Google lets us know about the state of Android

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During Google's positive Q1 earnings report, the company released some interesting information regarding the Android platform and its current progress in the mobile marketplace. Its rival to Apple's App Store, Android Market, now has 38,000 apps available to users showing impressive growth with 8,000 new apps in only the past month. Last September, the app count was only 10,000, increasing to 16,000 by the end of 2009. However, this still lags far behind Apple with the iTunes App Store currently hosting around 185,000 apps.

As for Android handsets out in the market, the company has stated that it's currently seeing around 60,000 devices sold and activated daily, which would work out to nearly 22 million Android devices per year. Zeroing in on one handset in particular, the flagship Nexus One, since its launch there has been some doubt regarding Google's strategy to sell its own smartphone and only exclusively online. Although no one doubts the quality of the device as one of Android's flag bearers, including us here at Pocketables, reports of low sales numbers including only 20,000 in the first week put a damper on the fanfare. But now Google has revealed that the Nexus One has already been a profitable venture for the company and not just a loss-making figurehead.

Clearly from all this information, things are looking very promising for Android this year and beyond. With an increasing number of new handsets and what seems like a massive armada of tablet MIDs on the horizon, the platform is likely to be a major force to be reckoned with.

But it's important to remember that regardless of its current success, it still has a long way to catch up on competitors, such as the iPhone, while not forgetting the fact that the number one smartphone platform globally is still Nokia's Symbian OS. Android also has issues with the current state of version fragmentation among its user base, with devices ranging from 1.5 to 2.1, which Google needs to address moving forward. The highly anticipated launch of iPhone OS 4 and Microsoft's promising Windows Phone 7 should also prove to be intriguing developments later this year. With so much choice and the continued frenetic pace of advancement, it is a great time to be a consumer in the smartphone market!

[TechCrunch via Pocket-lint | Engadget]
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Jeremy To

Jeremy is a former editor at Pocketables.