updated 03:25 pm EDT, Wed April 18, 2012
Larry Page sees Android as vehicle for ads
Google CEO Larry Page in a second day of testimony at trial made the unusual remark that he was "not sure" if Android was a critical asset for Google. While it was "very important," he emphasized the company's sometimes understated view that Android was ultimately a vehicle for Google services like ads, not an end into itself. The mobile OS was developed partly in response to earlier Java devices, he said: even with 100 phones to try, none of them would use Google's services properly.
While not directly cited, Google's initially tight partnership with Apple for the iPhone serves as public evidence. Even while Google was actively developing Android, it partnered with Apple as it saw having the default search position in Safari as a key source of revenue. While claims that Google makes more from iOS ad revenue than Android have been called into question, it's known that iOS is still a major revenue driver.
The statements helped wrap up examination of Page as the trial for Oracle's lawsuit begins to focus on more technical issues behind accusations that Google violated copyrights and patents by using Java code. Page was present mostly to give a view of Google's broader policy decisions and won't be returning to the courtroom unless subpoenaed by one of the two sides.