iPhone users may have sex twice as much as other smartphone owners, but Android users search twice as much as others, Google announced during its third quarter earnings call today.
The company was responding to questions about how it will be able to monetize its Android mobile operating system. It clearly considers search, and the ads surrounding it, an important aspect of its mobile presence. Google said that mobile searches are more valuable to mobile operators since they earn money from the ads as well.
Google announced a $1 billion annualized run rate for mobile — which includes phones, tablets, and “other devices” — so the segment is already making quite a bit of money for the company. Mobile searches also grew five times over previous years — although that’s not much of a surprise given Android’s massive surge in popularity over the last year. The company said that it would bring its Instant Search feature to mobile platforms “soon”, but wouldn’t be more specific.
In comparison to search and ads, Google doesn’t expect its Android Mobile Market to be much of a revenue maker. The company says that its real aim with the Market is to help app developers make money.
In terms of other ways to make money from Android, Google said it expects growth from mobile payment platforms — something that its Checkout service would certainly benefit from. Mobile transactions right now are hindered by the difficulty of inputting credit card info into a phone, but eventually that process should get simpler.
As Android becomes more popular, and mobile users begin to rely on Google’s search and services more, the company expects the segment to be even more profitable than PCs are today. After all, we generally have our phones with us all the time and could use them in a variety of situations — something that even ultra-portable laptops or netbooks can’t really compete with.