Will Eric Schmidt announce a quarter million Androids per day?

October 11, 2010, 6:55 PM UTC

Google’s conference call on Thursday could be a platform to announce a significant milestone in Android OS distribution.

At Google’s Q2 2010 earnings call on July 15th, CEO Eric Schmidt relayed that Google was activating 160,000 Android devices per day.  That was up from the 100,000/day they were activating at the Google I/O event in May.  Since then, he announced Google (GOOG) had passed the 200,000 activations/day mark on August 4th.

Since then, Google has been mostly quiet …  


Slide from Google's May I/O presentation on Android


Competitors like Apple (AAPL) have questioned the authenticity of Google’s numbers and at the same time boasted of theirs.  CEO Steve Jobs said Apple was activating 230,000 devices a day (including lots of iPads and iPods) at an event last month.

BlackBerry (RIMM) doesn’t break out their numbers and HP (HPQ) Palm’s numbers aren’t really a concern.  Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Mobile 7 platform was just announced today.

Nokia (NOK), which is in the process of a leadership and technology refresh, announced last month they were selling 264,000 smartphones every day during the summer, besting both Apple and Google.  Nokia reports earnings on October 21st.

But just last week, Android VP Andy Rubin said they had a day with a quarter of a million activations. With the trend ever upward at Google, will Google CEO Eric Schmidt tell the financial audience that Google has effectively passed Apple’s iOS (including iPads and iPod touch) in sales across all mobile devices?  Maybe they’ve even passed Nokia’s 260,000?

That 260,000 number that Nokia has is significant.  It means Android could pass Symbian as the number one smartphone OS on earth.

This summer, Google’s Android has grown past anyone’s expectations.  But now Android’s explosive growth is the norm.  Therefore, not announcing another big milestone might be a bigger shock than actually hitting 250,000 (which I’m expecting).