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Foxconn is allegedly working on the device now


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RE: Will We Hear From Apple?
By Tony Swash on 12/19/2012 6:37:26 AM , Rating: 2
He's mostly right but where he's wrong is ignoring all the other revenue draws from Android. It brings people into Gmail, Youtube, Google Maps, Talk, and Drive. These aren't all huge revenue drivers yet but some are and eventually they all could be. The important thing is to get people used to using them. The Play Store (stupid name) also brings in revenue but I have no idea how much.

How will those things drive revenue? All of Google's revenues and profits comes from advertising. It's USP for advertisers is the ability to selectivity target ads to suit the habits and interests of individual users, and where they happen to be be and what they happen to be doing when they see the ads. And so everything Google does is designed to allow it to collect more and richer data about end users and serve them targeted ads. Google has no other source of income other than advertising. All the non-advertising product's it sells are either sold at cost or at a loss and in total are a tiny fraction of it's ad revenues. Thing like Gmail, Youtube, Google Maps, Talk, and Drive have no revenue model other than advertising related ones, some are mostly about collecting data to target ads (like scanning the content of your Gmail emails both incoming and outgoing) and some like Youtube allowing the placing of relevant targeted ads adjacent to videos. But it's all about ads.

On the traditional desktop/laptop and via a browser that model works very well and makes lots of money for Google. But on mobile devices it doesn't work so well. Firstly Google get's shut out of collecting user data on significant tranches of mobile devices (Google get's no data from the Amazon or from he vastly more significant Chinese Android devices for example) and as people access the internet via apps rather than the browser Google also loses user data unless it can leverage inclusion of it's data collection system on it's own apps and get the masses to use them (hence Google Map app for iOS). Secondly it is now clear, with over a billion smart phones now in use, that people just don't access ads on their mobile devices very much. And thus ad income per user on mobile devices is a fraction of the income per user on the old desktop devices.

The critical question is whether the mobile devices are accretive in relation to the PC desktop ecosystem, that is will the future be a big and essentially unchanged PC ecosystem with mobile devices added on top. Or will mobile devices erode the PC ecosystem and take over many of it's internet functions. The former is not great for Google but the latter is positively bad for Google.

My view is that the following is probably true.

The PC ecosystem has stopped growing and is probably shrinking. It won't vanish but it is past it's peak.

Mobile devices still have a huge amount of growth in front of them and that more traditional PC activities and most of internet access will migrate to mobile devices.

And those two trends, a declining PC and a growing mobile sector are bad for Google if it's core revenues are still overwhelmingly coming from the former. And with the evidence of 500 million sales now in, it is clear that Android is not the solution to this problem.

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