mark. The man behind Android, Andy Rubin revealed this on his Twitter account who also said that there are close to 400 million devices in consumer hands right now.
This is five-fold jump since the end of 2011 when this figure was just around 100 million.
Made by Google, Android currently is the No 1 operating system in the world with about 68.1% per cent market share. The open source OS is present in a variety of handsets, starting with smartphones priced at Rs 3,800 to as costly as Rs 50,000.
Recently Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt announced at a Motorola press event that each day more than 1.3 million Android devices are being activated. He also stated that 70,000 of these devices are Android tablets.
The number of activations have been growing at a very fast pace, in June this year, on an average, 900,000 Android handsets were being activated every day while in February this year the figure was at 850,000. This figure totally eclipses the 400,000 activations in 2011.
However off late many challengers are emerging which include Windows Phone from Microsoft, Firefox OS from Mozilla, and Tizen from Linux foundation backed by Samsung and Intel. There are two Chinese companies Alibaba and Baidu which have also entered the race with their own operating systems.
While till date none of them (Firefox and Tizen are yet to be launched) have posed a serious threat to Android, in the times to come, we can see a lot of fragmentation in the mobile operating system space.
Android, ever since its inception, has been facing wrath of Apple which claims that Android is a copy of its iOS. Apple has also recently won a case against Samsung. This has led to many traditional Android partners to explore other operating systems. Also recent acquisition of Motorola by Google has also increased the fears in the minds of its manufacturing partners that the internet giant may prioritise Motorola over them. Thus they are also looking for other OSes.