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Android Businesses Cellphones Iphone The Almighty Buck Apple

Google Earns $2 Per Handset; Apple, $575 366

Posted by timothy
from the rough-figures-and-harsh dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "While Apple generates more than $575 in profit for every iOS device, and according to estimates in 2007 Apple earned more than $800 on every iPhone sold through ATT, Horace Dediu reports that Android generated less than $550m in revenues for Google between 2008 and the end of 2011, earning only $1.70 per year, per Android device — explaining how Apple is sucking up two thirds of the profit in the mobile phone business. Dediu's starting point is a settlement offer Google made to Oracle of $2.8 million and 0.515% of Android revenues on an ongoing basis. His assumption is that those numbers represent Google's revenue from Android to date. 'If this is the case,' writes Dediu, 'We have a significant breakthrough in understanding the economics of Android and the overall mobile platform strategy of Google.' Of course profitability is not the only reason Google is in the mobile phone business. 'P&L considerations were not the only (or even at all) factors in investment for Google. Having a hedge against hegemony of potential rivals, having a means to learn and develop new business and having a role in defining the post-PC computing paradigm are all probably bigger considerations than profitability,' writes Dediu. 'My take is that [Android] is not a bad business. But it's also not a great one.'"
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Google Earns $2 Per Handset; Apple, $575

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  • Ads included? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:33AM (#39611755)

    Do "Android revenues" include advertising, e.g. ads shown in apps?

    Still, Apple does get to pick the cream of the crop.

    • Re:Ads included? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by reub2000 (705806) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:34AM (#39611767)

      Or items sold through the market?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by BasilBrush (643681)

        "Sold" through the market? Android apps are mostly free adware.

      • by burne (686114)

        Hardware, contract (Apple gets a kickback), Apps and services.

        For what started out as a hippie-outfit they've become quite adept at the ways of the Capitalist.

        (Lots of Apple gadgets around me so obviously I don't care about the success of others. Good for them, enjoy it to the most..)

        • Re:Ads included? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @10:29AM (#39612547) Homepage

          Keep in mind that the numbers from Google come from the Oracle settlement offer. They are years out of date, and google would want them to have been as low as the judge would possibly accept. It makes one wonder what google left out, and you can be sure that they're profit figures, not revenue figures too.

          It is also a bit strange to use profit numbers that you just know are from the previous fiscal years only with the cumulative phones count for one more year. Given android's exponential growth, every year more handsets are sold than all the years before. So that's at least a factor 2 right there. I am not saying google makes as much as apple does from selling phones. But it's a lot more than the article lets on. I would also keep in mind that google does not need to actually design or distribute hardware, they leave that to others.

          And last, I would like to contend that while apple had the technological advantage in the market up until last year (and these figures are older). If anyone failed to notice, the best iPhone was top of the line in every spec, from screen size, camera, memory, gpu, ... and that's far from true anymore. Since last year, every answer to the a best-specification question has been some android phone. The phone with the largest screen -> android. Best screen in sunlight -> android. The phone with the best camera -> android. The phone with the most memory -> android. The phone with the fastest cpu -> android. Best 3d performance -> android. While apple still has best specs on tablet (although the iPad3 design does show they're desperate : it's thermal package is at the very edge of what is reasonable, and their power usage is huge), their advantage their is also waning and I seriously doubt it will survive 2012.

          So apple started 2011 with the best phone available, no matter your criteria. Compared to that Apple's 2012 start is at most the "best styled full package" or something to that effect. Siri is all but a failure (given that you know it was meant to replace google search on iPhone ... it's a dismal failure), and one wonders what will remain of apple's advantage by 2012. Even in 2012 you've got to admit that there were android phones (SGS2, Nexus) that beat apple's hardware style, and arguably the Nexus beat apple both on the software and hardware. I agree that with the nexus, the software quality, while much improved, is still debatable wether it beats IOS. I doubt that by the end of 2012 it will still be debatable whether android or ios will be best.

          Google is getting close to beating apple without having their act decently together. The real question is whether google's or apple's programmers are the best ones ... and frankly, I don't think it's even a contest. Given the fact that google loves developers (mostly) and apple ... well, frankly, hate them, I find this a very positive thing.

          • by hkmwbz (531650)
            The Samsung Galaxy 2 beat Apple's hardware style? No. The SG2 is butt-ugly. The rest of your comment is very interesting, though.
          • by femtoguy (751223)

            Kind of makes you realize just how much of a hill Microsoft has to climb. They have to develop and deploy a new smart phone and infrastructure for less than $2 per phone. Should be interesting.

    • Re:Ads included? (Score:5, Informative)

      by poetmatt (793785) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @08:03AM (#39611911) Journal

      Most notably android doesn't include what anyone else makes off the phones.

      Android: "$2".
      developers: $50

      manufacturers: some amount.

      Since apple is involved with all of the above, they're naturally including all of that. Which is not exactly an apples to apples comparison.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2012 @08:38AM (#39612049)

        Which is not exactly an apples to apples comparison.

        Because this is an Apples to Androids comparison, ya insensitive clod!

      • Re:Ads included? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Karlt1 (231423) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @08:40AM (#39612061)

        Most notably android doesn't include what anyone else makes off the phones.

        Android: "$2".
        developers: $50

        manufacturers: some amount.

        Since apple is involved with all of the above, they're naturally including all of that. Which is not exactly an apples to apples comparison.

        Android manufactures aren't exactly getting rich either....

        http://www.tweaktown.com/news/23334/apple_and_samsung_make_up_95_of_all_handset_profits_in_q4_2011/index.html [tweaktown.com]

        "A new study from Canaccord Genuity is claiming that Apple and Samsung account for a combined 95-percent of all handset profits in Q4 2011. Apple accounts for 80-percent of profits, while the company behind the GALAXY range of handsets, Samsung, takes 15-percent. The remaining 5-percent is left to all of the other manufacturers."

        • Re:Ads included? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Mistlefoot (636417) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @09:30AM (#39612247)
          "Android manufacturers aren't exactly getting rich either..."

          Samsung just posted $5 billion profit for their last quarter.

          http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/samsung-posts-record-quarterly-profit/article2394031/

          Apples quarterly profit from their last quarter was just over $6 billion.

          http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/10/18Apple-Reports-Fourth-Quarter-Results.html
          • Re:Ads included? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by wisty (1335733) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @09:34AM (#39612265)

            Given Samsung practically makes the iPhone (at least, all the profitable components, not the low-profit assembly), it's no surprise.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Karlt1 (231423)

            Samsung just posted $5 billion profit for their last quarter.

            You do realize that Samsung makes more than just smartphones, don't you?

            http://www.techspot.com/news/48038-apple-samsung-account-for-95-of-all-handset-profits.html [techspot.com]

            With Apple making 80% of the profit and Samsung making the other 15%.

            How are HTC, Motorola, LG, Sony-Ericson, etc. doing?

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Mistlefoot (636417)
              You do realize that Apple makes more than just smartphones, don't you?

              You quote the same one article that I was replying too.

              And from the article I linked to discussing the Samsung $5 billion: "“(While) 60-70 per cent of (Samsung’s) profit came from handset sales this quarter, ... with memory chip prices rising, chips will play a big part in second quarter profits,” said Kim Sung-in, a chip industry analyst at Kiwoom Securities."

              So $3 billion alone from handset sales this quar
              • Re:Ads included? (Score:4, Informative)

                by Karlt1 (231423) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @11:04AM (#39612721)

                You do realize that Apple makes more than just smartphones, don't you?

                The article only took smartphones into account.

                And from the article I linked to discussing the Samsung $5 billion: "“(While) 60-70 per cent of (Samsung’s) profit came from handset sales this quarter, ... with memory chip prices rising, chips will play a big part in second quarter profits,” said Kim Sung-in, a chip industry analyst at Kiwoom Securities."

                That's *handset sales* not all of which are smartphones -- Samsung sells a whole lot of dumbphones and not even all of them are Android phones. Samsung also sales Windows Phones and their own bada phones,

                "Chip sales" also have nothing to do with Android -- especially with Apple being their largest external customer.

                Apple don't say. But they do say "The Company sold 17.07 million iPhones in the quarter. Apple sold 11.12 million iPads during the quarter. The Company sold 4.89 million Macs during the quarter. Apple sold 6.62 million iPods."
                So less then 50% of the devices sold by Apple were handsets.

                That's nice and all, but 70% of Apple's revenue comes from the iPhone and you're off by quarter....Apple sold 37 million iPhones during the quarter ending in December.

                And Apple's net income was $13 Billion not $6 Billion....
                http://www.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ:AAPL&fstype=ii [google.com]

          • Samsung just posted $5 billion profit for their last quarter.

            Which makes as much sense as you posting Microsoft's total profits when someone claims that Sony is making more profit on consoles, rather than posting the profits of Microsoft's XBox division. Samsung is one of the world's largest manufacturers of flash memory, they make a huge number of ARM SoCs, and a whole host of other components before you even look at their smartphone division, which is a relatively small part of the total company. A lot of smartphones, including the iPhone, contain a large number

            • Re:Ads included? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by symbolset (646467) * on Sunday April 08, 2012 @01:18PM (#39613347) Journal

              Of Samsung's $5.1B profits for the first quarter, $4B was from Android handsets alone [nytimes.com].

              For comparison, all of HP earned income of $1.47B for the quarter before (we don't have HP Q1 figures yet, but the holiday quarter is typically high). This is not just for client devices, but all of HP: Servers, storage, networking, services, thin clients, software and so on. This means that for the three months Samsung's Android devices business alone likely provided them more profits than the entire client PC OEM industry earned over Christmas. That's a lot of cabbage.

              Now other Android device makers had profits too - though not as much. Android is shaping up to be be a major force in tech.

              Of course as the article notes, Apple made several times more too - and will remain a major force. But other OEMs don't have the option to make iOS devices so they have to do what they can to survive the transition to mobile, and that means Android.

    • There also needs to be some clarification of how the numbers can be compared since the apple numbers are for a three-year period and the Google numbers are "per year, per Android device".
    • Re:Ads included? (Score:5, Informative)

      by SolemnLord (775377) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @08:17AM (#39611975)

      Do "Android revenues" include advertising, e.g. ads shown in apps?

      Yes. That's where the gross majority of Google's revenue from Android comes from. The Asymco link breaks it down, and points out that Google also makes between four and five times that much per iDevice, since Google is the default search engine on iOS. Google's ad-based revenue lets it worry about revenue per smartphone [asymco.com], not just per Android smartphone.

      • Re:Ads included? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by errandum (2014454) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @08:38AM (#39612045)

        The article still fails on showing what google gets out of all of this - Information. By using an Android phone you pretty much become a google centric person. You'll use their mail, calendar, contacts, news, etc on mobile and even shift your PC habits to google. In turn that will allow them to give you better adds and to charge more from the companies that serve them.

        Google's approach at android is pretty much the same as google's approach at e-mail. They gave you an e-mail service better than most payed services offered at the time (for free) just so they could profit from the information they gathered.

        This kind of news is misleading since Google pretty much has been using that business model everywhere with enough success to keep betting at it. It might not generate as much raw money as apple from each handset (even though they might get some from the Nexus line), but they still make more than enough from each smartphone.

        • by Nerdfest (867930)

          You can quite easily use an Android phone with *any* Google applications, although few do as the Google apps are quite good. There are lots of third party replacements for all of the mentions apps. If you install a custom ROM you must actually download all the Google apps separately.

    • Re:Ads included? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Karlt1 (231423) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @08:37AM (#39612041)

      Google claimed in front of a congressional hearing that 66% of all mobile searches come iOS devices. Google reported pays Apple $100 million a year for being the default engine on Apple devices.

  • by rtb61 (674572) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:34AM (#39611765) Homepage

    The whole idea of Android is provide Google with access to a market from which it would otherwise be excluded. So what Google makes on Android is still a whole lot more than what it makes on iPhones.

    With Android now looking to expand across the whole computer spectrum including, shock horror, the desktop. That gives Google access to the whole market, regardless of the efforts of Apple and of course M$.

    • by kthreadd (1558445)

      All in the name of free and open source software.

    • Wrong (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:41AM (#39611825)
    • by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:52AM (#39611863)

      Except that Google wasn't excluded from the phone market. Apple used Google search, Google maps and YouTube as the shipping solutions. And Google gets the revenue from advertising on those.

      Contrary to your assertion, there have been previous estimates that Google does indeed make more money per handset from iPhones than Android.

      But because of Android, that income from iPhone is going to disappear. Apple is in the process of moving to other map and video solutions, and presumably has a plan to move from Google search too at some point.

      With Android now looking to expand across the whole computer spectrum including, shock horror, the desktop.

      Android is finding it tough to even spread to tablets. They have no chance on the desktop. Desktop requires apps in windows. By the time you add that facility to Android, you're pretty much back at Linux. And Linux has been failing to get a foothold on the desktop for 15-20 years.

    • by rampant mac (561036) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:52AM (#39611869)

      "So what Google makes on Android is still a whole lot more than what it makes on iPhones."

      You sure about that? Google earns 80% of its mobile revenue from iOS, just 20% from Android [appleinsider.com].

    • Wrong...

      The problem here is that Google is doing a garbage job of making sure that the experience of Android remains good. As a result, IMO Android will become a phone for the cheap and those that do very little. Thus there is little ad revenue to be gained as well. Android IMO is opening the door to getting trumped by Microsoft and Nokia. Once people start making the decision between iPhone or Windows Phone, Android is completely clustered effed...

      Right now I would not be betting for Android to keep winnin

      • by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @08:09AM (#39611939)

        I'm sure Windows Phone will be as successful as the Zune, the Kin and the Spot Watch.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by recoiledsnake (879048)

          I'm sure Windows Phone will be as successful as the Zune, the Kin and the Spot Watch.

          Anything Apple makes will be as successful as the Newton and Ping.
          And anything Google makes will be as successful as Buzz and Wave(and G+?).

          See, I too can make non-sequitur arguments by digging up past failures and ignoring successes like the XBox and Kinect(which is the fastest selling consumer electronic device ever).

          • by mystikkman (1487801) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @09:56AM (#39612381)

            I'm sure Windows Phone will be as successful as the Zune, the Kin and the Spot Watch.

            Anything Apple makes will be as successful as the Newton and Ping.
            And anything Google makes will be as successful as Buzz and Wave(and G+?).

            See, I too can make non-sequitur arguments by digging up past failures and ignoring successes like the XBox and Kinect(which is the fastest selling consumer electronic device ever).

            Add Google TV and Chromebooks to the list of Google failures. Apparently, Chromebooks sold only a few thousands, ouch.

            http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Search-Engines/Logitech-Giving-Up-on-Google-TV-After-Losing-100M-344197/ [eweek.com]

            http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20111109PD222.html [digitimes.com]

            In June 2011, Acer and Samsung launched their Chromebooks ahead of other PC brand vendors, but by the end of July, Acer had reportedly only sold 5,000 units and Samsung was said to have had even lower sales than Acer, according to sources from the PC industry. However, Acer has declined to comment.

            But looks like it's fashionable here to rail only on MS' failures and not any other company's.

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      What are you talking about? Apple's "efforts" to exclude Google? By using Google as the built in search engine, shipping a dedicated Google Maps app that comes built in, and a built in YouTube application since the introduction of the iPhone and on every version of iOS since before it was even called that?

      I guess "competing with Google" = "trying to exclude them".

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by openfrog (897716)

      The whole idea of Android is provide Google with access to a market from which it would otherwise be excluded.

      Furthermore, as a user, if I care at all about the profits that those companies providing technologies make, my interests lie much more in one that does not make 575$ in profit on a phone it sells me.

      That is the whole idea of "opening" technologies, and actively investing markets that are on the verge of closing them.

      On this one, I would hope that Google makes more than 2$ on each phone it sells, so that I am not left at the whims of Apple.

    • by Flytrap (939609)

      The whole idea of Android is provide Google with access to a market from which it would otherwise be excluded. So what Google makes on Android is still a whole lot more than what it makes on iPhones.

      With Android now looking to expand across the whole computer spectrum including, shock horror, the desktop. That gives Google access to the whole market, regardless of the efforts of Apple and of course M$.

      I am not sure which hole you have been burrowed under over the last few weeks, but the statement that "...what Google makes on Android is still a whole lot more than what it makes on iPhones." is completely false... On the contrary. Google makes 4 time more revenue on iOS than it does on Android (Google's Android has generated just $550m since 2008 [guardian.co.uk]) and that is before one even takes into account the cost of developing, maintaining and supporting Android.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:36AM (#39611781)

    Most work which is done on a PC, still needs to be done on something resembling a PC form factor.

    Just because you can e-mail, IRC and browse the web on a mobile phone it doesn't mean you can reasonably produce a substantial document, piece of art or CAD work. Yes, you /could/ do it, just as you could tap out a representation of anything with a single Morse key, but you'd be working so inefficiently and with so much punishment to your upper limbs that no business would consider it.

    • by ewanm89 (1052822)
      Morse is still the most reliable modulation. Especially through interference. It's also the simplest to build a transmitter/receiver for. As a such it's great in emergency situations which is why Morse operators are still somewhat sought after.
    • by Locutus (9039)
      the desktop PC form factor is not going away but what percent of the current desktop market requires that form factor? Remembering that a tablet like the iPad can be turned sideways on a stand and used with a bluetooth keyboard or something like the Transformer Prime.

      Add in the ability for remote access to a desktop like computer(Citrix, etc) and we are probably looking at less than 50% of the current desktop PC market. It is this reason why Microsoft is willing to dump billions into the phone and tablet se
  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:37AM (#39611793)

    I zone out whenever I read crap like this......

  • $575? Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zibodiz (2160038) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:39AM (#39611801)
    What I'm incredulous about is the fact that Apple users spend an average of more than $600 on apps & markup. Sure, for addicts who buy an all the licensed accessories tons of apps, etc, but for the 'average' to give that much to Apple, it just shows how much an Apple product will cost you. I spent $150 on my Android device (refurbished no-contract from T-Mo), and have never spent a penny on apps or accessories, except for a $2 car charger. I've had it for over a year, and have a dozen or so apps, including several full games and some very useful, professional-grade reference utilities.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Swampash (1131503)

      I spent $150 on my Android device (refurbished no-contract from T-Mo), and have never spent a penny on apps

      QED

    • Re:$575? Seriously? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by arkhan_jg (618674) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @08:05AM (#39611927)

      What I'm incredulous about is the fact that Apple users spend an average of more than $600 on apps & markup.

      They don't. Well, not in that way, anyway. The $800+ comes from two things; AT&T paying $18 per month per phone to Apple for the privilege of being an iPhone carrier (presumably why they had an exclusive for so long), and the cost of the phone itself, at $399. That ignores that Apple does actually have to pay for manufacture, shipping hardware, labour etc to make the things. Though most of that is parts; they only pay $8 to foxconn for labour per phone. That, plus ruthless pressure on suppliers to cut costs that makes Walmart look slack, is why they have a ~40% profit margin on the hardware.

      Google of course, doesn't make the phones - even the google branded nexus line are made by OEMs. Samsung make the Galaxy Nexus, for example, and samsung have been making out like bandits on the galaxy line - they sell more android galaxy smartphones than apples does iphones by quite a big margin, even though they make them mostly in Korea at considerably lower margin than Apple gets from China. This may all change once google finish acquiring Motorola of course; they might start seeing some of that hardware profit for themselves.

      Bear in mind, google makes quite a chunk of money from iOS users, because Google licence google maps etc to Apple, and get paid for that. They don't get to charge the same licence fees to themselves for shipping google maps on android!

      So android is not a very profitable OS in and of itself for google. It may even operate at a loss, once you include all the costs of updating it, working with carriers and OEMs for all their custom versions, having the market cope with all the different versions out there etc etc.

      However, it does provide google an excellent platform for their webapps - google maps, google mail, google search - where they DO make an excellent amount of money from advertising. Apple could yank googlemaps from iOS at any time, and I've heard they're looking at doing just that. Look at the fun google had getting google+ on iOS, and google voice. Even if android makes no profit at all, having their own open source wide spread competitor to iOS and windows phone* gives them a huge opportunity to support their other services, and avoid iCloud etc eating their lunch in their core market.

      * ok, windows phone might be a minnow now, but they owned the pda/smartphone market once and destroyed palm and psion in the process. Blackberry used to be a big player, and look what's happening to them. Apple and Google can't assume microsoft aren't willing to buy their way back into the mobile market, just as they did going from 0 to big player in the console market. Hell, microsoft are willing to toss most desktop and server users under a bus with windows 8 in order to get developers to make metro apps which will then be usable on tablet/phone, and that's a big gamble even with their massive cash pile.

    • I'm pretty sure the ~$600 number they quote includes the hardware purchase, which is subsidized by the purchase of a 2 year contract, so the consumer only pays $0-$300 up-front, depending on the model.

      The same is probably true of your $150 Android phone, which means it also cost somewhere around $500. It's just that Google doesn't make that money, since they're not the phone manufacturer. I didn't RTFA, so it's hard to know exactly what that $2 represents.

    • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @09:00AM (#39612139) Homepage

      I can believe that, take something as simple as the iPad Smart Cover... it's a very simple folding cover with a couple magnets, yet they want $40/70 for that, buying an extra official cable or charger is also hilariously expensive. Or just look up the prices on the 16/32/64 GB versions of an iPad and compare with the hardware costs, you don't pay $100 for another 16GB anywhere but Apple. Nor to you pay $130 to add a 3G/4G connection, you get complete 3G/4G routers [staples.com] for less than $100. Personally I bought the iPad 16GB wifi-only for $399 recently and I think it was worth it for the excellent display, but all my accessories are 3rd party. Compared to what I've seen with friends that's where they rake in the big bucks.

      • by macs4all (973270) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @10:26AM (#39612527)

        I can believe that, take something as simple as the iPad Smart Cover... it's a very simple folding cover with a couple magnets, yet they want $40/70 for that, buying an extra official cable or charger is also hilariously expensive. Or just look up the prices on the 16/32/64 GB versions of an iPad and compare with the hardware costs, you don't pay $100 for another 16GB anywhere but Apple. Nor to you pay $130 to add a 3G/4G connection, you get complete 3G/4G routers [staples.com] for less than $100. Personally I bought the iPad 16GB wifi-only for $399 recently and I think it was worth it for the excellent display, but all my accessories are 3rd party. Compared to what I've seen with friends that's where they rake in the big bucks.

        So, I guess it's just an accident that no one can sell a tablet with equivalent features to an iPad (I notice you bought one, too) for less than an iPad? Apple must really be gouging, then!

        Oh, and it's a newsflash that companies make insane profits on "accessories"? How many HP laptops come with a power supply that will cost $70 to replace from HP? My old Nokia phone's car charger cost me $30 from the AT&T store, just because Nokia used a proprietary connector. Yet there weren't hand-wringing Slashdot articles complaining about those insane profits...

        I, too, use third-party Chinese junk accessories whenever possible; but don't single-out Apple for doing what every single manufacturer does with "Accessory" sales.

  • by Gobelet (892738) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:41AM (#39611815)
    This article compares Apple, a hardware maker, with Google and Android, who provides software to hardware makers? How is that a fair comparison?
    • by stms (1132653) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @08:31AM (#39612027)

      Comparing a software provider to a hardware provider? Thats like comparing apples to microsofts.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mystikkman (1487801)

      This article compares Apple, a hardware maker, with Google and Android, who provides software to hardware makers? How is that a fair comparison?

      For years, the Apple fanboy bloggers like Horace and Gruber claimed an Apple win based on the number of devices and made twisted arguments about how Android device shipments can never exceed Apple's. After having to eat crow because of Android outselling the iPhone by a huge margin, now they have shifted the goalposts and now the new metric is profitability. If Android makes more profit in the future, the new standard for declaring a winner will be 'sales by a company with a starting with a 'A' and ending w

  • by rainer_d (115765) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:48AM (#39611849) Homepage
    Google just needs its licensees to sell.... about 288 times as much Android phones combined as Apple sells iPhones and bingo: profit ;-)

    According to wikipedia, Apple sold 72 300 000 iPhones in 2011.

    That leaves two possibilities for now:

    1. Sell Android devices also to other species (rodents for example)
    2. Search for alien lifeforms to sell the devices to
    • Actually, Google just needs to sell one Android phone to make a profit.
      They only need to sell 288 times as many Android phones to make as much profit per phone as Apple.

  • So, hang on... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by itsdapead (734413) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @07:52AM (#39611865)

    If I interpret TFA correctly, this is all based on Google's figures for Android revenue in a settlement offer Google made to Oracle...

    I'm sure that Google bent over backwards to inflate that figure as much as possible by including every possible source of indirect income from ads, service sign up, user data collected, desktop users switching to Google Mail/Docs/Calendar to better sync with their phone etc. so that they could pay Oracle absolutely every penny they deserved. I can't think of any reason why they would try every legitimate tactic to make that figure as small as they possibly could. Can you?

    Google produced Android as part of a long-term strategy to attract people to their online services. There's going to be a lot of "intangibles" there that are very difficult to account for.

  • This is just like chrome - Google are not doing it to make money, they are doing it to ensure they have a good position for their core products. Sure, it'd be nice to get some money on the side, but making sure phones continue to evolve and push the boundaries benefits Google a lot, just as browsers doing so did too.

    Google are protecting against a monopoly where the market stagnates, because as a big player, it can push innovation. Which also happens to be awesome for the consumer.

  • Why make BILLIONS when you can make...millions!?!? Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

  • by macs4all (973270) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @09:23AM (#39612213)
    So, we have a Slashdot article that's using figures from another Slashdot article from when AT&T had an exclusive deal with Apple.

    Not only that, but the original Slashdot article that is used as the "authority" for the Apple figures completely ignores the manufacturing cost of the iPhone.

    So here, we see Slashdot click-whoring (once again!).

    Newsflash! Companies make money on the stuff they sell!! Film at 11 !!!1!!!111!

    The "math" in both this, and the 2007 "Apple" article is so incomplete and just plain out-of-whack that this article is an embarrassment to not only Slashdot, but to "Journalism" in general.
  • by Tastecicles (1153671) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @10:55AM (#39612675)

    Since Apple build the iPhone, and there are dozens of manufacturers build phones for Android. All Google get out of every Android sale is a royalty - a thank you from the manufacturer to say "Thank you, Google, for allowing us to use your platform which saves us from having to develop our own!"

"Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows." -- Robert G. Ingersoll

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