Tim Cook on Android activations: Apple's numbers are straight forward, transparent, quarterly
During today's Q3 2011 conference call, Apple Chief Operating Office, Tim Cook was asked about Android activation numbers being higher than Apple iOS numbers. Cook's response, paraphrased:
Android's activation numbers are difficult to get our hands around. Apple numbers are from a data sheet, add iPhone, iPad, an approximately 50% iPods sold are iPod touch. Apple sold over 33 million iOS devices. Now over 222 million cumulative devices. [Apple's activation] numbers are very straight forward, transparent, quarterly. iPhone is up 142%, more than 2x rate of market growth. Incredible. Apple sold every iPad 2 we could make.
Which is really more of a non-answer. By saying Android activation numbers are "difficult to get their hands around", Cook is implying that Google's "activations" might not be the same as Apple's "devices sold". In other words, that Android's numbers are somehow being over-reported. The numbers in question, from Google's Q2 2011 conference call:
CEO Larry Page announced that some 550,000 devices are being activated every day. That's about 382 devices being activated every minute, or 3.85 million every week.
I have no idea what the math works out to over the length of the quarter (, which is more than Apple's 33 million. Cook then went on the offensive, though stopped short of echoing previous quarters' comments about Google being fragmented and derivative. Instead, he focused on Apple's positives, including the quantity of apps in general and iPad apps in specific, contrasting Apple's 100,000 to Android's "hundreds". He also highlighted money paid to developers, and consumer satisfaction.
Which is a compelling answer, just not to this particular question.