Mobile

Court docs show Android made less than $550M for Google since 2008

Court documents provided by Google show the company made less than $550 million from Android between 2008 and the end of 2011.

These figures pan out to about $10 per Android handset, or roughly $135 million, each year.

iPhones and other Apple-made devices, on the other hand, put more than four times as much revenue in Google’s coffers during the same time period.

The $550 million figure was brought into the light during legal talks between Google and Oracle. Oracle brought a lawsuit against Google in 2010 claiming that the search company had infringed on Java-related intellectual property. The Java IP, including specific copyrights and patents, had only recently been transferred to Oracle when that company finalized its acquisition of Sun Microsystems in early 2010.

Last summer, Google indicated it may have been willing to settle out of court in the matter. An Oracle victory in court could have added up to billions in damages, and given that (as we’d long suspected) Google’s revenue-per-device figure is quite low, any per-device licensing fee would put a significant dent in Android-related revenue.

But Googlers reassure us the open-source operating system is still in no real danger. “From a consumer standpoint, consumers should not be concerned about losing their Android phone,” a Google spokesperson said in a recent phone chat.

“There’s no indication that Android is under threat… We’re actively pushing back on Oracle to preserve choice in the marketplace in the long term.”

Google announced its annual revenue run rate for Android had reached $2.5 billion late last year. At that time, the total number of Android devices activated worldwide had just reached 190 million.

But that revenue is a drop in the bucket for Google. The search giant made $10 billion in the last quarter alone, and almost all of that revenue came from its online advertising empire.


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