Google: More than 300,000 Android Phones Activated Each Day – Digits – WSJ

Android seems to be having a good holiday season.

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Google’s Nexus S

Google’s Andy Rubin tweeted last night that there are now more than 300,000 Android phones activated every day. That’s about 27 million phones a quarter, or twice the iPhone’s best quarterly haul of 14 million. It’s also about twice the rate Mr. Rubin announced in late June.

Given that smartphone buyers immediately get to work building hard-to-transfer ecosystems of games and content around their phones, this has to be bad news for BlackBerry maker Research In Motion and Nokia. Gartner reported last month that Android jumped to No. 2 in the smartphone OS race in the third quarter. Nokia’s Symbian platform hung on to the top spot, but if Gartner’s estimate of 328,000 or so daily Symbian activations is accurate, Nokia has a fight on its hands.

Meanwhile RIM, already slipping in the ranks, is having trouble explaining how it will catch up.

IPhone fans are probably about to point out that it’s easy to get big when you give away your product for free (Apple pulls down something like $610 per phone and is surely seeing a holiday sales boost as well). But free doesn’t mean profitless. As Google senior VP Susan Wojcicki told us at D: Dive Into Mobile, the company is processing four times the number of mobile searches it did a year ago, and its AdMob business has doubled and is doing more than a billion ad requests a day.