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Report: Majority of Google’s mobile revenue comes from iOS, not Android

It should stand to reason that the majority of revenue generated by Google’s mobile products and services would come from their in-house mobile OS, but a new report compiled by The Guardian shows Apple’s iOS being a far bigger cash cow than Android. Using data from court documents filed in the ongoing Oracle lawsuit and a bit of extrapolation, it was estimated that Google brought in about $550 million between 2008 and 2011. It is curious then, that Larry Page estimated that in 2011 alone their mobile ventures would bring in a total of $2.5 billion. So where is the rest of the cash flowing from?

According to The Guardian, iOS. A deal that Google struck with Apple dating back to the original iPhone licenses the company’s search technology and extensive database of maps for use on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. With over 300 million iOS devices sold, Google’s cut adds up. Still, I’m not completely sold on the data.

The Guardian deduced their figure from damages claimed by Oracle and verified by Google, which estimate that Google earns about $10 per Android handset per year. There seems to be some veracity to that number, as Eric Schmidt has referred to it in the past, but it isn’t clear if  this includes all advertising revenue, revenue generated from the sale of applications and media, and other licensing agreements. At any rate, iOS still factors heavily into Google’s profit line. As long as that money continues to get funneled back into Android development there isn’t much to complain about. Consider it a small victory.

[via Gizmodo]




  • Steven Skwarkowski

    I dont care where the money comes from. Google is brilliant. I wish I could even be 1% as innovative and smart as they are in the business sense. 

  • http://twitter.com/Spazmonic Spazmonic

    “Consider it a small victory.”

    Why? Is there a war going on or something?

    • RitishOemraw

      No, but:
      It ( / winter) is coming

      • ChrisKenison

        Nice reference! :D

      • Manbo

         Oh no you di’int!

    • http://twitter.com/Aleis Jayrock

      Uh YEAH! dude get wit it :)

  • Scott Kennedy

    If Google earns $10 per Android device per year, then they’ll make a lot more than $2.5 billion…

    These numbers don’t add up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1132938349 Nick Vega

    The fact that they are making money from their only OS competition, sets them apart as corporate innovators. Google profits from everything and time will only tell if Android will be as big as it is in Europe, Asia, and South America here in the States. Google will keep recycling the money they make of apple and any other companies using their products to innovate new things. If Android would of never came out the progress in the mobile technology world would of never exploded at the rate it has.

    • Nathanial Taylor

      Even more that they are making that money with out the settlement of a lawsuit as the reason..

  • http://twitter.com/mcprodyg Kirk Chris Brown

    If they make so much money off iOS, you would think they would pay more attention to their iOS software…

    • Aeires

      When you have people standing in line for days to get your new releases, and you have $100 billion to show for it, why bother?  Nothing is going to change until they start to decline in profits.  Until then, it’s business as usual, stay in your comfort zone and keep pushing minor incremental updates to the masses.

      • AllAboutTheCore

        “incremental updates” .. who are you referring to here, surely not Apple because if you are it is the definition of Irony.  How many months is it since ICS came about and yet hundreds of devices still don’t have it … The Android platform is about as fragmented as you can get and they will never be better than Apple until they address their serious downfalls.

        Oh and before any homo fanboy starts, I own an Android powered phone and until recently an iPhone so i’m not some biased lover of either.

        • Christopher Cole

          Someone needs a hug

        • MWFish

          I don’t really think his comment was a comparison between apple and android at all. You just kinda took it that direction. The flow went something like this:

          Kirk: Why doesn’t Google make the maps app better on iOS then?!
          Aeires: People are buying the device like hotcakes. There’s no reason for Apple to push out huge changes when people like what they already have.
          You: Android is crap compared to apple right now. 

          See the problem here?

        • Treknologist

           Fragmentation, fragmentation!  I’m so sick of reading this.  Look here and tell me that iOS is not fragemented.
          http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomiogeron/2012/02/02/does-ios-crash-more-than-android-a-data-dive/

        • PhilNelwyn

          I’m pretty sure that he was talking about hardware, not about software (misused “updates” in the place of “upgrades”).

        • Manbo

           U mad bro?

    • Jeff432

      With the maps app for iOS, Apple is paying Google to use their map data, but Apple created the app themselves and Apple is responsible for adding features to that app.

  • http://techdomino.com/ Lucian Armasu

    Here’s the guardian’s headline:

    “Google’s Android has generated just $550m since 2008, figures suggest”

    Now it should be obvious why this happened. iOS had a big start in userbase and app count. It wasn’t until 2010 that Android only *started* to increase those metrics. In 2011 Android still had about half the number of apps and subscribers of iOS.

    So THIS is why “since 2008..” Android gathered less revenue than iOS – the low amount of apps and users until 2011 or so.

    Even now there are 300 million Android devices and about 350 million iOS devices, but since Android is growing about twice as fast, it should surpass it soon. Same for the apps.

    This is assuming those numbers are actually accurate. They still seem too low to me.

    • WickedToby741

      Android is growing twice as fast in smartphones, but still has a lot of work in tablets and I have yet to find a non-fandroid who chooses an Android MP3 player over an iPod Touch. Don’t forget those factor into iOS numbers too.

      • Manbo

        People carry ipods AND smartphones??? together??? At the same time!!!??? 
        You kids and your pockets.

      • miso_sori

        People still use those mp3 things? Strange I just access all my media on my android devices.

  • endinyal

    “small victory”??  I like how you spin this to make is sound like a good thing for Google.

    Apple is not only selling a crazy amount of iOS devices, but slowly booting Google off of its iOS services.  Google should be very concerned about it.

    Guess they will have to start doing something now to get more revenue from Android users.  Hah, that’ll happen!

    • aiden9

      I’ll never understand why fanatics on both sides of the fence visit each other’s sites. Nobody is going to change the other ones mind so its not some attempt at converting people. Are the fanatics who try these trolls really just that lonely?

      • jroc74

         Funny you mention this…

        I used to visit macrumors and Apple Insider to see how the other half lives…lol. Never joined either site and just laughed at the craziness I saw posted.

        I havent visited either site in about a year. And all I did was read…So it does make me wonder why do Apple fans even bother posting on sites like this…

    • WickedToby741

      It could come to be that under Tim Cook, Apple will mend the fences with Google. Google can prove to be an important ally of Apple and the same for Apple with regards to Google. Tim Cook seems to be more rational and less fueled by passion and rage compared to Steve Jobs, so it wouldn’t surprise me.

  • ultimatedroidfanz

    This analysis is stupid! Combined the revenue of all sales from phones , tablets etc and you will get the true picture between android and iOS. Android is selling more phones and have higher market share. This is all I have to know.

  • EasyEEE

    iOS users subsidizing my OS. I like it.

  • Wesley

    I don’t think these numbers are right, but maybe iSheep like to click on ads a lot.

  • http://twitter.com/nodd77 justin scrimshaw

    but if there is 300 million android devices and google makes $10 a year from each device thats 3 billion some nice profit there and they are activating 700000 new devices daily maybe in the past ios was a big contributor to googles profits its all google now baby