Google CEO: Android could be a cash cow (worth $10 billion)

Eric Schmidt says Android could be cash cow
Eric Schmidt says Android could be cash cow

Look, I know Google gets a lot of good will for the open source nature of Android OS but don’t try and think the company isn’t focusing on its bottom line. Google CEO Eric Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal that its mobile platform could soon generate as much as $10 billion for the company through add-on services.

According to the WSJ:

“If we have a billion people using Android, you think we can’t make money from that?” Schmidt asked rhetorically. All it would take, he said, is $10 per user per year. Among other things, Google might earn such sums from selling access to digital content from newspapers.

While it will take some time to reach a billion people, Android is currently gaining a lot of momentum. The search giant said it is activating more than 160,000 Android handsets a day and that should only increase as more high-profile devices like the Motorola Droid X and HTC EVO 4G come online in the coming months. Every major handset maker except for Nokia, Apple and Research In Motion are already supporting the platform, and the royalty-free nature of Android means smaller players can throw it on devices like a $150 tablet.

We may soon see Google’s monetizing plans for Android, as the search giant is set to launch its music service later this year with the next version of its mobile platform. This will enable Android Market users to buy tracks and albums from their devices, and it wouldn’t be hard to imagine Google eventually selling other products, like movies and newspaper subscriptions. This will generate revenue for the search giant but it will also keep the platform on par with rival Apple and its iPhone/iTunes ecosystem.

If you remember, the first version of Android on the now-dead T-Mobile G1 wasn’t very good. It showed a lot of potential but lacked polish and a good UI. Oh, how things have changed. Check out our Evolution of Android post to pinpoint how the little green robot has become one of the best smartphone platforms in the world.
Evolution of Android

[Via The Wall Street Journal]

  • Alan Rosenquist

    The G1 was the best Android phone until the Nexus 1 came out. It still is the BEST Android phone with a keyboard.

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