More than 160,000 mobile phones powered by Google's Android operating system are being sold every day, the Internet giant said Wednesday on the eve of the launch of the new iPhone from rival Apple.
Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, speaking to the CNBC television network at the unveiling of a new Android phone from Motorola, the "Droid X," said his company was engaged in a "battle over the next set of mobile platforms."
"Everybody is going to be on mobile devices all the time, every day, unless they're asleep," Schmidt said. "Everything is moving to mobile and we're participating in it.
"We have more than 160,000 of these things shipping globally every day," Schmdit said of Android-powered devices. "The momentum is phenomenal."
Just a month ago, at Google's annual shareholders meeting, Schmidt had said that at least 65,000 Android-powered phones were shipping every day, although he also warned at the time that the number may actually be far higher.
Google makes its Android software available to handset manufacturers and also sells its own smartphone, the Nexus One.
The spectacular sales figures cited by Schmidt would have Android handsets far surpassing those of Apple, which reported sales of 8.75 million iPhones last quarter.
According to industry research firm NPD, US sales of smartphones running Android actually surged past those of Apple in the first quarter of the year.
Android-powered smartphones accounted for 28 percent of US consumer sales compared with 21 percent for the iPhone, NPD said.
Canada's Research in Motion, maker of the popular Blackberry, retained the top spot with 36 percent of US smartphone sales in the quarter.
Apple has sold more than 50 million iPhones since launching the touchscreen smartphone in 2007.
The latest model iPhone, the iPhone 4, goes on sale on Thursday in Britain, France, Germany, Japan and the United States.
Deutsche Bank said it expects Apple to sell 44 million iPhones this year.
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