With Competitors Like These…

  • November 3, 2011
  • Scott

So John Gruber of Daring Fireball fame picks up on Seth Weintraub’s report that two-thirds of Google’s mobile search revenue comes from iOS devices.  John’s analysis echoes our own thoughts on the subject:

I’ve speculated for years that by making Apple into an enemy, Google could wind up losing money with Android, long-term, compared to a hypothetical world where they’d kept Android as a BlackBerry-ish OS rather than an iPhone-ish one. iPhone users are the cream of the crop, demographically.

It isn’t at all clear that Android is a net-positive for Google’s bottom line given the relative marketshare of Android devices vs. iOS devices, and the relative search share (which is where Google’s revenue comes from), and the costs of supporting and defending Android (not to mention, buying a manufacturer).

It just feels like Google hasn’t been editing itself enough.  And prematurely it is taking on more fights than any company would rightly be interested in taking on.

To put it in perspective, right now Google is likely making twice the revenue from search on iOS than it is for search on Android.  I would have guessed at (and have always assumed) rough parity between Android and iOS devices, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  With competitors like these, who needs friends?






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