updated 06:30 pm EDT, Thu October 14, 2010
Google talks 1b mobile revenue, Amazon app store
Google during a results call discussing its latest results revealed how much its results lean on mobile and addressed the prospects of an Amazon app store. In a first for the company, Senior VP of product management Jonathan Rosenberg mentioned mobile revenue and said that all of Google's mobile efforts, whether on Android, iPhone or elsewhere, were adding about $1 billion every year to its revenue. The figure put mobile at a large portion of the $7.29 billion in revenue the company reported for its summer quarter today.
Rosenberg didn't break down the revenue by platform, although Android is likely to be disproportionately profitable. The mention also provided an explanation as to why Google offers Android licenses for free with only certain conditions. CEO Eric Schmidt had dodged around hard numbers, but the company treats mobile ad revenue as profit and is willing to give away its platform if it means more devices are visiting Google.
During the call, Schmidt also used this factor to help justify a policy that will allow Amazon and Verizon to run competing app stores on Android. Google had its own store, but the aim was to encourage developers and not to be a profit center. Allowing the choice would be a "net win for everybody," he said.
The approach is a wildly varying one from that of Apple, which has consciously excluded other stores and any way of bypassing the App Store except for direct distribution of apps for enterprise users. Apple has maintained that it wants a curated portal that provides the best possible experience for users, but Google's emphasis on ads and search has encouraged it to get apps from as many sources as possible. Critics have warned that looser Android curbs have led to apps sending excess info and companies like Amazon and Verizon possibly violating Google's open principles by running stores with tougher restrictions.
Verizon has publicly vowed not to override Google's store, but Amazon is believed to be setting terms that would prevent apps from reaching Android Market first or from giving others a better price.
Google's revenue was up a sharp 23 percent compared to summer a year ago and was matched by a 32 percent increase in its net income, to $2.17 billion.