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.