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Should Google Get Aggressive About Monetizing Android?

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the i'm-gonna-go-with-no dept.

Android 168

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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Who knows (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#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.

Re:Who knows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45161885)

:-) I see that you work at G too.

Yes, Vic's KoolAid is getting a bit annoying, and has been for a few years now ..

Are we asking ... (5, Insightful)

briancox2 (2417470) | about 10 months ago | (#45159533)

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!"

Re:Are we asking ... (5, Interesting)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | about 10 months ago | (#45159943)

Yes. The poster is asking if Google should do like so many previous evil companies and stop innovating, and instead focus on putting the pinch to their clients. Oracle falls squarely in this category. I'm hoping Google will instead decide to continue innovating. They've been pretty damned good at it.

Re:Are we asking ... (2)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45160129)

There is lots google can do within its own sphere, (google Shopper, Google Wallet) without trying to drag more money out of the OS itself.

Samsung is known to be working on its own version of an operating system that does not rely on Android, and
with Ubuntu and Firefox and the bones of Blackberry being ready to step into the fight it would be stupid to piss off
manufacturers.

But that's not a company's goal (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | about 10 months ago | (#45160461)

If they don't focus on making money, their shareholders can sue them. Companies are there to make money, they can't be twisted into innovation factories. If they could we'd probably have free energy and plentiful drinking water by now.

Re:But that's not a company's goal (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45160863)

Companies exist to please the shareholders - and one of the motivations of shareholders is to make money.
As a shareholder, I am not interested only in making money, but also in owning a cool company.
Shareholders are also not the only stakeholders that have to be pleased on the long run. Employees, customers, suppliers, the government, local community, etc. all eventually have a say in whether any company lives or dies.
And making money in the long term involves not being a dick to the point that customers and suppliers flee from you.

Every time a company tries to "monetize" whatever value it has created to the maximum extent it can (also known as "being a dick" or "Caching out"), the result is overwhelmingly negative.

For example, Kodak built up their brand by making decent cameras and film. Then they destroyed it by selling chinsy shit cameras under the Kodak name as a last ditch effort to keep afloat.

Android is popular largely because it is open. If Google closed it (and by closed, I mean made it so that other people couldn't use a non-closed version), someone else would start a similar project which would eventually become popular... because it was open.

That said, I don't mind at all if Google wants to close some of their apps or certain services. The base OS is open, which means I can build a car navi or home security system, etc. using it - it serves as a compatible base for all kinds of innovation.

Re:But that's not a company's goal (2)

sFurbo (1361249) | about 10 months ago | (#45161531)

There is an important distinction between focusing on making as much money as you can, and focusing on making as much money you can on each of your products. It is in Googles best interest to keep all of the parts of the computer ecosystem they don't directly make money on as free and easy to use as possible, because that will make people spend more time on computers, including the parts that Google makes money on. As such, is is a huge advantage for them to have a relatively open and standadized mobile OS. If they charge the phone producers for android, they risk some of them starting to use their own, incompatible OS.
TL-DR: it might well being Google financial interest to not make money directly on Android. It is my understanding that it isn't that easy to sue a corporation for choosing a different route to make money.

Re:But that's not a company's goal (4, Informative)

crankyspice (63953) | about 10 months ago | (#45161629)

If they don't focus on making money, their shareholders can sue them. Companies are there to make money, they can't be twisted into innovation factories. If they could we'd probably have free energy and plentiful drinking water by now.

Anyone can sue anyone for anything. (Whether or not they can do so successfully, or without being sanctioned, is another story -- I just won a nice attorney fee award from a father (lawyer) son (douchebag) team that sued a client of mine in state court, and then dismissed when we filed the Anti-SLAPP Motion to Strike I'd warned them repeatedly was coming... sigh...)

That said, the "must increase shareholder value" trope is a myth: "This common and widespread perception lacks any solid basis in actual corporate law." http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2012/6/18%20corporate%20stout/stout_corporate%20issues.pdf [brookings.edu] (p. 4)

If a business wanted to spend three years on R&D, as long as the directors embarked on that path in good faith, with appropriate consideration and care, and reasonably believed that they were acting in the best interests of the company, they'd be able to do so under, e.g., the Business Judgment Rule [cornell.edu] .

Re:But that's not a company's goal (3, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about 10 months ago | (#45161801)

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.

Re:But that's not a company's goal (1)

rich_hudds (1360617) | about 10 months ago | (#45161855)

How about if people started sharing a portion of their wireless broadband,

People used to do this, but then the media companies started suing them when people 'misused' it.

Re:But that's not a company's goal (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 10 months ago | (#45162225)

However, if the appliance was properly hardwired and preconfigured to all say 20% sharing of available traffic and bandwidth, all organised my the major company supplying the modem/router/home/social server, that's completely different.

Re:But that's not a company's goal (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 10 months ago | (#45162089)

If they don't focus on making money, their shareholders can sue them.

But in a very real sense they are suing themselves!

Re:Are we asking ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45162447)

I was under the impression that Google decided to stop innovating when they shut down Google Labs.

Re: Are we asking ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45160281)

Fork fork fork.

I never read the summary (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 10 months ago | (#45160339)

But if they are to now, immediately, would be a very good time.

I still don't own an Android device so.. Makes decisions easier :)

Fuck No, (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45159539)

Monetizing things is what fucks 'em up...look at Slashdot, 4chan, hell, pretty much everything. They're already way too rich and invasive. To go further with money-collecting would be just...Jewish of them!

-- Ethanol-fueled

Already have (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about 10 months ago | (#45159553)

Check out the ads they are placing into the default gmail app. They will slowly add them to all bundled google services on Android.

Re:Already have (2)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 10 months ago | (#45159585)

You can always run pure Android without gapps. I do, and I don't miss gapps one bit.

Re:Already have (1)

hazem (472289) | about 10 months ago | (#45160155)

Can you recommend some ways to do this?

Re: Already have (1)

robmv (855035) | about 10 months ago | (#45160219)

Go to the applications settings and disable every Google application, you can even disable the almighty (a lot of permissions and autoupdateable) Google Services applications

Re: Already have (2)

KiloByte (825081) | about 10 months ago | (#45160269)

There's a downside: fdroid and co have a small fraction of Google Play's selection, but considering the extent of calling home going on, that quickly becomes a necessity if you want any semblance of privacy. I'd say giving an Android system the credentials of a google account is not so wise a decision.

Re:Already have (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45160299)

Exactly. I don't even have an account with google, of any sort. Never will, yet I still run Android.

Re:Already have (1)

petman (619526) | about 10 months ago | (#45160837)

What ads are you talking about? I don't see any ads in the Gmail app, other than the ads contained in e-mails.

Misleading summary (4, Insightful)

dinfinity (2300094) | about 10 months ago | (#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.

Re: Misleading summary (0)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about 10 months ago | (#45159595)

There is no reason to believe that Google and Facebook ads, which both are more successful on iOS, are statistically different from other advertising platforms.

Re: Misleading summary (4, Insightful)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | about 10 months ago | (#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.

Re: Misleading summary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45160435)

Fandroids are cheapskates who wants everything free and ad free?

Just saying.

Re: Misleading summary (1)

Monoman (8745) | about 10 months ago | (#45162593)

Fandroids are cheapskates who wants everything free and ad free?

Just saying.

Apple customers are soon parted with their money?

Just saying too.

Re: Misleading summary (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#45162577)

It's because revenue per click is six times higher on iPhone than Android. People spend more, they don't actually visit ads more.

Re:Misleading summary (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#45159683)

It shouldn't surprise anyone that devices with a higher ASP tend to be in the pockets of people with more cash to throw around. I bet subway lines through rich neighborhoods command a higher ad price than on subways lines through blighted areas.

Re:Misleading summary (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#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.

Re:Misleading summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45161787)

Who gives a fuck. The bottom line is that Android is still the bottom feeder method to doing business.
 
Face facts, the current method of business just doesn't favor Android.

It's too late for that (3, Interesting)

alvinrod (889928) | about 10 months ago | (#45159599)

It's too late for them to even try to monetize Android as attempting to charge for it will just drive their hardware partners down the same path as Amazon or towards other platforms like Ubuntu, Firefox OS, Windows Phone, Tizen, etc. That would be bad for Google as it might mean that fewer people use their services, which means fewer ad views, which means less revenue. I can't imagine that some of their hardware partners are overly thrilled that they've started selling Nexus devices at close to cost and have further eroded their profit margins, so some might be fine with testing other waters if Google wanted to start charging for the OS.

Re:It's too late for that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45159923)

implying they couldn't simply start charging companies a fee for using google's expensive os. what are they gonna do? go back to their crappy proprietary os?

Re:It's too late for that (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about 10 months ago | (#45160013)

what are they gonna do? go back to their crappy proprietary os?

Fork android and keep using it for free. ;) It is already complete, all they would need to do is security maintenance and features they think they'll get a return on.

ROI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45159601)

Google's ROI on advertising on its products will perennially be lower on iOS than Android, simply because on Android they have OS development costs to factor in, whereas on iOS (and other products) they do not.

If you look at the progressive development of Google Play, I'd say they are monetising Android quite well already.

The Hidden Driver (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 10 months ago | (#45159829)

Google's ROI on advertising on its products will perennially be lower on iOS than Android, simply because on Android they have OS development costs to factor in

And this will lead you to understand exactly how Google intends to increase ROI. If you can't get more clicks, you can adjust the other factor decreasing ROI downward...

Obvious Answer is OBVIOUS ... apk (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45159623)

Most android users (all except the "lusers") use my HOSTS file to block advertisements &/or MALWARE. MAC IOS does not have a HOSTS file so lusers see more ads &/or MALWARE.

APK

Unrooted device is UNROOTED ... dy (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45160151)

Most android users (all except the "lusers") use my HOSTS file to block advertisements

You need root to edit hosts on Android. And if you define "lusers" as Android users without root, I suspect they greatly outnumber Android users with root.

Not viable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45159641)

It would never work out at this point.

I'd like to see the whole smartphone (and Android ecosystem) move towards being like PC's. A blank platform where you choose which OS to install, and where some cost and some don't.

CyanogenMod is great, but it requires quite a bit technical skills to properly install and configure it. Still a step in the right direction, IMHO.

Re:Not viable (1)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | about 10 months ago | (#45160273)

I would gladly pay to run Windows Phone on my choice of hardware. Granted a lot of that is motivated by the cheap abundance of runner-up model Android phones (HTC One S is my current) versus a nicely spec'd Windows Phone is going to run full retail or take too much time on Swappa / CL to find.

Not if they know history (4, Interesting)

iYk6 (1425255) | about 10 months ago | (#45159699)

History is ripe with companies that built a product that does something different, and in ways better, than the competition. And once their product is successful, they try to emulate something that somebody else does, and their product share slowly declines as their users realize there is no longer anything special about the product.

Look at Firefox. It was a faster, lighter, less annoying and extensible browser. Over time, it slowly got bulkier, slower, and in some ways buggier. They annoy users by panicing any time a certificate is signed by an authority not on the list. When Google released Chrome, Firefox decided they wanted to have a Chrome-like super fast release cycle, which hurt extensions. Users are slowly leaving Firefox for other browsers, especially Chrome, as Firefox becomes less and less special.

If Google locks down the OS and prevents users from installing their own applications, then Android will no longer be special. People will still use it, since it's still a smart phone and devices will be cheaper than Apple. But as soon as a competitor comes along that offers what Google used to offer, users will quickly leave, and within several years Android will be a memory.

Re:Not if they know history (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45159801)

Firefox is many things, but not slow or bulky. (The installer keeps shrinking, for fucks sake) Quick sucking up the memes and think for yourself.

Frequent updates are necessary nowadays, they just made the mistake of not switching to a chrome-style updater sooner. (Transparent, automatic updates that require no user intervention or notification.) Software is a service today. Get used to it.

Re:Not if they know history (1)

aXis100 (690904) | about 10 months ago | (#45159889)

I beg to differ.

I was amased at the difference in speed and bulk when I switched from firefox to Chrome a year or two ago. The difference was like night and day.

Re:Not if they know history (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45160501)

chrome is faster, but i feel like i'm selling my soul for slightly quicker operation. no script helps out firefox immensely, and mozila do know it's an issue and continue to work on it.

Re:Not if they know history (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45160163)

It's true, Firefox isn't just bulky and slow, it also threw user choice out of the window, as you just described yourself.

Re:Not if they know history (2)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | about 10 months ago | (#45160317)

Firefox may be getting better as far as the codebase, but they are producing a consistently less compatible browser. It's nearly as bad a the first year or so of Chrome where no commercial website would work. I'm getting mainstream webpages that render incorrectly in Firefox these days.

Blame web devs all you want, I agree they are the sh*theads of CS & IT, but the browser needs to be like a production car on city roads. The maintainers (of the road) do crap work, the car has a suspension to handle it. Firefox is blowing out tires over poor quality asphalt. In the mean time, IE and Chrome ride right over the potholes unnoticed.

Re:Not if they know history (1)

_merlin (160982) | about 10 months ago | (#45161607)

No, it's IE6 all over again. People are designing websites for the quirks of WebKit. To use a car analogy, it would be like the road maintenance guys deciding that the most popular car was the Toyota Camry, analysing its suspension, then building corrugated roads that match its time constant at the speed limit. If your car's suspension behaves differently, you're in for a rough ride. If Toyota makes a new Camry with different suspension, even if it's better in the general case, it will seem worse because the roads are built specifically for the old Camry's suspension.

Re:Not if they know history (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45160493)

oh it can be slow. sure if you only have one tab open you may be able to move around quite quickly, but if you like to use a few you need to install noscript or something to take the edge off, or it will crash less powerfull computers.

MITM in the wild (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45160197)

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 [mozilla.org] 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.

Re:Not if they know history (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45160307)

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

That's the point of the list. Otherwise ssl becomes vulnerable, and https becomes meaningless.

I agree with everything else you said though.

That is what G+ is for... (2, Insightful)

PrimeNumber (136578) | about 10 months ago | (#45159713)

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.

Re:That is what G+ is for... (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#45162581)

Google makes an enormous amount of money through ad space on independent blogs and websites, so no. They're a horizontal company, not a vertical one: where there's ad space, they want to be there. G+ is a reaction to the idea that Facebook, a vertical company, might replace those blogs and sites.

Google should pay down (1)

gnupun (752725) | about 10 months ago | (#45159717)

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

Android is just Linux + mobile UI + Java. If Google were to charge manufacturers for Android OS, shouldn't Oracle be within its rights to charge for Java on Android?

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45159719)

Google should cease all activities and ask for forgiveness.

Already bad both ways (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | about 10 months ago | (#45159723)

My dad complains about ads getting in his way so he can't do anything on his phone. My AOSP build can't install google apps so I can't buy from the store.

So casual users and hardcore users getting screwed.

Android phones aren't much different from iPhone except you can go outside the walled garden, which means you developers will be able to sell their apps even if they compete with "official" offerings. You can disable updates. Etc.

Android with AOSP is WONDERFUL, with it broken... I'm waiting for the Ubuntu phone.

Re:Already bad both ways (1)

Ingenium13 (162116) | about 10 months ago | (#45160607)

Why can't you install Google Apps on AOSP? Can't you just flash the gapps zip?

If they monetize... (1)

bmo (77928) | about 10 months ago | (#45159777)

...Microsoft will have more than a snowball's chance in Hell of getting more marketshare with their mobile OS. There is such a thing as eating your seed corn, and monetizing Android would be exactly that. Yeah, they'd get a few million bucks for this quarter at the expense of advertising revenue and marketshare. And they would be lucky to break even on earnings and then lose in the long run.

--
BMO

Free and Open is Android's strength (2)

kawabago (551139) | about 10 months ago | (#45159793)

Android is popular because any manufacturer can make a fully functional phone for very little development cost. Free is a strength, not a weakness. Microsoft has a closed proprietary phone and it isn't doing well at all. A closed source Android would fare just as well. A free platform is just that, a platform. It's up to the manufacturer to launch a profitable business either under or over Android. Under meaning the hardware and over being services provided by the platform. It is a win-win proposition for everyone and that is why it does so well.

Re:Free and Open is Android's strength (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45159979)

I bought my Android phone for almost the same cost as an iPhone...but I didn't buy on price, I bought on features, and I love it. The latest iOS is very similar to the Samsung customizations...to quote my nephew who hates iOS7, "If I'd wanted a Samsung, I'd have bought a Samsung." Well, I wanted a Samsung, and bought one. Open is very important to me. Lack of ads is very important to me. I stopped using AOL when they had blinking ads. (well, not really, I stopped using their client, and switched to webmail in Firefox with Adblock Plus, so I stopped seeing the ads.)

Re:Free and Open is Android's strength (1)

21mhz (443080) | about 10 months ago | (#45162605)

Android is popular because any manufacturer can make a fully functional phone for very little development cost. Free is a strength, not a weakness. Microsoft has a closed proprietary phone and it isn't doing well at all.

As an upside to keeping their cards close to their vest, they have easily rolled out a "fuck your OEM/carrier, here's a dev preview directly from us if you're not afraid of voiding your warranty", and it's not reported to be causing many problems to people trying it.

Google cannot push an update for the above-hardware parts of Android and expect everything to work, because the device vendors have been tweaking those as well. So the tinkerers have to use third-party mods like Cyanogen, or stick with a Nexus.

It is a win-win proposition for everyone and that is why it does so well.

In practice, it shifts control to the manufacturers, and the benefits for the vast majority of the end-users are not so clear cut.

They do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45159805)

They sell you. At least information about everything you do.

Re:They do (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 10 months ago | (#45159897)

quite right, Google monetizes the users, they are product. Android is just one thing that helps monetize users, its a fish hook for various bait called apps.

whomever wrote this article is clueless about Google's business model

Re:They do (4, Interesting)

Aighearach (97333) | about 10 months ago | (#45159973)

No. That is the difference with google; other companies track you and sell your information. Google tracks you, and targets and sells the ads themselves, and don't sell your info. You're the product, but your information isn't being sold. They leverage their position to sell your behavior (clicks) instead.

Re:They do (1)

PrimeNumber (136578) | about 10 months ago | (#45160505)

Sure now. But as we have seen countless times in the past, all it takes is changing the TOS and you are screwed. When times get harder for Google as it will, because it eventually happens to every tech company, see how long that policy lasts.
This is the same Google that tried to monetize everyones photos less than a week ago, and backed down (this time) because it pissed off so many people.
Google is great at promoting the rainbows and unicorn bullshit, I am just surprised so many still fall for it.

Re:They do (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about 10 months ago | (#45160663)

That scenario would only come up if google loses so much market share they're not one of the top ad sellers. That is unlikely, because google has cash and strategy to buy up some percent of successful competitors.

Re:They do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45160529)

But Google is the one, i don't want to have my information.

give murrica its cut (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45159887)

yes. it is absurd that they are losing money with an os that effectively lets the world compete directly with apple without paying murrica a licensing fee.

"Open" was a Strength that is now a Curse (-1, Troll)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 10 months ago | (#45159927)

Google didn't see the benefit of a open & yet controlled environment along with the concept of having their own top line hardware and now Apple has seemingly walked away with the mindshare of the educated & upscale side of the country. I don't see Apple letting up on their advancement of both hardware and software plus the key OS programming environment.

A product is not just an "OS" in today's world.

Re:"Open" was a Strength that is now a Curse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45160079)

and now Apple has seemingly walked away with the mindshare of the educated & upscale side of the country.

May their chains set lightly upon them.

The summary is pure flamebait (5, Informative)

DrJimbo (594231) | about 10 months ago | (#45159937)

The title of the first FA is:

Google earnings beat estimates, but Motorola losses keep growing

The second FA is strictly about Facebook ads. It says:

One caveat that Slagen offered, however, is that the data changes with industry, and that gaming and e-commerce industries, for instance, did not see the same kind of massive iPhone/Android gulf in ROI.

The summary stinks of typical anti-Google FUD.

Google beat earnings estimates. Google's Android OS drastically beat expectations on how soon it would totally dominate the smartphone market. So some asshat suggests that these results mean Google is doing poorly and it is only a matter of time before Google joins Apple and Microsoft (and others) by turning to the dark side.

Having a dominate market share in the smart phone sector is HUGE. 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.

Re:The summary is pure flamebait (-1)

Karlt1 (231423) | about 10 months ago | (#45160093)

Google beat earnings estimates. Google's Android OS drastically beat expectations on how soon it would totally dominate the smartphone market.

What good is "dominance" if you're not making money? Android has been a net loss for Google when you count the acquisition cost of Motorola and the fact they have been losing more money every quarter.

On top of that, Google bought Motorola mostly for their patents which they can't use either as a weapon or a defense since most of them are FRAND and courts worldwide have been coming down on companies that try to use FRAND patents to sue every one.

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....

http://gadgets.ndtv.com/mobiles/news/apple-charges-google-1-billion-per-year-for-being-the-default-search-engine-on-its-devices-analyst-330228 [ndtv.com]

Where the majority of their mobile profits are earned....
http://9to5mac.com/2011/09/21/google-23rds-of-our-mobile-search-comes-from-apples-ios/ [9to5mac.com]

And sinking billions in Motorola....

Re:The summary is pure flamebait (1)

PrimeNumber (136578) | about 10 months ago | (#45160633)

Not only was Motorola a money loser, Android loses money in other ways. Microsoft lovesAndroid. Not as much as Windows Phone, but because it gets patent royalties on every Android phone sold.

Re:The summary is pure flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45160903)

Says who? Only a minority of makers have actually agreed to may Microsoft anything. It's certainly not "every Android phone sold"

Re:The summary is pure flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45161857)

Correction: Only a minority of Android makers doesn't play the M$ tax. Sony, Samsung, HTC, ZTE et. al. all pays them.

Re:The summary is pure flamebait (1)

wile_e8 (958263) | about 10 months ago | (#45160813)

What good is "dominance" if you're not making money?

Google doesn't even try to make money on Android, so that question shows how much you miss the point. Google makes money on web services, and the goal of Android was to have tons of smartphones connected to their services constantly. Android has been very successful at that, along with making sure they aren't beholden to Apple in order to do it. Although I'm sure Google would prefer people used Android over the iPhone, it doesn't really matter to them as long as they are using both platforms to connect to Google services. Platform doesn't matter, profits are still profits.

Re:The summary is pure flamebait (3, Insightful)

DrJimbo (594231) | about 10 months ago | (#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?

Re:The summary is pure flamebait (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45160745)

Android dominates the low-end of the market. That's a very lucrative advertising demographic: people who won't/can't spend money.

Can you say fragmentation boys and girls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45159965)

Good I knew you could.

Come on people.. If Google cracks down like that do you really think that a company like Samsung and other Android device behemoths would not simple take the OpenSource source code - fork-o-ramma .. and carry on sans fees ?

The only plan that would not lead to forking is Google leveraging their own apps and services better for the Android platform.

Stick a fork in it - this post is done

Hey losers, Healthcare.gov ripped off open-source (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45159993)

Which one are you going to defend? Open sores or Obongo?

Is this a article Joke (5, Interesting)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 10 months ago | (#45160019)

Google stock hits a record on its quarterly results...Jumping 8% in after hour trading. Its ad revenue despite what the article implies grew 17% year-over-year. That is up from its 15% growth in the second quarter.

But the reality is Googles growth is in "Other" revenue; which grew 85% thanks to sale of Apps...sound like they are monetizing Android even without advertising.

Graph showing revenue by revenue source http://b-i.forbesimg.com/roberthof/files/2013/10/Screen-shot-2013-10-17-at-1.45.11-PM.png [forbesimg.com]

Which is better? (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 10 months ago | (#45160041)

Which is better, $100 a year for 50 years or $500 right now and $0 for the the next 50 years? I guess if you are most of corporate America, it is the second one.

Re:Which is better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45160583)

it depends how long you want to hold on to your shares.

Why is "monetizing" OS still = "clamping down"? (3, Insightful)

celest (100606) | about 10 months ago | (#45160071)

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 http://osstrategy.org/ [osstrategy.org]

Re:Why is "monetizing" OS still = "clamping down"? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 10 months ago | (#45160285)

At this time you are exposing your daily movements, shopping, keywords, friends, pics, video and location data to a wide set of apps, telco layers, your isp, telco and US brand.
Everybody sees a win in tracking you. What if the telco can offer to keep all that data sealed off in 'their' branded phone while letting users just use Google maps, email, chat via a browser with a huge user base of free existing apps and pay software too?
All telco/isp branded, less cash flow out to the USA?
The teclo could on sell the location data and all the other unique traits direct. Google would be left with an ip to a Berlin or Soul or Sydney or Vancouver exchange and a few keywords in an email.
Close off the hardware/software layer and Google keeps it all under the cover of privacy, https.
Close off the hardware/software layer and the telco keeps it all under the cover of privacy, NSA and regional nationalism.
The apps are "PC compatible" but the "clamping down" is the tracking prize.

Re:Why is "monetizing" OS still = "clamping down"? (1)

marcroelofs (797176) | about 10 months ago | (#45160599)

+1 this. Very good viewpoints. Good luck with your doctoral.

Of course ROI for iOS ads is higher! (4, Interesting)

Tony Isaac (1301187) | about 10 months ago | (#45160183)

Devices running iOS sell at a premium, to people who don't mind paying more for goods they consider superior. Of course people with extra money will be able to buy more advertised products! People who are more cost-conscious will tend to gravitate to Android, and will also likely be more wary of advertising.

Re:Of course ROI for iOS ads is higher! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45160953)

It's funny a lot of people have this idea of Android = cheap.
I guess you are from North America?
In Japan, iPhone is cheaper than many of the high-end Android phones from Sharp and Sony.
You can of course get super cheap shit Android phones, but very few places sell them because nobody is interested.

Re:Of course ROI for iOS ads is higher! (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 10 months ago | (#45161327)

Devices running iOS sell at a premium, to people who don't mind paying more for goods they consider superior. Of course people with extra money will be able to buy more advertised products! People who are more cost-conscious will tend to gravitate to Android, and will also likely be more wary of advertising.

It's easily a big disparity. . Their ad click-through rates are 2.5 times as high as Android, And we're talking about a platform that is outsold 4:1 by Android. [anthillonline.com]

The big problem is that on Android, you can't differentiate between a valuable flagship Android phone user (e.g., HTC One, Moto X, SGS4, etc) and a worthless free Android phone user (who wouldn't be in the market).

Concentrating your ads towards iPhone and high-end Android users generates more returns, but Google doesn't offer the capabilities yet.

So perhaps that's the first thing Google needs - figure out if they're using flagship phones and sell premium ads for those users.

Re:Of course ROI for iOS ads is higher! (1)

SEE (7681) | about 10 months ago | (#45162337)

So perhaps that's the first thing Google needs - figure out if they're using flagship phones and sell premium ads for those users.

Or, you know, just not give a shit at all, because the current strategy is doing fine, thanks, which is why Google just had a major stock price spike.

Re:Of course ROI for iOS ads is higher! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45161895)

I'm AC so I can afford to be honest.

Adverts are targeted mainly at dumb-asses who are easily influenced by adverts. There is a huge market of dumb-asses with a lot of money. Over 2/3 of all adverts are targeted at them. Most TV programming is designed with them in mind.

I'm sure you can work out which demographic I'm talking about.

Thank you for surfing at -1, enjoy your day!

Post NSA, recall the desktop (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 10 months ago | (#45160187)

The smart people know they are been watched and are just using the service as a free tool.
That reduces the userbase to a vast trendy herd. As many other telco makers have found, that vast trendy herd is cheap and fickle.
The other aspect is code been 'open' 'free' and i.e. 'not MS, Apple'. That has helped a lot with the branding propaganda.
With MS and Apple you knew what kind of walled garden you where buying into. To alter aspects of the open usersbase experience mid generation is a hard sell.
To alter the hardware side would just see firms take the open aspects and early 1980's desktop reverse-engineer hardware again.
Google would be left with holding a layer of software between open software and cheap whitebox hardware.

They'd be stupid to. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45160439)

You can't start charging or locking down something that used to be free and open without people getting pissed off about it. It's really that simple.

They knew what it used to be like, and it used to be better. It was doing fine, and it didn't need fucking with. They're pissed that you fucked with it and made it worse.

Doesn't linux code on Android forbid them to do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45160463)

This is an honest question. Can google ask money for Android since most of its code (or at least part of it) comes from linux?
Wouldn't they have to take all linux code out before being allowed to monetize it?

KitKat? (1)

BlueF (550601) | about 10 months ago | (#45160499)

What, monetize like selling the name of their next major OS release?!

Any one else seriously annoyed by this... something that entirely shouldnt matter? Dunno why, but it does.
I havent seen it, sounded too depressing / prescient, but I imagine this to be in the vein of Idiocracy [wikipedia.org] [wikipedia.org].

Advertising ROI (2, Insightful)

SeanBlader (1354199) | about 10 months ago | (#45160709)

Return on investment for mobile advertising is less effective on Google devices because Google users are smarter.

Stupid question (1)

Severus Snape (2376318) | about 10 months ago | (#45160717)

Google just need the data which users give away when using Android. All those searches, GPS data, emails, whatever else users are subconsciously giving away so Google can turn every user in to a product to sell to advertisers. As mobile becomes more and more prominent, Google is going to have to have rely more on Android to bring in revenue. Any plans which could negatively effect their market share is completely out of the question.

One day Android will lose its market share and it'll be the first sign in the fall of Google ad business.
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