According to Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, at least 65,000 Android-powered smartphones are shipping every day. While speaking at Google's annual shareholder meeting, Schmidt said the Android OS is being used on 34 mobile devices in 49 countries. "It looks like Android is going to be either the number one or number two player" in the mobile phone market, he said.
Schmidt also indicated the 65,000 handset figure could be low: "Our partners are shipping about 65,000 Android handsets per day but if you check the blogosphere you'll discover there are some reports that that number might be quite low."
To help put this in perspective, if Android is able to hit sales of more than two million handsets a month, it would be comparable to Apple's ever-popular iPhone which had reported sales of 8.75 million last quarter. Unlike Apple, Google makes the Android software available to handset manufacturers and also makes its own smartphone, the Nexus One.
As we reported earlier this week, data from the NPD Group shows that Android has surpassed Apple in terms of sales in the first quarter of 2010. Based on last quarter unit sales numbers from NPD’s wireless market research, the Android operating system accounted for 28 percent of US consumer sales compared to 21 percent of the market for the iPhone.
Google and Apple have very different strategies when it comes to these mobile devices. "Our strategy is very different from everybody else's," Schmidt said. "We license our code for free, so that's really pretty revolutionary….We're trying to build an entire ecosystem of openness, the inverse of the other guys."
Google co-founder Larry Page indicated that Google is focused on getting even more devices running Android to the market. As the company achieves this goal, Page said, "I think you'll see that as those products mature we'll figure out how to make more money from them."