The Android platform has grown exponentially since mid-2009, but December's stats show a particular factor that might help catapult the platform to greater heights of user adoption.
In figures just released from mobile advertising company AdMob, the Droid singlehandedly boosted calls to their network by nearly 300 million requests while stats for HTC Magic devices remained static and those for HTC's Dream model actually decreased. In terms of consumer use of the network and acceleration of device popularity, it seems we have a winner.
Having been compared extensively with the iPhone, the Droid stands up solidly even under extensive scrutiny. And in terms of 3G network access, we've personally seen fewer issues than with any other mobile carrier we've tried to date. (Note: I'm a Droid owner and a former iPhone user. I've also suffered through my share of BlackBerries, Palms and their ilk.) If any device is to become the iPhone killer, it will be the Droid or something very close to it (here's looking at you, Nexus One).
AdMob's numbers show that requests from all Android-driven devices increased by 97 percent between October to December in 2009, totaling more than 1 billion requests in December alone.
The open platform has also seen a refreshing diversity of devices and manufacturers. AdMob shows that in December, 56 percent of requests were from HTC devices, 39 percent were from Motorola devices and 5 percent were manufactured by from Samsung. And in December, seven devices generated more than three percent of requests each: the Motorola Droid, HTC Dream, HTC Magic, HTC Hero, Motorola CLIQ, HTC Droid Eris and the Samsung Moment. This stat represents a significant increase from just three devices in October (HTC Dream, HTC Magic, and HTC Hero).
Already, the Motorola Droid is the leading Android device on AdMob's radar, generating a third of all the network's requests in December. Released just under two months ago, it's already the top-selling Android device on the market, a title it's held since a scant fortnight after its launch.
Granted, AdMob's metrics show a small slice of mobile device usage. But they've consistently been reliable in showing what mobile users use and need and in predicting trends. We are internally excited about what Android-powered devices will do in the market in the months to come, and I am personally quite optimistic about Droid adoption specifically.
Let us know what you think in the comments, particularly if you're a fanboy or fangirl of a particular device!