Google's Merry Christmas: 3.7 Million Android Device Activations

Google has a holly, jolly Christmas as users activated 3.7 million new Android devices on Dec. 24 and 25, according to a high-ranking company executive.

It was a very good Christmas for Google's Android mobile operating system, as 3.7 million Android devices were activated over the holiday.

In a Dec. 28 tweet, Andy Rubin, senior vice president of mobile at Google, said, "There were 3.7M Android devices activated on 12/24 and 12/25."

Just over a week earlier, Rubin took to Twitter on Dec. 20 to say: "There are now over 700,000 Android devices activated every day."

That being the case, the Android activation figures for the holiday more than doubled those of a typical two-day period-amounting to 1.85 million activations per day over the holiday.

This rate of adoption underscores Oracle's claims in its lawsuit versus Google, in which the database giant argues that Google's Android is rapidly picking up momentum in the market with an allegedly incompatible version of Java at the expense of Oracle's pure Java technology.

Oracle sued Google for infringing its Java patents and is seeking an early trial to stop what the company says is Google's fragmentation of the Java ecosystem. Oracle also seeks to reap a financial reward for what the company's attorneys say was a willful infringement of the Oracle patents, which could mean triple damages for Google if the judge should rule in favor of Oracle. However, if the trend indicated by Rubin's tweet continues, Oracle will find it more difficult to overcome the so-called fragmentation.

In a recent court filing describing its plight in the case, Oracle said:

"Android's growth in the mobile device market has been exponential, steadily diminishing Java's share. For instance, Amazon's newly released Kindle Fire tablet is based on Android, while prior versions of the Kindle were Java-based. Android has been gaining in other areas as well, with Android-based set-top boxes and even televisions appearing this year. These are markets where Java has traditionally been strong but is now losing ground to Android. The longer Android is allowed to continue fragmenting the Java ecosystem, the more serious the harm to Java becomes, and the more difficult it is to try to unwind. Oracle suffers harm in the form of lost licensing opportunities for its existing Java platform products, and the enterprise-wide harm from fragmentation of Java, which reduces the 'write once, run anywhere' capability that has historically provided Java such great value."

Meanwhile, Flurry Analytics, a big data analytics company that measures mobile application trends, released its own analysis of Android and iOS activations over the Christmas holiday. In a Dec. 27 post, Peter Ferago, vice president of engineering at Flurry Analytics, said, "On Christmas Day, activations jumped to more than 6.8 million, a 353% increase over the baseline. Compared with Christmas Day 2010, the previous single-day record, with 2.8 million device activations, Christmas 2011 grew by more than 140%."

The holiday season has been particularly good to Google this year, as the company's Google+ social networking service gained more than 62 million members as of Dec. 27. In fact, nearly one-fourth of those members joined in the month of December 2011, according to one market tracker.