Although it is difficult to estimate exact numbers of Android units sold and activated, even Google themselves may not know, Asymco Analyst Horace Dedieu has extrapolated a growth curve based on the data available.
That chart shows that Android has grown nearly three times faster than iOS at comparable moments in its cycle.
If Android continues to grow at this enhanced rate, then it should overtake the installed userbase of iOS in the next year.
Remember that these numbers represent installations and activations of the Android OS, not a particular phone or device. The same goes for the iOS numbers which Dedieu suggests are limited by the amount of devices running iOS that are available to consumers.
Android being available on a huge array of devices is almost undoubtedly the primary reason for its growth. Including the iPod touch, iOS is available on less than a dozen devices, while Android is available on over 100.
While the cumulative amount of iOS devices sold so far is still double that of Android it’s not hard to see that will not be the case for long.
Lest any Android fans start crowing the death knell of iOS too soon though, it’s important to remember that there is still plenty of room for both platforms as we haven’t yet seen the limits of consumer demand for either OS.
As Dedieu puts it, “It should be noted that both business models represented above can also co-exist, at least for the foreseeable future.”