Speaking to the connected throngs on the online Google I/O 2021 conference Samat said more than 500 million active Android devices had been added since the last developer’s conference in 2019 and one billion devices since 2017.
The number is taken from the Google Play Store, which doesn’t take into account devices based on Android but that use alternative stores, including Amazon Fire devices and the myriad of Chinese Android-based devices that avoid using Google’s apps altogether.
That means the number of active Android devices is much higher than what Samat announced on the live stream.
The news is a shake of the fist at Apple which proudly claimed a billion active iPhones in the wild earlier this year. Apple’s smartphone and tablet dominance is limited to the United States and a few other regions. The rest of the world has more sense and less cash.