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Android Businesses Google The Almighty Buck

Should Google Get Aggressive About Monetizing Android? 168

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'm-gonna-go-with-no dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Google's core search-advertising business is slowing down (despite an uptick in revenue and earnings for the most recent quarter) and a new report suggests that advertising ROI is much higher on iOS than Android. In light of that, it's worth asking whether Google, having dominated much of the mobile-device market with Android, will ever get around to more aggressively monetizing its mobile operating system, and what that could mean to the manufacturers that have been loading the software for free onto their hardware. If Google started charging licensing fees to manufacturers, and attempted to clamp down so that Google Play served as the only hub for Android apps (something that would definitely put it on a collision course with Amazon, which boasts its own Android app store), would it be shooting itself in the foot? Or would the rest of the ecosystem respond in a muted way, considering the sheer size of Google's power and presence?"
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Should Google Get Aggressive About Monetizing Android?

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  • Who knows (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 17, 2013 @08:21PM (#45159529)

    They're too busy drinking Vic's koolaid to worry about anything else actually important. They don't care about the user anymore it's whatever Vic says to try to be like Facebook - when no one even cares.

  • Are we asking ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by briancox2 (2417470) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @08:22PM (#45159533) Homepage Journal
    Are we asking whether Google should commit the same enormous Open Source/GPL faux pas that Oracle committed with MySQL?

    Seeing as Google is actively dumping MySQL for that very reason, I'd say, "No!"
  • Misleading summary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dinfinity (2300094) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @08:27PM (#45159571)

    a new report suggests that advertising ROI is much higher on iOS than Android.

    That Facebook advertising ROI is much higher on iOS than Android.

  • by PrimeNumber (136578) <PrimeNumber&excite,com> on Thursday October 17, 2013 @08:47PM (#45159713) Homepage

    This is the ultimate objective of Google+, reducing the number of independant blogs and websites with G+ blogs and pages so keep margins high. With less independent bloggers and websites, ad revenue for these pages will shrink, and Google makes more money.
    It is also why people like Mike Elgan and Robert Scoble shill the fuck out of everything Google does, because they know which way the wind is blowing. They are both full of shit, but they didn't get to where they are by not playing well with the big dogs. In return they get free shit from people, web hits and paid speaking gigs, and get to pretend like they are important.
    I liked Google much more before they became scumbags like Facebook. Now you can't login to Gmail without it wanting you to create a Google plus account, want your phone number and other contact details. This behaviour along with sharing the email and contact lists to the NSA, getting caught lying about it, now trying to act like a good guy and lobby congress to protect privacy. If Google cared so much about users' privacy they would have lobbied before the Snowden leak.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 17, 2013 @09:04PM (#45159817)

    Yep... iOS is the majority of Google's mobile revenue, for now... I'm looking forward to Apple putting an end to that.
    Android has the tech-users that block ads, depriving Google of revenue, and most others use an Android phone as a glorified feature-phone and they don't spend anything anyways.

    Then, just wait till Samsung jettison's Android when they go to their proprietary TizenOS system because Android is becoming a thorn in its side lately.

    Yeah, Google better figure something out soon.

  • by celest (100606) <> on Thursday October 17, 2013 @09:39PM (#45160071) Homepage

    Why is it that in 2013 the majority of discussions about generating revenue using a free/libre/open source strategy are still focused on "clamping down" and other zero-sum game thought patterns? Haven't we shown yet that there are not only strategies to generate revenue with open source that don't involve trying to control everything, but also that these strategies can be more successful in the long run? The type of "collision course" competition that the OP mentions is strategy thinking from the 70s and 80s. We're past that. We can do better.

    I think a more interesting question to ask is: "How can Google generate revenue from Android while continuing to nurture the ecosystem and helping other stakeholders also continue to benefit from its success?". Facing challenging questions and trying to solve them is far more interesting than simply assuming that there is no solution, especially when anecdoctal evidence suggests otherwise.

    Disclaimer: I'm doing my doctoral research in strategic management in the area of open source strategy, so my perspective is necessarily biased. Some of my work can be found at []

  • MITM in the wild (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday October 17, 2013 @10:02PM (#45160197) Homepage Journal

    They annoy users by panicing any time a certificate is signed by an authority not on the list.

    This is desired behavior for SSL. Otherwise, a man in the middle could start his own private CA and issue certs for each site that you view. Bug 460374 [] shows MITM in the wild. If I wanted to verify self-signed certificates through route diversity, I'd install the Perspectives extension. (And I have.)

    When Google released Chrome, Firefox decided they wanted to have a Chrome-like super fast release cycle, which hurt extensions.

    It hurt native extensions other than NPAPI media handlers, but it led to a more-or-less stable API for writing extensions completely in JavaScript.

  • by aaronb1138 (2035478) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @10:11PM (#45160241)
    Either way, the study just confirms something that most people already knew via anecdote or stereotype: iOS users buy into advertising / marketing at a higher rate than other people.

    Draw your own conclusions and discuss.
  • Advertising ROI (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SeanBlader (1354199) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @11:30PM (#45160709)
    Return on investment for mobile advertising is less effective on Google devices because Google users are smarter.
  • by DrJimbo (594231) on Friday October 18, 2013 @01:58AM (#45161557)

    Android is not Motorola. If Motorola is losing money it doesn't follow that Android is. The cost for deploying Android was relatively small. The advertising revenue has got to be enormous.

    By your logic Microsoft should have stopped making their mobile OS after they burned Nokia to the ground or after the early failures of their surface tablet. Not everything Google touches turns into gold (like Android did). Sometimes it is difficult for software companies to get into the hardware business. It is not unusual to start out with years of losses. Also, you are probably ignoring what Google gained when they acquired the Motorola patents. Their patent portfolio was thin and they and their hardware partners were getting hammered by software lawsuits. The Motorola portfolio gives them ammunition to shoot back and it also opens the door to cross license agreements.

    Trying to identify Android with Motorola seems like a deliberate attempt to obfuscate the situation in order to make Android look like a failure instead of the rip-roaring success it actually is.

    Google's plan for Android was to make sure they would not get shut out of the smart phone ads business. The plan far exceeded expectations all around.

    Yes by paying Apple $1 billion a year for being the default search engine on iPhones....

    First, the dominance of the Android OS in the marketplace has very little to do with paying Apple to use the Google search engine. That was a totally separate deal and I'm sure Google made plenty of money on that deal. It's not like they were paying Apple to take a dive and back out of the smartphone market. Second, the article you linked to was from 2011, back when Android was just starting its meteoric rise to dominance. It would be interesting to see what the new numbers are now that Android is the big kid on the block. As I said before, the whole point of Android was so they wouldn't be beholden to the likes of Apple.

    You seem to be grabbing at straws and non-sequiturs in an attempt to spin Android's incredible success as a massive failure. Have you considered a career as a political consultant?

  • by rtb61 (674572) on Friday October 18, 2013 @02:49AM (#45161801) Homepage

    Smell that. You smell that! FUD son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I lover the smell of FUD in the morning. Appleocalypse Now.

    Android is still growing. Places to expand to, the big screen TV, modem/router/home/social server (the next beg thing, the other end of an Android wireless VOIP phone call), the desktop, car, public transport et al. There are so many places to expand into, so many places that can offer up market opportunities for Google. Android ain't the money maker, Android is the wedge the opens up opportunities to make money, it can open up doors and keep them open.

    Think about this. How about if people started sharing a portion of their wireless broadband, as a sort of pool of resource for members, a percentage of bandwidth and total traffic, so that wandering around the streets means that the majority if calls go over broadband rather than cellular. There is a lot of scope of what can be done with modem/router/home/social server a whole major market to explore. Why else do you think Google got busted listening in, they were exploring and researching, the next big market.

Always draw your curves, then plot your reading.