Wed. Oct 20th, 2021
How does Google make money from Android?
money smartphone android

Google made $31 billion in income from Android, in line with a court docket submitting by Oracle.

It’s essential to notice that these figures didn’t come from Google immediately. It appears like Oracle calculated the earnings primarily based on paperwork supplied by Google. Because Oracle desires compensation from Google, it advantages from the next estimate, so take it with a grain of salt.

On the opposite aspect, Google is in a tough state of affairs: publicly admitting it makes a number of money from Android bolsters Oracle’s monetary claims, whereas denying it might spook traders anxious that Android is a money sink. That’s why Google has all the time been tightlipped about Android monetary knowledge.

Android is, in fact, free to make use of by any OEM. So how is Google in a position to make billions in earnings from it?

We can solely guess, however two sources stand out: cell promoting and app gross sales.

Mobile promoting

Mobile promoting is clearly the principle income relating to Android. We know – additionally due to Oracle’s attorneys – that Google paid Apple $1 billion to be the default search engine on iPhones and iPads in 2014. That’s simply the tax that Google needed to pay for the privilege, so the precise iOS income is probably going just a few occasions bigger.

iOS customers are extra profitable in comparison with Android customers from an promoting perspective, as a result of, on common, they’ve bigger incomes and they’re extra possible to purchase stuff on-line. But Android customers are rather more quite a few than iOS customers. In September 2015, Google stated there have been 1.4 billion Android gadgets in use worldwide. Even with a decrease common income per person, the money that Google makes from adverts proven on Android gadgets might be considerably bigger than the iOS income. And, there isn’t a Apple tax to pay.

Google makes money from the adverts which can be displayed when customers search through its app and on-line. Many folks additionally use YouTube, Google Maps, Drive, Gmail, and Google’s many different apps and companies. Google exhibits adverts in a few of these companies, but it surely additionally analyzes person knowledge to enhance the relevancy of the adverts it serves in different places. And, as a result of each cellphone person has to sign up with their distinctive account when organising a cellphone, the info is correct and extremely private.

Google additionally makes just a few cents everytime you click on a kind of adverts proven in lots of ad-supported apps.

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Now cell promoting makes Google much less money than laptop searches, as a result of the worth of a “click” is mostly smaller. But cell utilization will increase yearly, and because of Android and its suite of apps, Google has a community of capillaries extracting money out of your entire ecosystem.


Apps are the second huge supply of money for Google. The firm takes a lower from each sale app builders make on the Play Store. And it’s an enormous retailer, with over 1.5 million apps, out of which an enormous chunk are paid apps or apps that supply in-app purchases. Google takes a 30% lower out of each sale, providing in trade the platform and a number of the required infrastructure, together with a cloud system for delivering notifications.

Google stated throughout Google I/O 2015 that in 2014 alone it paid $7 billion to builders.  At a 70% developer share, the income from Android apps in 2014 was a powerful $10 billion.

App Annie 2015 installs revenue
App Annie

Play Store media

Google additionally makes some money from the media aspect of the Play Store. Paid music, films, books, and subscriptions are only a faucet away for tons of of hundreds of thousands of customers, so even with a low utilization fee, it’s truthful to imagine that there’s a gradual trickle of money coming in from this supply.

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Everything else

Mobile promoting and app gross sales are the largest sources of Android income for Google. The firm sells some {hardware}, however with the small revenue margins that {hardware} permits, that money is essentially insignificant. The similar may be stated about ventures like Android Pay and Project Fi.

Since then, the variety of Android gadgets almost tripled and the variety of iOS gadgets ballooned as effectively. Plus, in 2016, Android has way more cell apps and Play Store content material. All this thought-about, the $31 billion lifetime estimate doesn’t look too farfetched. For what’s price, Google didn’t dispute this determine, it simply wished it to be made confidential. It’s even doable that the sum is definitely smaller than actuality, relying on how Oracle defines revenues.

At the very least, it’s clear that critics that derided Google for not making any money from Android had been terribly flawed.

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