Love Thy Enemy: Google makes more money from iOS than Android?

We all know how much Android has grown. The latest reports show 850,000 devices activated daily and over 50% of the market share, but is it possible that Google makes more money from iOS than Android? The Guardian released what they believe Google made from Android from 2008 to 2011. They made this calculation based on figures that came up during negotiations from the legal battles of Google and Oracle. The Guardian believes Google made $543 million during this period, but again it needs to be pointed out that this is an estimate since Google never releases earnings from Android. I won’t get into all the details of the calculation, but they looked at what Google offered Oracle in turns of a possible settlement to arrive at their conclusion.

The Guardian thinks Google makes four times more from iOS. Where is the revenue generated from? Don’t forget Google is a search company and products such as that and Maps are used on Apple’s iPhone and iPad. Back in October, Google CEO Larry Page said that they were “seeing a huge positive revenue impact from mobile, which has grown 2.5 times in the last 12 months to a run rate of over $2.5bn.” Notice how he used the word, “mobile?” He didn’t say Android, but people automatically interpret it that way.

Asymco took this information and went a little further by charting it all out. Assuming $1 billion in mobile revenue in 2010 (from Larry’s comment of 2.5x for 2011), they put together the following chart:

They went a little further by breaking it out per device here:

So there you have it. I didn’t spend a lot of time trying to “shoot holes” in these figures, but I think it’s safe to assume that Apple is pretty important to Google. In fact Larry Page downplayed whatever hatred Steve Jobs had for Android. Whether he really did hate Android or not, I’m thinking Google definitely doesn’t hate Apple.

sources: theguardian and asymco


About the Author: Robert Nazarian

Robert lives in upstate New York where he was born and raised. Technology was always his passion. His first computer was a Radio Shack TRS80 Color that used a cassette tape to save programs, and his first laptop was a Toshiba T1200FB that sported a CGA greyscale screen and two 720kb floppy drives (no hardrive). From the early 90’s through late 2011, he only owned Motorola phones starting with the MircroTAC all the way through to the Droid X. He broke that streak when he bought the Galaxy Nexus. Now he's sporting a Galaxy Note 4, and absolutely loves it. He has a wonderful wife and a 6 year old son. In his free time he enjoys sports, movies, TV, working out, and trying to keep up with the rapid fast world of technology.

  • Daniel Roozen

    Well, sure. Google would make ad and maps revenue from most any mobile device. Even if all of this blog is true, it’s not Apple itself that is necessarily important to Google, but the mobile revolution in its entirety (though granted Apple did a lot to help spur that on).

    • ak

      If it’s true, and Google makes that much more money from IOS devices than Android’s despite  the fact that Android  is more dominant and has  a huge amount of daily activations. Then I think it’s safe to say that IOS is a pretty important source of revenue. Google doesn’t get the same amount of money from each phone, meaning if somehow IOS’s  30% was for some other OS there is no guarantee that Google would get nearly as much from it as they get from Apple. If we magically gave the share to android making it 80% and assumed things the same without then the money made still wouldn’t be as much as this. So yes they are pretty damn important as a proven source of such  money, IF this was true.

      • Tom Francis

        Unless, and this is based on a theory more than evidence, the differentiating factor in revenue sizes is the consumer. Could it be possible that people who prefer apple products are also more likely to respond to ads in search and use other paywall services? While android users, who people often say like to customize and find their own way, are more likely to seek free and open source alternatives?

        Ergo, its apples install base that makes google more money, not apple itself. So its possible that if apple didn’t exist we would see one of several results:
        a) the people use android
        b) we see a more user friendly, less tweakable android build roll out for those users
        c) less people use smartphones because they cant figure them out