Google’s Android has generated just $550 million since 2008, but billions from Apple iPhone, figures suggest

“Android generated less than $550m in revenues for Google between 2008 and the end of 2011, if figures provided by the search giant as part of a settlement offer with Oracle ahead of an expected patent and copyright infringement trial are an accurate guide,” Charles Arthur reports for The Guardian.

“The figures also suggest that Apple devices such as the iPhone, which use products such as its Maps as well as Google Search in its Safari browser, generated more than four times as much revenue for Google as its own handsets in the same period,” Arthur reports.

Arthur reports, “The figures emerge from a damages offer that Google made to Oracle as part of settlement talks ordered by Judge William Alsup in the case, in which Oracle is alleging that Android infringes patents and copyright that it owns on the Java programming language. It acquired that intellectual property when it bought Sun Microsystems, which owned Java, in 2010. The trial is due to start on 16 April.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
With 8.7% market share, Apple reaps 75% of mobile phone profits – February 3, 2012


  1. And considering that Android is broadly competing with the iPhone in terms of handsets sold means that even if they had 100% market share they wouldn’t come close to earning what they do from iPhones. You really have to wonder what the point is? They obviously don’t know how to monetise the usage of their own handsets.

    1. I think the point is (and even moreso now that they spit in Apple’s face) that they realize they can be cut out of manufacturer’s phones and lose even that $550m in revenue. This is already starting to happen with Apple (Siri now decides where queries go instead of users explicitly choosing to “google” for something).

      The funny thing is, because the OS is “open”, phone manufacturers are changing the default search. Most notably are the Chinese carriers using Baidu… But they’re already pot committed at this point, and they’ve got to keep playing the (crappy) hand they have.

      Google should have played ball with Steve and Co when they had the chance. I think they would have solidified their long term viability much better that way. Instead they pissed off arguably the greatest business leader in a century by stealing his tech and are (hopefully) going to pay dearly for it.

      1. Well put, sir.

        Comitted, yes… My perception of this whole mess has been that from the beginning there was/is a dark faction inside Google, and that Page pushing Schmidt upstairs represents a return to the light. But, it’s almost too late, and now the whole debacle of Android has to play out to it’s bloody end…

        1. Don’t agree, Page is calling the shots now, and they continue to up the ante against Apple, now trying to replicate the Apple eco system for tablets. I don’t think Schmidt was smart or strong enough to pull off the Android strategy without deep commitment from other senior mgrs at Google.

      2. All true, but why didn’t Google see this future? They knew early on, that 90% of mobile search was coming thru iOS devices. I’m sure Steve explained it to Schmidt, over coffee, that what they were doing was nonsensical.

  2. “The figures also suggest that Apple devices such as the iPhone, which use products such as its Maps as well as Google Search in its Safari browser, generated more than four times as much revenue for Google as its own handsets in the same period,”

    One would think that alone would be reason to play nice…
    All good things come to an end google, start saving.

  3. I’m sure that Google worked to show as small a number as possible as it was to be the basis of a damages settlement. I’m sure the real number is some multiple of what they are showing Oracle.

    1. they stole IP from several companies and then give it away. It dosen’t surprise me that they can come up with a low, and yet believable, number for the purposes of this case.

      What I wonder is how much that number matters to the judgement.

      If Oracle’s potential market for Java and Java products is limited because Google overtook the market with free (and stolen) technology, it’s hard to make the case that Oracle suffers only by as much as Google gains.

  4. In reality iOS makes the most money, by far, but Wall Street still believes that Android will win out in the longer term which is one of the main reasons Apple shares continue to stay undervalued. It seems that since China is now coming in play, low-cost Android smartphones are going to outnumber iPhones around 10 to 1 and Wall Street can’t believe that those numbers won’t generate much more revenue for the Android platform when it comes to hundreds of millions of smartphones. Wall Street only believes in strength in market share numbers and they see Apple falling short.

    I know Apple will continue to make the most money from iOS. The Android platform is currently a very poor financially-performing platform for nearly everyone concerned except Samsung. For some reason, Wall Street refuses to accept those facts.

  5. Time for Apple to go in for the kill and put out thier own maps and search services (both optimized for Siri, if it ever works to its potential). More damage to Google and more vertical integration – what’s not to like?

    Looking at Google’s pathetic numbers, I think the better strategy for Apple/Oracle is to continue to go after the successful vendors with good revenue numbers. Settling with Google based on their revenues amounts to nothing.

  6. The real question is how is Google arriving at that number? Is it based on licensing fees, Nexus phone sales, etc. for Android, or does that include ad revenue from Android devices?

    My guess is that Google is NOT including ad revenue received from Android devices because that is the entire reason Google created Android. Google probably claims this as simply normal ad revenue, much like a desktop computer would generate, and not Android-generated revenue because it didn’t come directly from Android sales.

    If it’s even remotely accurate, Android is a bigger farce than we all thought before.

  7. Google has absolutely no choice but pursue mobile in any way they can. It is clear to everyone that if nobody tries to compete, Apple will become remain a monopoly in that space.

    Google is one of the largest software companies in the world, and it was natural to see them mount an attempt at mobile market. Once they entered, there is simply no way they can back out of it, regardless of their modest success in it.

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