updated 04:15 pm EDT, Fri March 26, 2010
Google downplays talk of Android cash incentive
Google today downplayed accusations that it was using ad revenue as a carrier incentive to push Android deals. The company said its search deals weren't limited to Android and that it shared revenue whenever Google was the default search engine. It added that such deals aren't uncommon, although it still declined to provide any details of its carrier arrangements.
The Android setup would nonetheless provide carriers a strong incentive to use Android, as Google would almost always provide an ad revenue deal if the core web browser isn't modified from its standard form. Very few have changed the stock search, with the most notable exception being AT&T's use of Yahoo on the Motorola Backflip. China Unicom is also making a switch, but its move stems more from Google's partial withdrawal from China than economics or carrier preferences.
Such deals could also become much larger as the acquisition of AdMob could put Google ads in many third-party apps, not just preloaded content. [via Phone Scoop]