“As you know, Android has some 70% [unit share] of the mobile handset market, so how could Google’s mobile platform possibly be in trouble?” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “Isn’t it all about being number one, with a bullet or otherwise?”

“Google makes money from targeted ads, and a few services, such as the business version of Google Apps. Mobile handset makers license Android free of charge, and are evidently free to use it as they will. So you have situations where manufacturers will bury Android so deep, you hardly know it’s there,” Steinberg writes. “The most blatant example is Amazon, which pushes its own store and app ecosystem onto Kindle customers. Google Play? What’s that?”

Steinberg writes, “In terms of generating income, recent assessments I’ve seen, which I have no reason to dispute, claim that Microsoft earns more money from Android than Google due to patent licensing payments. Worse, the only handset maker outside of Apple to earn decent profits is Samsung, and it’s not that Samsung is showing Android the love… If Android fails to ultimately pay off for Google, despite the large market share, there’s nothing to stop them from just phasing out the platform. It wouldn’t be the first time, as users of Google Reader and other dying or dead Google services know full well.”

Read more in the full article here.

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