Is Android making money for Google? On a call today they announced that “Mobile revenue is on an annualized run rate of over $1 billion” and also stated that mobile searches were up 5x from the last several years, mostly from Android phones. These are real numbers and if it continues, then they could literally give you the phone for free. See, this can change the entire dynamics of the industry as we know it. Google can give you a phone that’s really a mobile ad platform since that revenue will more than compensate for the cost of the device. Maybe next, Apple can give you a phone that’s really just a media/app platform, but lets not get ahead of ourselves.
The fact that Android really is making Google this amount of money means that they can continue to heavily invest in mobile and swarm the market and the notion that they are ‘giving’ away the OS really needs to be considered in light of the fact that they are collecting data and ad revenue from every OS they ‘give’ away. Even if you think that Android is a short term gain and will be brought back to the ground as the mobile OS sphere grows and competition strengthens, you can expect Google to have a lot of money in the war chest and a few billion reasons to push mobile forward. They’re here to stay, that’s clear.