Feeds

Android is turning a profit for Google

Google says so, so it must be true

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, reckons that Android is making money for the search giant, and claims it has already covered the cost of its development in increased advertising revenue.

The detail comes in a fawning article about the open-source OS from Newsweek, covering how Android was developed by one man with a vision (Andy Rubin) who now has "virtually unlimited resources" to make it great. But the interesting part of the piece is Eric Schmidt's assertion that despite giving the OS away, Google still turns a profit on it.

The premise is that Android makes it easier for mobile users to get onto the internet, and that every internet user generates advertising revenue for Google. The corporation reasons, therefore, that if there were no Androids, there would be fewer people online and thus less revenue for Google.

All of which is enormously arrogant, even for Google - playing on the assumption that those who bought Android handsets would have shunned Symbian, BlackBerry and iOS devices, not even bothering with a smartphone, if Google hadn't provided an OS for them.

But even if the availability of Android has increased the use of the internet, it is, on the surface of it, hard to see how it's contributing significantly to the chocolate factory's bottom line. Mobile versions of web sites, including our own, rarely feature as much advertising as the desktop incarnations - a situation which will have to change if mobile web consumption starts to cannibalise desktop browsing.

In-app advertising is similarly nascent, despite Google's huge investment in AdMob. Today most of the advertisements embedded in free applications appear to be promoting other applications - a somewhat narcissistic model which will also have to change if the industry is to become self-supporting.

It's hard to doubt mobile advertising will certainly make Google a lot of money, and Google is prepared to make a long-term investment in that field to prevent Apple having too much control. The idea that Android has already paid off its investment would seem unlikely in the extreme, but Eric Schmidt felt it necessary to make such a claim, so surely it must be true. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.